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New site is up, Bioethics Commission recommendations

15 July 2010

A quick followup from my post earlier this week:

I’m now the proud father of a bouncing baby science news website, Science Park. It’s currently in “beta” mode as I spend the next couple weeks producing a steady stream of content for it. As I discussed in that post, as long as you’re willing to market like crazy, and market creatively (a skill that will be vital for any aspiring writer, especially one who wants a book deal), starting up a website and showing off your work is a great way to make sure your writing skill and ideas are on the radar.

The “orphan” article I mentioned about the President’s Commission on Bioethics is now up on the site. If you came here because of your interest in synthetic biology, make sure to head over there, give it a read, debate it, and tell your friends!

Photo of the Green Line here in Boston is all mine, and was actually taken at Science Park station, which gave the new site its name.
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Getting creative with DIY publicity!

14 July 2010

It doesn’t matter how well you think you write–getting your foot in the door is a very challenging enterprise. While the Internet means that it’s easier than ever to put your work somewhere, it makes it that much more difficult for readers to find you, and for peers to respect what you’re trying to accomplish.

As I mentioned last week, I spent Thursday and Friday watching the meeting of the President’s Commission on Bioethics, taking some notes, and putting together an article. The goal of that exercise was to get that piece some pretty serious exposure through a news website. And while I sent it out to a couple places, there haven’t been any takers.

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How to Publish a Book as an Unknown Writer…Step 1: Don’t Be Unknown.

5 July 2010

Back in the more innocent days of two weeks ago, when I first christened this blog, I explained why I thought the topic of the book was timely and interesting. (Hopefully I’m not alone in thinking this!) And obviously, I believe I’m capable of turning this timely and interesting subject into a timely and interesting book, or I wouldn’t be here telling you about the project. But convincing someone else that your project is worthwhile takes more than stats and a few pretty words, especially if you’re coming from way down the literary food chain. If you’re also an aspiring nonfiction author, nod your head and/or roll your eyes if you know where we’re headed next…

In all the reading I’ve done about the nonfiction publishing process–and it’s been quite a bit, rivaling the amount of research that’s gone into the early stages of the book itself–one word has constantly loomed in the distance like a literary Grim Reaper: platform.

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Risks, Rewards, and Bioethics

29 June 2010

Last week in Time magazine, Nancy Gibbs discussed synthetic biology with what I like to call the “cut and paste” journalist’s response to any emerging field of science:

People are bound to disagree about when scientists are crossing some moral Rubicon. That is all the more reason to debate, in public and in advance, where those boundaries lie — rather than doing so after the fact, when researchers are celebrating some technical triumph and the rest of us are wondering what price we will pay for it.

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First things first: Why am I writing this?

23 June 2010

So, after having swung by my about page, you may wonder what compelled me to dive into this project. It’s a daunting challenge for anyone, much less a 25-year-old with a painfully slim portfolio. But sometimes the obvious answer is the right one: synthetic biology is starting to be huge.

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