What's it all about?
Concatenation Science is the euphemism for a variety of largely (but not solely) volunteer activities undertaken by the Concatenation team (which includes genre arts-science activity), for volunteer, commercial as well as learned charity sectors by Concatenation Science Communication. This last is primarily undertaken by Jonathan Cowie. It relates to science communication in a variety of specialist senses that over the years have included:-
- science publishing
- science policy analysis
- policy stakeholder liaison
- science writing
- event organising
- press liaison
- secretariat services
If a person's single job title had to be applied to the above then it might be that of 'science communication facilitator'.
As the name 'Concatenation Science Communication' suggests, it is concerned with the more science-orientated activities (involving scientists, policy makers and, occasionally, the public) than those undertaken by the rest of the Concatenation team that are more to do with the science and arts interface and the broader public.
(This genre-arts interface is covered by a separate site primarily, but not exclusively, targeted at scientists and technicians who enjoy/engage with the genre arts. It
is a largely text-only, information rich site that is updated seasonally over at www.concatenation.org.)
The communities most often engaged with have ranged from 'the public' (in the broadest sense) to policy makers as well as, with regards to Concatenation's genre wing, those concerned with science in fiction writing which itself has a further larger audience of readers and (considering books are turned into film) cinematic audiences.
The 'science' in 'Concatenation Science Communication' primarily (but not solely) includes:-
- human ecology
- biosphere science
- energy and climate change science
(all the above for interactions with
policy-makers, academia and others);
- and general science (for interactions
with genre arts)
Jonathan's academic background is both multi' and inter-disciplinary with two degrees in environmental science. He has for around a quarter of a century worked with, as well as for, UK learned and professional scientific bodies. After a pre-college period as a Research Council institute technician, a college work placement year with an NGO, and a few years in the biomedical sector, he was for 15 years with the Institute of Biology; including several as its Head of Publications and then for several more as its Head of Science Policy and Books. Today he is independently working with, and for, a range of organizations on individual ventures as well as for himself with science writing. He is a chartered biologist (well, was prior to retirement), a Fellow of the Geological Society and a member of the British Ecological Society.
The Concatenation team itself (beyond Jonathan) engages in projects that largely focus on genre fiction and occasionally other science-arts areas. Most Concatenation ventures are primarily UK based, but projects have also been conducted in continental Europe (such as an arts-science events with Romanians and Hungarians around the solar eclipse of 1999 and ecologists in 2001). The Concatenation team was established back in 1987 and as such its genre (arts-science) wing marked its 30th anniversary in 2017. From the late 2010s, Jonathan has largely ceased policy, publishing and press liaison, though very occasionally engages in such in the main on a voluntary basis for causes he considers worthy. However, he still monitors and researches the science literature as well as write.
'Concatenation' itself means the joining (side-by-side), linking (as in a chain) or the bringing together of things and/or people.