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22/08/2014

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A tribute to David Dickson

The British Science Association is deeply saddened to learn that David Dickson, eminent science journalist and founder of SciDev.Net, has passed away. David was a long-standing supporter of the Association, and an elected member of our council since 2008, as well as being part of the General Section for the British Science Festival.

Imran Khan, Chief Executive of the British Science Association, commented on behalf of the Association, “David’s death is extremely sad news for the science communication community, of which he has been a deeply respected member for many years. He has been a valued member of the Association, playing an important role both on council, and in programming the British Science Festival.

"David will be remembered by the many who knew and worked with him at the Association as a skilled communicator, passionate about science in the developing world, extremely generous with his time and effort, and as a well-liked, well-trusted friend. The success of SciDev.Net will be an ongoing testament to the time, energy, and passion he put in to further the cause of science being a powerful force for good in the world".

David dabbled in science journalism since his time at Cambridge University, before becoming a fully-fledged science policy reporter for the Times Higher Education Supplement. After stints working across the globe with Nature, and Science, he became news editor for New Scientist, and finally rejoined Nature in 1992, this time as news editor.

It was during his time at Nature, that the foundation for SciDev.Net was born. The original project, set up by Nature with financial assistance from the Wellcome Trust, was designed to report on the World Conference on Science, in Budapest, in 1999.

This was well received, and over the next few years, with David's guidance and dedication, evolved in to a permanent website devoted to reporting on, and analysing the role of, science and technology in development.

The website has since grown into the world's leading source of news, views and analysis on information about the sciences and technology for global development.

In addition to his commitment to SciDev.Net, David also dedicated significant amounts of time to guiding, advising and helping young science journalists from around the world. He was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the ABSW in 2012.

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