Around town: Operation Med School

Medical students learning from professor.This one’s for you if you have a high school student around the house who is thinking that med school could be a good option for post-secondary.

A group of enterprising Grade 11 and 12 students is putting on a one-day pre-medical conference for high school peers. Run as an annual event, Operation Med School exposes attendees to many aspects of working in health care by giving them a chance to meet medics, biomedical researchers and other professionals in the field of medicine. The Vancouver event takes place on Saturday, February 18, at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre of the University of British Columbia. (The team also runs similar events in Toronto and Calgary.) Admission includes a lunch card as well as networking opportunities with people who can help guide a future medical career.

Dear reader, I’m sure if you cast your mind waaay back (or even waaaay-er back for some), to those intense days of career planning for high school graduation, you will no doubt remember the heady mix of giddy excitement at the prospect of adulthood mixed with a good dose of

Bench to blog: Part 2

At Talk Science to Me, we receive requests throughout the year from people who are right at the beginning of a career shift from science to science writing. Although we don’t have entry-level positions available, we do have experience in making The Switch. In this two-part series (see part 1 here), Amanda, our science writer, gives some insight into why and how she made the move out from behind the bench.

Part 2: Practical tips for making the switch from science doing to science writing

7760446202_461b55101a_oSo, you want to switch from programming the PCR or mass spectrometer to creating content at the keyboard?  From doing the science to writing about it? Here are some helpful tips on how to make that transition.

Do you like writing?

Important question.

Do communicating and engaging give you a buzz? Does your heart sing when you realize that the audience understands the complex theory just presented? Do you baffle? Or can you leave an audience entertained, informed, enlightened and wanting to know more? Can you extract the story behind the science, refine it in the

Bench to blog: Part 1

At Talk Science to Me, we often receive requests from people who are right at the beginning of a career shift from science to science writing. Although we don’t have entry-level positions available, we do have experience in making The Switch. In this two-part series, Amanda, our science writer, gives some insight into why and how she made the move out from behind the bench.

Part 1: Making the switch from science doing to science writing

“For me, it wasn’t a case of the pipette no longer holding the same awe as it once did, or that playing around (in a radiologically safe and prescribed manner) with isotopes didn’t bring the same buzz. No—for me, I switched from science doing to science writing because of family.”

2350465076_01b90288ee_zLove, passports, parenting

In the summer of 2001, I moved from London, UK, to Vancouver, BC, when my husband got an overseas posting. Initially, the contract was just for two years and was an amazing opportunity for us to experience living on the West Coast of Canada. But the longer we stayed, the more enchanted we

2014 in review: Our biggest year yet

It’s been a huge year for Talk Science to Me. I haven’t posted much this year, because I’ve been so caught up in the day-to-day of running the company, as well as some huge projects we’ve been working on.  Looking back over my calendar, I discovered I’ve spent 20 of the last 52 weeks on the road. Luckily, we have some amazing team members holding things down on the home front—and we’re growing next year! 2014 has gone by in a whirlwind, but here’s a quick recap of some of the highlights.

Growth

It was November 2011 when I rebranded my freelance editorial business, Frog Hollow Wordworks, as Talk Science to Me, with a new mission of providing full-service publication support to clients in the sciences. I’m proud to say that our revenue has doubled every year since then–and the size of our team has kept pace. This year we added three new people: Roma Ilnyckyj as our full-time associate editor, and Jeff Werner and Mari Chijiiwa as publication designers. We also said farewell in the fall to Krista Smith, our editorial assistant, who has moved on to full-time library work.

Because many

Peeking in the designer’s toolbox

Mari’s and Jeff’s studios probably don’t look like this. Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae - Alchemist's Laboratory, by Hans Vredeman de Vries (Public Domain)I am amazed by what our designers can do. I copy-edit a document and send it to Talk Science to Me designers Mari Chijiiwa or Jeff Werner as a Word file, just blocks of black and white text for pages on end. Then they work their alchemical magic and return it as a beautiful PDF file, with colours, images, graphics, pull quotes and stylized headings.

Until recently, I’ve only had a vague idea of what Mari and Jeff actually do, but back in July I attended a two-day InDesign workshop through the SFU Publishing Workshops. The workshop was excellent, and I learned a lot of technical skills, but most valuable—and something I hadn’t expected—was the new appreciation I now have for my team members’ tools.

I’ve always considered the Adobe Creative Suite to be someone else’s tools: valuable and powerful, but not mine to concern myself with. At