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« Curry on BEST | Main | Dealing with overFITing »

Sits vac

Anyone looking for a job?

Reporting to the UK News Editor through the Health, Science and Environment Assignment Editor, the Science Editor will be a regular contributor to “Today” and the “Six o’clock News” on Radio 4, the “Ten o’clock News” on BBC One, the News Channel, and the News website. He or she will also report for a broader range of BBC outlets on key science news issues when appropriate. He or she will lead the BBC’s journalism in the sciences - working with the Assignment Editor to shape the style, tone and substance of the editorial agenda in science coverage. This person will have excellent contacts with key people in the world of science and be the primary contact for scientific institutions throughout the UK and beyond.

Note this too:

Knowledge and experience

...thorough knowledge of all the requirements of the Editorial Guidelines and the recommendations of the Neil, King and Jones Reports for BBC News.

BBC Science Editor

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Reader Comments (33)

They missed a qualification.

Candidate must have Bob Ward and Gavin Schmidt on speed dial.

Oct 29, 2011 at 7:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

Who is this replacing?

Oct 29, 2011 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterArgusfreak

Awareness of News Strategy and its implications for the key agenda areas of BBC News;

Be influential in shaping and developing BBC’s news agenda.

Makes the right editorial and policy decisions based upon a clear understanding of the BBC’s distinctive news agenda

Is it just me who thinks that a news organisation with "impartiality in our genes" (c. Ms H Boaden) shouldn't have a "news agenda"?

What ever happened to John Reith's "Report - never editorialise".

I see there's no requirement for a science degree (or GCSE for that matter} - "diversity awareness" v. important though.

Oct 29, 2011 at 9:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

" We respect each other and celebrate our differences...." as long as the difference is not over your opinion on global warming, which must at all times follow our official line.

Oct 29, 2011 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Since it will cover Climate "Science", Pinocchio need not apply!

Oct 29, 2011 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterCinbadtheSailor

So the current editor has moved, or has been moved?

Oct 29, 2011 at 9:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

George Turnbull would be the ideal candidate.

Oct 29, 2011 at 9:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Turnbull

This is obvious a highly paid job for which you need absolutely no scientific credentials. Come on Harrabin and Black send in your cv's. For references I suggest you select two members of The Fiddlestick Team.

Oct 29, 2011 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Formal scientific qualifications totally unnecessary, though a background in NGO eco activism and/or a regular Grauniad reader will swing the job.

Name your salary!

Oct 29, 2011 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan

mais c'est moi, tout crache ca

Oct 29, 2011 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered Commentertutu

"mais c'est moi, tout crache ca" - tutu

Je crois qu'il vaut mieux en rire

Oct 29, 2011 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Dale Huffman

Ce blog est en français, désormais? Bizarre!
What is more bizarre is that the job description makes no mention of a need for any kind of science training or even interest in how science works. Diversity and finance get much more of a mention!

Oct 29, 2011 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Harvey

The job particulars include the lines below:

Understanding diversity in its widest sense. Demonstrates a commitment to improving diversity in the BBC. Takes a balanced approach to discussing and taking action on diversity issues.

By "diversity" most organisations mean that they want male, female and trans-sexual Guardian readers, gay and straight Guardian readers, black and white Guardian readers, able-bodied and disabled Guardian readers, elderly, middle-aged and young Guardian readers, atheist and agnostic Guardian readers, and adherents of every religion provided they don't really take their religion seriously and only hold to those beliefs that would be endorsed by the Guardian.

In the case of the post under discussion knowledge of science might be a disadvantage because it could lead the successful candidate to ask searching questions on the subject of (apparently) man-made global warming.

Sorry, those last few words should have been "human-made global warming."

Oct 29, 2011 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

According to Wiki Harrabin's qualification is he "studied English at St Catharine's College, Cambridge".

Wouldn't want one of these dreadful scientist types influencing BBC "science coverage" would we? Nor somebody willing to attempt to discuss the BBC Pravda in any public forum.

Oct 29, 2011 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig


V Good!

