A Concatenation of Conference Reports

Barbara Gastel
Barbara Gastel

For me, planning an issue of Science Editor is much like planning a meal. In every issue, I try to provide a balance of substantial, appealing content: feature articles on a variety of topics and of a variety of types, book reviews and assorted other department pieces, CSE news, and more. Sometimes, however, other priorities override variety. Such is the case for the current issue.

As you might have noticed from the table of contents, almost all the feature articles in this issue are reports on conferences. This preponderance of conference coverage reflects mainly the occurrence in recent months of especially many conferences of science-editorial interest. It also reflects the location of some of the conferences where they could be readily covered. And it reflects the desirability of publishing conference reports relatively fast; whereas a language article or historical feature might appropriately be saved for a later issue, conference coverage should not wait.

In the current issue, we are pleased to present reports on

  • An international congress on peer review and biomedical publication (held every 4 years).
  • A meeting of the World Association of Medical Editors (convened in conjunction with the recent Peer Review Congress).
  • A European Association of Science Editors general assembly and congress (held every 3 years).
  • An American Medical Writers Association annual conference.
  • A set of National Association of Science Writers annual workshops.

Coverage of the last two of those was facilitated by their occurring this year in Texas, where students in the science-journalism graduate program at Texas A&M University could easily report on them. We thank all who contributed to the array of conference reports.

The issue does, however, include other content. Those of us who literally as well as figuratively enjoy preparing meals might especially enjoy the feature article on Guy Crosby, science editor at America’s Test Kitchen (the company that produces the television show of that name and Cook’s Illustrated magazine). We thank former Science Editor intern Olga Kuchment—now studying science writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz—for preparing the article, which appears on page 52. Among other highlights of the issue are a Between Author and Editor column on writing queries (p 59); an Other Than Editing profile of African Health Sciences editor James K Tumwine, an avid walker (p 63); and a preview of the 2010 Council of Science Editors annual meeting (p 69).

For the next issue, we look forward to a more balanced diet. Items on the menu include an article on the use of social media by journals, an article following up on Science Editor interns from over the years, a Solution Corner piece on supervising interns, an Other Than Editing profile of science-editor-turned-sculptor Jeff Watson, and the annual summer reading roundup. Meanwhile, we hope that you enjoy the conference coverage and other content in the current issue.

Bon appétit!

Barbara Gastel
Editor, Science Editor

mar-apr 2010 viewpoint