Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of ScienceOnline…
–William Shakespeare, King Richard III (paraphrased)
I make no secret of it: I love the ScienceOnline conferences. This year marked my second chance to go, present, and meet some of the best science communicators in the world. We’re a pretty diverse group: book authors, bloggers, journalists of all kinds, research scientists, public outreach officers working for labs, editors for a variety of publications…the list is enormous. Even harder: trying to list all the people who deserve a mention, because it was an honor to meet them. I am humbled to be part of this group.
I’ll have a post with my wrap-up thoughts soon (if all goes as planned of course), but first is my big news. During the course of the conference, I met up with Pamela Gay, director of CosmoQuest, the citizen science and public outreach organization. The upshot of our meeting was an interview, and by the end of the conference, she offered me a job! I am now in charge of the CosmoAcademy, the series of informal classes conducted by CosmoQuest. I’m really looking forward to working with Pamela and the other leaders of CosmoQuest.
After nearly two years of underemployment and struggles with finding paid work (as opposed to work for “exposure”), this job comes as a major relief as well as a great opportunity. Regular readers of this blog know that my passion for science and science communication is huge, but I’m only human: I must eat. I think most of us dream of jobs where we’re paid for what we’d do for free, so I’m thrilled that I will actually be getting a paycheck for science communication and education.
What does this mean for my other activities? As of right now, there won’t be any changes to Galileo’s Pendulum, and I’m definitely going to finish Back Roads, Dark Skies. I will also continue my work with Double X Science; I’ll also continue writing for Ars Technica, though the number of articles I’ll contribute will likely decrease. Most of the commitments I’m dropping are ones you probably won’t notice! The new position will enable me to focus on the writing I’m doing, stop worrying about finding a job, and let me finish my book.
And, as if this wasn’t enough, I’ll have at least one more big announcement to make soon! (Think of that as being like a hidden movie trailer following the credits of another film.)