Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

PNAS’ Jonathan Lifland leaving journal for FEMA-Oak Ridge post

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Embargo Watch readers will probably be familiar with the name Jonathan Lifland. Jonathan, the PNAS media and communications manager, is always quick to respond to Embargo Watch queries, whether they’re about The Sunday Times‘ Jonathan Leake or a college press release that seemed to have broken an embargo.

As he once tweeted, “Embargo breaks, while terribly annoying, are usually fairly predictable.”

This morning, I received an email from Jonathan that he is moving on. It read, in part:

I wanted to let you know that I’ll be leaving PNAS in the very near future. I’ve accepted a new position as the Public Affairs Specialist at a government contractor called the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Engineering, or ORISE. It’s a nonprofit with a branch (where I’ll be working) here in DC, although as you may correctly surmise from the name, the home office is in Tennessee. My last day at PNAS will be May 14. After a two-week vacation to Colombia, I will start the new job on June 2.

My job will be to prepare and present information on disaster preparedness in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Fortunately, I understand that another department handles oil spills. 🙂 It’s quite a change from the science-specific publishing work I’ve done in the recent past, and I’m very much looking forward to the new challenges.

Embargo Watch of course wishes Jonathan all the best. I’ll look forward to working with him in his new post as news warrants, although he told me by email that it’s “more likely to be classified stuff.” He’ll be working “as a spokesman for the preparedness efforts between the government (FEMA) and the myriad federal, state, and local authorities in the event of a nuclear or radiological disaster. I’m not sure we’ll have much in the way of regular news distribution or any sort of embargoed access to information.”

No word yet on his PNAS replacement.


Written by Ivan Oransky

May 11, 2010 at 10:24 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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