I have no idea how well I managed to keep this secret – at least 20 people already know this for sure. But you should know as well. There have been some big changes in my life over the past couple of weeks.
My e-mail address, my cell phone number, even my snail-mail address will remain the same, at least for a while. But some other important things will change, as…
…I got an offer I could not refuse.
After the unfortunate Pepsi event, I left Scienceblogs.com and wrote a couple of long, detailed posts about the new science blogging ecosystem, and even got together with a few friends and built a website that can help you track all the changes.
Many people expected I would join another network quickly, so they got progressively more curious as they noticed I did not join Scientopia, Guardian Science Blogs, PLoS Blogs or Wired Science Blogs. I kept getting questions. I heard gossip. But the day has finally arrived for me to announce.
I will be doing this:
Scientific American seeks an editor to acquire and manage our expanding blogger network. The position requires at least three years of experience in online editorial positions for science-related outlets.
The ideal candidate will have a facile writing style and a demonstrable track record for successful online community development; a discerning eye for finding engaging scientists in various disciplines who want to engage directly with the public through blogging; the ability to develop editorial packages from the material for print and digital media; familiarity with the production of online material; and the ability to negotiate and manage rights and other associated administrative functions.
The job requires an organized, highly motivated individual who can work in a fast-paced environment and in our Manhattan offices.
Except, I will only be visiting Manhattan offices a few times a year, and will do most of the work from home, here in Chapel Hill. This may change a year from now – a move to NYC is definitely not going to be off the table at that time.
So yes, I will be working with the Scientific American editors and staff in conceptualizing, building, launching and then running a new science blogging network. How could I say No when given such a chance? To do what I love and what I think I can do well, and all of that under the banner of a magazine that was published continuously since 1845.
Mine is actually one of three new appointments at Scientific American announced today. The other two are Christine Gorman who will primarily edit health and medicine features, and Anna Kuchment who will edit the front of the book section of the magazine. You can read about all three of us in the press release. About my role, the press release says:
In this new role at Scientific American, Bora will recruit talented science bloggers and serve as moderator for the community, encouraging discussion and facilitating the exchange of ideas with both the bloggers and Scientific American readers.
Now, as you may know, blogging is nothing new to Scientific American. They have had six blogs for many years now: Observations written by SciAm editors and reporters, Expeditions written by researchers from the field, Extinction Countdown where John Platt introduces endangered species, Solar at Home where George Musser chronicles his attempt to solarize his house, Cross-check where John Horgan covers the news, Bering in Mind where Jesse Bering writes about the Brain and the Mind, and the Guest Blog which hosts the posts by a variety of invited science and blogging luminaries. Their international editions have their own multi-author blogs and networks in several languages.
There is a wealth of stuff on the site already, so we’ll now start figuring out how to build a fun and useful blogging network that is well incorporated into the rest of the site, well connected to the rest of the science blogging ecosystem, and will be a destination for many who are interested in science. It is too early in the game to say much, but I will keep you posted over the next couple of months as we start developing the network.
This also means that I am leaving PLoS after more than three years with the organization. This was a hard decision to make – working at PLoS was a fantastic experience, it opened so many other doors for me, and the office is full of great people I am happy to call my friends. I want to thank everyone there for a great time, for giving me all the opportunities, and for educating me about nuances of Open Access publishing (of course I will remain an OA evangelist!).
As recently as three or four weeks ago, I was involved in developing PLoS Blogs and was slated to move my blog there. But the offer from Scientific American changed that – I will either move this blog or start a new one at the SciAm network once it is ready to launch. My firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail will be discontinued pretty soon and I assume I will get a new one from SciAm, but my personal address, Coturnix@gmail.com, will always work. Or DM me on Twitter, FriendFeed or Facebook, or post a comment here on the blog. I am not going anywhere – if anything, you will see and here even more from me in the future!