2017 cool science gift guide

If it nerds, gift it!

At last! Our seasonal round up of online gifting opportunities that will tickle the corners of your nearest and dearest science nerd’s heart. Although there’s a plethora of tacky science stuff out there—hanging a caffeine molecule on a pendant chain is so last year, and not at all scientific IMHO—I’ve found some really truly coolly awesome items that celebrate all the wonderment of science.

Read/gift on.

Books and magazines

Always a good start for Christmas morning: suitable for young and old, reading material is a great distractor between wake-up time and the Serious Gift Session a little later. Parents, you might just buy an extra hour of peace; spouses/partners/introverts in general, these could be life savers.

Does It Fart? There’s nothing better than a good dose of flatulence humour at Christmas, the season for nutritional overindulgence. Not just for preteen boys, this book answers essential wildlife facts and could make for a pretty cool road-trip game. Authors Dani Rabaiotti and Nick Caruso not only categorize

Content notes and trigger warnings: A primer for editors

Yellow lightI recently copy-edited a book called Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain, published by our subsidiary, Thorntree Press. The book covers a wide range of topics relevant to bisexual people and allies in the UK and other English-speaking countries. I learned a lot from editing this book, as I always do, but one thing I had to deal with was entirely new to me: content notes.

Content notes and trigger warnings have been a hot topic of conversation recently, especially in the context of whether university instructors should provide trigger warnings about potentially distressing topics in their syllabuses. There’s been quite an intense debate about this, with articles linking trigger warnings to the coddling of millennials and the dangers of helicopter parenting and the downfall of intellectual freedom.

On the other side of the debate, people argue that content notes and trigger warnings are a compassionate way to be inclusive and make sure we don’t inadvertently trigger a trauma survivor’s pain.

What are content notes and trigger warnings?

Content notes and trigger

What we’ve been up to: Community involvement

eveandfranklinAt Talk Science to Me, we encourage our associates to get involved in the community and contribute time to causes they care about. We’ve been pretty busy on the community involvement front lately and are proud to share what we’ve been doing.

Strengthening the editing community

Eve, Amy and I (Roma) are all very involved in Editors British Columbia, the local branch of Editors Canada.

On June 10–11, Editors BC hosted the annual Editors Canada conference. Last spring, Amy took on the huge task of co-chairing the conference, a year-long commitment that she carried out while also serving on the Editors BC executive as editor of the branch blog, West Coast Editor. Planning the conference meant finding and managing volunteers, liaising with the conference venue, confirming the speaker schedule and following up on a million little things that are necessary for a conference to be successful. And the conference definitely was a success, with over 300 people attending over 30 sessions, as well as keynote addresses by

Job posting: Freelance intermediate publications designer (EXTENDED)

Talk Science to Me Inc. is seeking a freelance intermediate publications designer to join our team.

This is a part-time contract position. Responsibilities include publication design, consultations with clients on design issues, graphic design and print consulting, often under the supervision of a senior designer. Materials include books, technical and policy reports, marketing materials and museum exhibits. The workload over the past year has ranged from 0 to 100 hours per month, averaging about 20–30 hours.

This is an intermediate-level position. You should have a well-rounded portfolio demonstrating a keen artistic eye and experience with a range of publication formats and design styles.

We are looking for, at minimum, the following skills and experience:

  • A degree or diploma in graphic design or related field.
  • Between 3 and 9 years’ experience in graphic design for print.
  • Proficiency in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office.
  • Knowledge of production for print and online materials.
  • Excellent understanding of font families, appropriate use of line-height, kerning and tracking.
  • Excellent knowledge of file preparation for output by a service provider.
  • Excellent knowledge of composition, colour and imagery.
  • Ability to do touch-up and colour manipulation for photos used in print and

Editing academia: Working with students

320300354_a8e1ce5eef_zI loved academic writing when I was a student, and now I get really excited when I get to work with students as an editor. In the past few months, Talk Science has done formatting, copy-editing and writing coaching for graduate students in sociology, political science and education.

The Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC) has guidelines for working on theses and dissertations that clearly outline everything you should consider. We follow these strictly at Talk Science, and I’ve gone through and picked out a few points to expand on with my own experiences.

The ethical issues Student work brings with it a unique set of issues, particularly from an ethical standpoint. Students are being evaluated on their work, and their writing is meant to reflect their own ability. This is where the ethical fuzziness comes in: How much support can we give before we’re distorting the work away from being an accurate representation of the student’s skills? Where’s the line between helping and doing? One way we figure this out is by identifying which skills the