My Writings

My Résumé

Robert Finn resume 20191014.pdf
click to download
finn (at) nasw (dot) org
Twitter: @bobfinn


Senior Director and Executive Editor (originally Managing Editor), — 2015-Present
  • Created a news and information service for physicians featuring daily summaries of the most important scientific, medical, and professional developments published in journals and presented at medical conferences in more than a dozen specialty and primary-care areas.
  • Supervised a team of 20+ freelance journalists and up to 6 line editors and copy editors in the US, Canada, and India.
  • Worked closely with international teams in Paris and Mumbai.
  • Trained numerous freelancers and employees to use a complex, proprietary, content management system.
  • Tracked the site’s analytics and made strategic and tactical decisions to improve site traffic.
  • Engaged readers using social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Currently have 5,000 followers on my personal Twitter account.
Executive Editor — Multiple Sclerosis Discovery Forum, 2013-2015
  • As part of a small non-profit, the Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis, managed two full-time science journalists, a team of freelancers, several volunteers, and an annual budget of $300,000 to produce the only independent news and information website intended for multiple sclerosis researchers and clinicians.
  • Created, produced, wrote scripts, and conducted interviews for a popular weekly podcast on MS research.
  • Curated a weekly compilation of every scientific article on MS and related disorders.
  • Working with statisticians and data scientists, established an ongoing series of data visualizations on MS research.
  • Anchored, narrated, and edited audio and video news segments, including live interviews with prominent physicians and researchers.
Assignment Editor — Medscape Medical News, 2011-2013
  • Managed a team of 30 freelance medical journalists and editors and an annual budget of $200,000 for the largest and most popular web site for healthcare professionals.
  • Identified 25-30 news stories weekly in a variety of medical specialties, assigned them to freelance journalists, edited the stories, and prepared them for posting.
  • Managed multiple daily deadlines.
  • Posted engaging medical news on 33 Twitter and 7 Facebook accounts. Served as a member of Medscape’s “Social Media SWAT Team.”
San Francisco Bureau Chief — International Medical News Group, 2001-2011
  • Reported more than 200 medical meetings on a wide variety of specialties for an audience of physicians, meeting frequent daily deadlines and managing multiple simultaneous projects, including news articles, feature stories, columns, and editorials.
  • Provided leadership in company's transition from print journalism to multimedia, new media, and Web 2.0-based offerings, including blogs, podcasts, and video.
  • Anchored, narrated, and edited audio and video news segments, including live interviews with prominent physicians and researchers.
  • Engaged readers using social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Gained more than 1,000 Twitter followers using a number of strategies, including live-tweeting medical meetings.
Additional Experience
Freelance Science and Medical Writer and Editor 
Wrote feature articles, news stories, and reviews for The Los Angeles Times, Discover, Nature, The Scientist, and other magazines and newspapers. Interviewed more than 1,000 scientists, physicians, and researchers.

Senior Science Writer, California Institute of Technology — Served as spokesman for Caltech on matters ranging from gifts and grants to earthquakes and scientific advances. Contributed to strategic decision-making. Developed crisis communications plans. Performed all functions of a public information officer including writing press releases, organizing press conferences, and maintaining extensive contacts with local and national media
  • Recruiting, managing, and working with freelance science and medical writers and editors.
  • Researching, writing, and editing news and feature articles on highly technical subjects in health, medicine, science, and policy.
  • Navigating organizations both large and small, at all levels from the CEO to individual contributors.
  • Facilitating meetings from brainstorming sessions to efforts at consensus building in a way that pleases all stakeholders.
  • Managing complex projects.
  • Choosing the appropriate writing style for a wide variety of audiences and venues. My palette of styles ranges from short, dense, to-the-point articles in trade publications for hurried professionals to chatty, lively articles for lay audiences on the web.
  • Interviewing physicians, scientists, politicians, and patients.
  • Writing video and audio scripts.
  • Writing blogs using software such as Wordpress and Blogger and syndicating them with RSS services.
  • Organizing and managing online social networking communities with various types of listservs, blogs, and web sites including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and others.
  • Constructing web pages and evaluating web metrics with Google Analytics.
  • Audio and video recording with professional equipment.
  • Audio and video editing with software such as Audacity, Adobe Audition, and Final Cut Pro.
  • Digital still photography with digital SLR equipment and photo editing.
  • Highly proficient with Microsoft Office applications including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL -- A.B., Biological Sciences
University of California, Irvine, -- M.S. Neuroscience
  • National Association of Science Writers (I was NASW’s original webmaster and later served five terms as an elected member of the Board of Directors)
  • Association of Health Care Journalists
  • Northern California Science Writers Association (current member of NCSWA’s Board of Directors)
  • Samter Journalism Award from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
I’ve written two books:
  • Cancer Clinical Trials: Experimental Treatments & How They Can Help You, O'Reilly & Assoc., 1999.
  • Organ Transplants: Making the Most of Your Gift of Life, O'Reilly & Assoc., 2000.
Plus literally thousands of news and feature articles for newspapers, magazines, and web sites.

Contact Bob Finn