As a grad student at the University of Edinburgh, Elie Dolgin wrote and recorded science radio shows and podcasts in between experiments with C. elegans. Within only weeks of defending his thesis, Dolgin became an editorial intern at The Scientist. "I liked The Scientist because, even though I was no longer a practicing scientist, for the first time I felt I was part of a science community." After a five-month hiatus from the magazine, when he worked on the science desk at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and freelanced for Nature and other publications, Dolgin returns to The Scientist this month as an associate editor, where he'll be leading the magazine's effort to "ramp up multimedia." Look for more video, slide shows and Dolgin's "true love"—audio—to be incorporated into daily stories online.
In this month's Opinion, Odile Oukem-Boyer, senior scientist and deputy administrator at the Chantal Biya International Center for Research and Prevention of HIV/AIDS (CIRB) in Cameroon, argues that the "brain drain" of highly qualified researchers is hitting Africa's medicine and the biomedical sciences particularly hard. As she and her co-authors write in "Tackling Human Resources in Africa", despite the creation of the new center in 2006, it has been difficult to attract Cameroonians to the country. As a solution, the group began recruiting émigré researchers with short-term consulting contracts earlier this year. "Leveraging overseas talent to develop our research strategy is a pioneer experience we want to share as broadly as possible," Oukem says by email.
California-based freelance science journalist Joshua Tompkins had written about science and health for more than 10 years when he decided it was time to go to medical school so he could share an "inside" perspective on the field with his audience. Still freelancing, Tompkins' curiosity about his own "poor sense of direction" led him to scientists who are studying how the different regions of the brain work together to help people navigate the environment (Laborin' lizards), including a peculiar case of one patient who was born without a sense of direction. Tompkins' writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Salon.com.
For over 20 years, California-based freelance illustrator JT Morrow has imitated the work of old and new masters—with a modern twist, such as adding cell phones to Renoirs and laptops to DaVincis. Morrow says he jumped at the chance to use the artist John Collier's well-known portrait of Charles Darwin for this month's cover to kick-off Darwin's 200th birthday, and to accompany the article about one of the unanswered questions about evolution (Darwinian Time). Morrow says he hopes his illustration "will help people to let their hair down a bit and really celebrate the anniversary of this great man's birth." Some of Morrow's other illustrations have appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Reader's Digest, and Entrepreneurial Magazine.