MAVEN is an "in" word these days. And it may be just the title for Ben Patrusky, who has become more experienced and knowledgeable—as a maven usually is defined—about a variety of science reporters seminars than almost anyone else in the nation.
"I think of myself as a reporter," says Patrusky, who indeed spends much of his time in free-lance science reporting, primarily for magazines. When he is helping to set up a seminar—as he has done for the American Heart Association, Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, Ford Foundation, Research to Prevent Blindness, National Kidney Foundation, and other organizations—he says, "I'm more the reporters' ally than the [sponsoring] organization's ally." He has turned down some offers, Patrusky says, because "they wanted me to merely orchestrate the decisions they already had made."
No editor sends a science reporter to one of these seminars "just to get educated," Patrusky says.