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The Spokes Editorial Committee is looking for new members

The Spokes Editorial Committee in January's meeting. Photo: Ecsite/Helen Wilks
Photo: Ecsite/Helen WilksPhoto: Ecsite/Helen Wilks

Spokes magazine aims to be an open forum for creative discussion, spreading new ideas, sharing best practice and providing carefully curated news and now the Spokes Editorial Committee is looking for up to three new members with new and fresh perspectives to join us from September 2020 onwards. Being part of the committee is a unique experience and can provide you with lots of opportunities for stimulation and creative thinking.

Sound like something you'd like to be a part of? This call is open to all staff of Full Ecsite member organisations. Apply by Wednesday 9 September.

Spokes Editorial Committee members serve for a mandate of three years, renewable once. Maria Xanthoudaki, Director of Education and of the Centre of Research in Informal Learning at the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia 'Leonardo da Vinci' (Milan, Italy) is the Committee's Chairperson. She was nominated by the Ecsite Board in June 2019.

Who we are looking for

For the selection we would be looking at your specific professional experience and expertise but also at the following:

  • Your curiosity for a wide range of topics is an important quality for Editorial Committee members: the books you read, talks you attend, films you watch etc.
  • Possibly a wide professional network beyond the science communication field, as Spokes is always on the lookout for potential authors. Good writing skills in English and journalistic or editorial experience are a plus.
  • While writing articles is not an obligation for committee members, it would be good if there was a strong writer among our new recruits.
  • An interest and some experience in marketing (in particular digital marketing) and community management.

Overall, the Committee tries to keep a balance of expertise, geographic origin and gender, as well as the types & sizes of organisations. Take a look at the composition of the Spokes Editorial Committee to see how your profile could fit.

Committee members' tasks and roles

Monthly: shaping, commenting, checking

We hold a monthly conference call to discuss the specifics of upcoming issues, review article pitches etc. During the month, committee members are invited to comment on received articles and check Spokes before it comes out. Time commitment varies, depending on each member's availability that month: min 1 hour (if you can only make the call), max 4 hours (if you have the time to follow each step).

Once or twice a year: being “on call” for an issue

The Ecsite Communications team does the "ground work" of putting Spokes together. As the “on call” Committee member, you will be working closely with that team and are in charge of having read everything before that particular issue of Spokes goes out. The estimated time commitment per on-call issue is around one working day.

Once a year: attending a physical committee meeting

We meet once a year in September at one of the committee members’ organisations for a 1-2 day meeting. This is when we have strategic discussions and shape the editorial calendar for the year ahead, brainstorming topics, authors, trends etc. and each commit to follow up on specific article ideas. We work on the base of an open call for article ideas (from readers and potential authors) launched the previous autumn. Please note that for 2020 we will be meeting digitally on 21 and 22 September due to pandemic restrictions, but the format will still be the same and we will ensure that the sessions are as interactive as possible.

Depending on your time and skills: chasing authors, writing, relaying, keeping your eyes open…

Depending on your skills or interests, you can shape your involvement and contribution to the committee. For instance we have committee members who keep a look out for new exhibitions, write book reviews, identify and relay good reads etc. A regular task is chasing authors: once we’ve accepted a proposal, a committee member acts as the liaison person with the author(s), helping them shape their piece, chasing them when deadlines are close – in short: making sure they deliver.

As a committee member, you are well placed to volunteer to write articles or conduct interviews on topics of interest highlighted by the committee (like all other publications of course they’ll be submitted to your peer committee members’ critical eye). But you don’t have to.

Members cover their own travel and accommodation expenses and unfortunately being a member of the Spokes Editorial Committee does not grant you a free registration to the Ecsite Conference. The networking and learning are invaluable, however!

How to apply

Fill in this application form by 9 September. We will be reviewing all the applications on 10 and 11 September and interviews will take place in the week beginning 14 September.

If you're selected, we hope to have you on board for our Spokes annual meeting (taking place online this year) on 21 and 22 September, followed by a monthly Spokes conference call on 22 October.

Want to know more? Email Ecsite's Communications and Events Manager Raquel da Cunha who can put you in touch with a current member.


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