News: News Archives
Growing Presence in Europe for Science, AAAS
Next door to a botanic garden, within a stone's throw of a high-tech artery and down the road from the hallowed halls of one of the world's finest universitiesit is here, in the heart of Europe that the Science International office has come of age.
The journal Science, published by AAAS, opened up an international office in Cambridge, UK, in 1993, the first since the journal was launched in 1880 by Thomas Edison. The Cambridge office began as a three-person operation. Nine years later it has a staff of nearly 30 people and is housed in larger quarters on Hills Road. There, in an unassuming building called Bateman House, a team of seven European editors processes about a third of the more than 7,000 manuscripts that are submitted yearly for evaluation. The office also has a dedicated customer service center, a marketing and advertising department, a Science news desk, and staff for Science's Next Wave Europe.
There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit here, says Deborah Cummings Harris, European recruitment advertising manager. "It's like starting a new business," she says.
In the early 1990s, the staff members at Science International frequently helped each other out by drawing on each others' expertise or simply by answering each other's telephones. As a result, each gained an understanding of the others' work. "The joy of this office is we interact regularly and daily with different departments," says office manager Janet Mumford, who holds much of the institutional memory as the fifth person to join the team.
Andrew Sugden, the senior supervisory editor, who specializes in ecology and evolution, joined the team in 1999. He sees the departments as all part of the same organism. In Bateman House, the offices are arranged in an architectural horseshoe on a single floor, making it hard for the 26 on-site staff to avoid each other.
"One of the crucial things about us in the Cambridge office, which we have yet to capitalize on fully, is because of our small size, all of the departments can interact, Sugden says. "We can become involved in joint projects, activities and other synergistic and collaborative efforts that are harder to achieve in a much larger office."
Richard Walter, who supervises advertising sales, joined Science three years ago from a larger company. "It's quite nice to work with a smaller environment with a wider range of people with different experiences," he says. "We can be fairly autonomous, given an opportunity that suits ourselves within our group, and to work internationallyin Western Europe, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, and areas where other languages are spoken, which is a challenge."
Almost ten years after its incorporation, the Science International office has, like a family moving into a new house, gotten through what may possibly have been the toughest part of the transitionsetting up the infrastructure, gaining their bearings, and working to achieve progress while welcoming new people.
"Everyone seems really motivated, interested in pushing this organization forward," says marketing executive Martin Paine.
Its atmosphere has become a draw. Even editors who could choose to live in the United Statesa choice made easy by modern communicationshave chosen to work in the UK office.
"The scientific enterprise has been quite international for a while, and I think in many ways, the rest of the world is catching up," Sugden says, just before readying to bike home for the evening. "The international collaboration between scientists is something that has been there from the beginning."
17 June 2002
For more information, read related articles:
- Editors in UK Make Science More Accessible
- Helping Young Scientists Get Started: Science's Next Wave
- Covering the Latest Scientific NewsWith a European Twist
- Promoting Science and AAAS from a Global Perspective