Third edition published Sept 2021

If writing a journal article is a like running a 10K race, editing a book is the equivalent of an ultra-marathon.

Or so it felt.

The idea to update the second edition occurred to me in November, 2019. I contacted the publisher of the first two editions and he agreed to produce a third one. So, with his enthusiasm backing me up, I started after Christmas that year.

Then came the pandemic. I almost wanted to call this book the “Journal of a Plague Year”. However that title was already taken, by Daniel Defoe in 1772.

But now, almost two years and one (still ongoing) pandemic later, the third edition is available as an e-book. A softcover version is underway.

I thank my wonderful colleagues who contributed chapters, the publisher, and the many coworkers who assisted in fact-checking, indexing, and photography.

And finally, I thank my grandson Alex, now 7, for being quiet hours on end. Due to the quarantine, he had to put up with me working from home on this book for months.

World Conference of Science Journalists 1-5 July 2019


Just back from my busman's holiday in Lausanne, Switzerland where I attended the 11th World Conference of Science Journalists. No, I am not a journalist, but I am interested in science communication.

The conference included visits to laboratories, films, panel discussions, and podcasts. The biggest problem was deciding which of the 60 sessions to attend.

Some of the ones I attended were: Palliative care research: it's not about dying; Harrassment in science; Fake science; Visual literacy for scientists; Understanding random control trials The tumor microenvironment; Science in extreme environments; and Reporting on scientific misconduct.

As you can see, it was a varied and interesting program and I got to visit three labs. Yep, that's my idea of a great vacation.