Client showcase: Shelly DeForte, biomathematician

640px-1a5r_sumo-1_proteinAs a full-service science communications agency staffed with editors, designers, writers and more, Talk Science to Me takes great pride in supporting all our clients by presenting their science in effective and engaging ways. Although most of our portfolio comprises larger organizations and institutions, we also work with individual authors and researchers to manage their writing and publishing needs.

One of our academic authors is biomathematician Shelly DeForte, who recently took up a post-doctoral position in bioinformatics at the University of Montreal. She describes her position as fully involved in supporting the research projects of a biochemistry lab by “writing custom code to do custom analysis” on the data.

Shelly’s work focuses on artificial intelligence, machine learning and in

Blogging…with Sanskrit

4263193267_fb5cee0c57_zIf you’re a writer, one of the best ways to engage your readers is to post regularly on a personal blog. The sandbox is your own: you can reach out to your audience with regularly posted content, and the comments open up further dialogue. Often it’s a more dynamic endeavour than a static website or a book.

Recently, one of my projects for Talk Science to Me involved setting up a personal blog for long-time client Christopher Wallis. You will recognize him as the author of Tantra Illuminated, a scholarly discourse on Tantrik learning published by Mattamayura Press. Currently, my workmate and Talk Science associate editor Roma Ilnyckyj is editing the book for e-publishing format. And there’s a new book coming out soon tooso it’s a great time for the author to start blogging!

Project specifications Christopher’s requirements were fairly standard for the blog world: chronological presentation of posts with the most recent at the top, and preferably hosted on a public platform so it would not require uploading to a server.

Then he

Client showcase: Thorntree Press

At Talk Science to Me, we’re passionate about science. In fact, some of our favourite topics are things like proteomics, biobanking and landmine-detecting rats. But would it surprise you to learn that Talk Science to Me is about much more than just science?

ttp-avatarAMOne of our major clients, Thorntree Press, is an independent publisher based in Portland, Oregon. Thorntree Press specializes in books about relationships, in particular non-traditional relationship models. Eve Rickert, Talk Science to Me founder and mastermind, is also a co-owner of Thorntree Press, along with her partner Franklin Veaux.

Last year, Eve and Franklin co-authored Thorntree Press’s debut release, More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory, which has already sold more than 10,000 copies. (It’s also just come out on audiobook!) This was followed by The Husband Swap: A true story of unconventional love and its e-book companion guide, Lessons in Love and Life to My Younger Self, both by Louisa Leontiades. Coming soon are The Game Changer: A memoir of disruptive love, also by Franklin, and Stories from the Polycule: Real life in polyamorous families, an anthology compiled

Understanding water use in BC

I recently found out that over 95% of the electricity produced by BC Hydro comes from hydroelectric sources, which floored me. I grew up in Alberta, where the majority of power comes from coal and natural gas, so my concept of electricity sources doesn’t include water, except for as a possible “alternative” energy source. But there’s nothing alternative about 95%. And after thinking “Wow! That’s amazing!” I started asking questions: How much water do we even have? What about drinking water? What about the fish?

Aerial picture of BC's Revelstoke Dam. (C) Kelownian Pilot 2007 (CC-BY-SA-3.0.)Those are big questions, and really important ones. We’ve used dams for over 100 years in BC, so it’s critical for us to examine their impact on our ecosystem. BC Hydro predicts that demand for electricity in BC will grow by 40% over the next 20 years, so our reliance on hydroelectricity and the future of water use in BC is a major issue.

One way that BC Hydro is answering those questions is by engaging in water use planning. A water use plan sets specific and

Exquisite Love: From ancient text to e-book

In 2014, Talk Science proofread, indexed and designed the second edition of Exquisite Love: Reflections on the spiritual life based on Nārada’s Bhakti Sūtra by William K. Mahony. The Bhakti Sūtra is a set of 84 statements on the nature of divine love. It was written, in Sanskrit, sometime in the tenth or eleventh century.


In Exquisite Love, Mahony translates the Bhakti Sūtra into English and provides commentary on each of the statements. It’s a beautiful book, and we loved working on it. Now we’re thrilled to be converting it to e-book format.

Creating e-books is a challenge because the design isn’t static: readers have the power to change the formatting to suit their needs by adjusting the font size, zooming in and out, displaying the text in columns, changing the screen brightness, and choosing the background and text colours. And given the huge number of devices out there, there is no way to predict the choices readers will make.

This reader control is part of what makes e-books awesome, but it also makes preparing and proofreading an e-book extra interesting. With a print book, what the proofreader sees