To the dark side

The Australian | 28 July 2017

Fairfax science editor Marcus Strom this week decamped to the University of Sydney, joining the increasing ranks of decorated former journos trying to flog stories to a diminishing pool of current journos.

Strom will trumpet Sydney’s efforts in the nanoscience and quantum engineering space; his recruitment no doubt smoothed by a quantum computing investment from Microsoft, reportedly worth millions of dollars. Strom, who was this morning shortlisted for the Eureka prize for journalism, will shadow former Fairfax scribe Deb Smith – who won the award in 2005 – and former Cosmos editor-in-chief Wilson da Silva at crosstown sandstone UNSW.

It’s the latest example of the exodus from science journalism, bemoaned recently by ABCScience Show supremo Robyn Williams in his book “In love with Betty the crow”, who likened the trend to “a particularly rugged episode of Game of Thrones … all your favourite characters are garrotted by the end, but without the preliminary sex to make it all worthwhile”.

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