Retraction Watch is hiring!

anniversarySince becoming our intern in June of last year, and then our first-ever staff writer in October, Cat Ferguson has written more than 200 posts, breaking news left and right. But as we noted on Twitter the other day with not a small degree of sadness, Cat has left Retraction Watch for a great gig at BuzzFeed.

That means we’re hiring.

The job is definitely fast-paced. Our staff writer will be expected to write two posts per day on average, and also contribute to bigger projects such as the feature we wrote for Nature on fake peer reviews. We’re looking for someone dedicated to holding scientists and institutions accountable and hungry for scoops. Experience as a reporter, at least at the college or graduate school level, is a requirement.

Based on our funding from the MacArthur Foundation, we can offer a salary of up to about $55,000 per year, depending on experience. We do not currently have an office, so the staff writer can be based anywhere, and will be expected to work from home. Proximity to New York, where we’re based, would be helpful, but not necessary. He or she will work very closely with our editor, Alison McCook.

Two benefits to note: Some of the best mentoring and training in accountability science journalism available anywhere, and high visibility among major news organizations around the world.

Interested? Send a cover letter, resume, and clips to ivan-oransky [at], with “RW staff writer” as a subject line.

6 thoughts on “Retraction Watch is hiring!”

  1. I know I emailed some time ago about this job (before Cat got hired), but never followed up due to time. The journalism requirement is well above my pay grade given my scientific rather than journalistic training. Hoping you find that Cat 2.0!

  2. Specialization rules. Many interested readers of this blog would be unqualified based on requirement for prior experience in journalism.

  3. Many interested readers of this blog would be unqualified based on requirement for prior experience in journalism.

    And so most (probably not absolutely all, but close) should be. The required staff writer’s main job is explicitly journalism, which has a very different skill set from that required of scientists (which I take the modal readers of this blog to be, in one way or another). I’m a mathematician, and what’s said quite truly of mathematicians who write about mathematics for non-mathematical audiences is that they’d rather be correct than interesting. Our standards of correctness (and of interestingness, come to that) are of course different from scientists’ standards, but I don’t think they’re all that different; a good journalist should of course be both correct and interesting. … And all such considerations, relevant to the kind of science/mathematics writing that is basically popularization, or public relations, or both, only apply to cases where it’s (usually) a fair expectation that no one has a large personal stake in propagating incorrect information. Investigative journalists run into liars, badly-informed-but-entirely-certain people, cowed subordinates, ass-covering superiors, and all manner of other people who—deliberately or undeliberately—spread a lot of falsehood about. Knowing how to deal with those people and their misinformation is not something scientists, qua scientists, learn to do (though RW makes it clear they really ought to).

    1. The ‘witty’ headlines of RW are by far the worst feature of this site. Please, dump the humour. Keep it dry.

      Also, is it necessary to post photos of authors of retracted articles? It seems rather sensationalist.

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