Oct 29, 2011 at 4:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Well here's a science journalist who may be at a bit of a loose end at the moment. A very balanced, reflective grasp of the situation. Here's a recent quote:

'I think my initial views have strengthened over the course of my research. Depending on the particular topic under discussion, climate science can be so complex that it's quite possible for talented, sincere, and experienced people to come to dramatically different conclusions after examining the same data. I think there are good scientists on all sides of the climate change debate. Which is why I think that everyone deserves to be heard. I certainly don't presume to know who's right. There's an epigraph at the beginning of my book that quotes the eminent physicist Freeman Dyson (whose writing I admire and whose judgment I trust). He says that science is "a mosaic of partial and conflicting visions."

To me, that's another way of saying that no one has all the answers. A particular scientist may be correct about point A. Another scientist may be correct about point B. No one person is capable of grasping, or understanding, everything. We are all potentially both right and wrong. Collectively, we're stumbling around amid shadow and mystery on a planet that was dancing to its own drummer billions of years before we appeared.' [Donna Laframboise]

That quote?

Oct 29, 2011 at 4:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

No basic knowledge of statistics, their use and abuse required.
No knowledge of Aristotle's logical fallacies required.
To "shape the style,tone and substance of editorial agenda" - it's all agenda and cut and paste of the "correct" views. No critical thought required.
I think I'm about to give away the TV set so they can't extort any more licence fee from me.

Oct 29, 2011 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterLJH

@Oct 29, 2011 at 2:55 PM | Roy

"Sorry, those last few words should have been "human-made global warming.""

Sorry, Roy, you were right first time. You don't think Wimmin Guardianistas could be responsible for global-warming, surely?

After all, as the old saying has it:-
"How many Guardian Woman's page readers does it take to change a lightbulb?"
"Why Ten?"
"One changes to bulb (to a low energy bulb - naturally). The other nine form a group called "Coping with Darkness".

Oct 29, 2011 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Job title: Science Editor. Thereafter referred to as science & environment. Did HR mess up (or is that HR & environment)?

<Resisting mental image of Python spam sketch>

Oct 29, 2011 at 5:42 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

They could have saved a lot of time and psycho waffle and just said - 'must be an AGW alarmist'.

I'm nominating Lord Monckton!

Oct 29, 2011 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterDougS

Oh dear Martin, you'll have Zed popping up & accusing you of sexism & the rest of us will be damned for not reprimanding you!

Oct 29, 2011 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

I will never forget Harrabin for the question to Jones which led to my insight that the rate of warming has been identical three times in the last century and a half, and only the last one with a rise of CO2.

Oct 29, 2011 at 8:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Fiona? Good try! Nice CV. But sorry, we already have a Fiona.

Oct 29, 2011 at 9:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Does anyone think I should apply?

Oct 30, 2011 at 12:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Frank and peggy: "Nice Work If You Can Get It."

Oct 30, 2011 at 1:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh.

"Sits vacant". Very apt description of what the appointee will do.

Oct 30, 2011 at 2:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Heyworth

Oh well, I guess Judith will not be applying!!!!!!!!!

Oct 30, 2011 at 4:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

I believe this is only an interim position.

Word from a usually reliable informer says that an artificial intelligence computer program to evaluate climate science is in advanced testing.
It only has TWO lines of code:

20 GOTO 10

Oct 30, 2011 at 4:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterAusieDan

BBD. I think you'd make a better science editor than Roger (Arts degree) Harabin. Go for it, if you want a referee as to the purity of your views on climate science, I'm your man!

Oct 30, 2011 at 7:01 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo


Hilarious! I couldnt breath.

Oct 30, 2011 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

There was a time the post was given to David Whitehouse --PhD--. Surely they'll not make the same mistake again.

Oct 30, 2011 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito



Oct 30, 2011 at 6:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

@Oct 30, 2011 at 4:33 AM | AusieDan

I'm an HP BASIC programmer on VMS, that's hilarious ROFLOL.

Nov 9, 2011 at 12:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterSun Spot

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