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David Dickson (1947-2013), the founding director of SciDev.Net, has died suddenly, we have sadly learnt.
David founded SciDev.Net as a science news service for the developing world in 2001.
The organisation originated from a project set up by news staff at the journal Nature (with financial assistance from the Wellcome Trust, United Kingdom) to report on the World Conference on Science, in Budapest, in 1999.
This was well received, leading to the creation of a permanent website devoted to reporting on, and analysing the role of, science and technology in development.
David's vision, which he carefully guided as the website's editor for more than a decade, grew into the world's leading source of reliable and authoritative news, views and analysis on information about science and technology for global development.
David retired in 2012, but everyone who has worked at SciDev.Net feels a very strong attachment to the mission that he created.
Through the website, David worked with countless journalists, editors, experts and many others over the years, building capacity for free and objective reporting on science and development.
He was honoured for his work by his colleagues last year, when he received the lifetime achievement award from the Association of British Science Writers.
As one colleague there put it: "His SciDev.Net was a brilliant creation, and he was always driven to nurture and grow new talent — in his later years this extended to young science writers from around the globe."
Before founding SciDev.Net, David spent many years at Nature, as its Washington correspondent and later as news editor. He also worked on the staffs of Science and New Scientist, specialising in reporting on science policy. He started a career in journalism as a sub-editor, following a degree in mathematics.
David will be missed by his friends and colleagues alike, but his legacy will live on.
News Editor, SciDev.Net