Many universities have dedicated student-run science publications. Such publications are ideal places for young science writers to work with an editorial team, build up confidence and grow their portfolios. But they are also teasers of what is to come from the emerging generation of science writers.
Periodically, we’ll cover some of those student-run science publications here on The SA Incubator. Today we look at Bang! Magazine, from the University of Oxford, UK. Bang! Magazine is a quite beautiful magazine with great articles. Their latest issue, just published last week, focuses on vision with, amongst others, an article on a robotic eye! Bang! also hosts a regularly-updated blog as well. Bang!’s editor, Anna Pouncey, tells us more.
Bang! is Oxford’s graphically gorgeous science magazine. While we aim to keep people up to date with the latest advances in science through our articles, blogs and twitter feed, Bang! is not just written for scientists; it is written for everyone. We hope that with its colourful and illustrative format, we can transform heavier scientific news and topics into straightforward and easy reading.
This process is not a simple one. Although we have no shortage of applications to write for the magazine, each article requires a careful and rigorous editing process. Most of our team are science students, but we make sure that each article is copy-edited by a member with no prior knowledge of the article’s subject, as well as being fact checked by those who do.
As a team, Bang! are amiable and sociable. It serves as a good training platform for people who are interested in science communication but have not had experience of the magazine production process, and people often tend to stay with the magazine and work up through the system. Quite a few of our previous editors have gone on to bigger and greater things, with some now working for projects such as the Times supplement Eureka magazine and NASA!
As well as extensive work from the editing and creative team to produce an issue once a term, Bang! is now quite a growing machine, with many branches such as our web and blog team, and our publicity team. We are entirely student run and operate as a branch of OSPL (Oxford Student Publications Limited), as such we aim to be financially independent, by covering all printing and publicity costs etc. This requires a lot of work from our business team.
Most excitingly, we have recently embarked on a schools project, offering subscriptions of the magazine for only £10 a year. Just as the magazine is designed to make science more palatable and relevant to those in Oxford who no longer study it, we also hope to encourage school children to consider pursuing science at University. Science at Oxford is a lively and exciting forum and we hope that Bang! Magazine reflects this.
Our most recent issue has the theme of “Vision”, with an interview and centre page spread explaining the current progress toward making a robotic eye, the trials of which are currently underway in Oxford. We also corrected a few ‘dino-delusions’, faced facts about Facebook, explored why emotion is logical and examined the steps to making man immortal. You can see this, past issues and more at: http://www.bangscience.org/
Editor, Bang! Magazine