Associate Editor

The Planetary Society, the world’s largest independent space interest organization, seeks a talented writer-editor to join our communications team. The associate editor is a new position that reports to the editorial director and primarily writes, edits, and publishes content for planetary.org.

You will write both under your own byline and as the voice of The Planetary Society. Working with the communications team and other departments, you’ll publish high-quality content that supports the ambitious growth goals of our five-year strategic framework. Our guiding content principle is “Space for Everyone.” This means showcasing a diverse range of voices and perspectives, and catering to a wide range of audiences:

  • Space enthusiasts with varying knowledge levels, from beginners to experts

  • Underrepresented populations in both the U.S. and international community

  • Prospective and current Planetary Society members and donors

  • Stakeholders from government, academia, industry, the media, and more who rely on our independence and expertise

Writing and editing: 70% time spent

You’ll write, edit, and publish a variety of stories for planetary.org:

Production: 30% time spent

You’ll work at all levels of story production, strategizing with colleagues on how to maximize the impact of our content and meet annual benchmarks. We often pair stories with images, podcasts, video, infographics, social media, emails, and print content. Your production duties include:

  • Finding good images and writing captions

  • Editing freelance submissions and work by other staff members

  • Producing stories for our magazine, The Planetary Report

  • Using our CMS to publish and update articles and pages on planetary.org

  • Updating online resource pages as events happen

  • Monitoring space news and writing summaries for our weekly newsletter, The Downlink

  • Learning and applying SEO best practices

  • Using Photoshop to edit images for a variety of formats

  • Conceptualizing infographics and videos, and working with others to develop them

  • Being a spokesperson to the media

  • Tracking the effectiveness of your work through our metrics dashboard and meeting annual benchmarks

Qualifications and Attributes

This position requires:

  • Legal authorization to work in the U.S.

  • Several years of professional science writing experience

  • A demonstrable talent for digesting complex information for the public

Most candidates will have degrees and backgrounds in journalism, communications, or STEM fields. You don’t have to be a space science expert but need to show you can quickly learn planetary space basics, our organizational priorities, and our talking points until you can comfortably discuss them with our audiences.

Here are examples of candidates who might be a good fit:

  • A journalist with several years’ experience as a science writer seeking a shift from deadlines and news cycles to brand storytelling. You’ll use your reporting talents to produce stories that empower the world’s citizens to advance space science and exploration.

  • A communications or public relations specialist with several years’ experience writing science content for an academic, governmental, corporate, or related organization. You’ll rely on your ability to distill complex messaging into snappy stories, evaluating current events with a reporter’s mindset to see how they relate to Planetary Society priorities.

  • An academic, scientist or engineer with several years’ experience writing science content for the public. You’ll use your ability to interpret and contextualize scientific findings as you transform technical jargon into top-notch storytelling.

Compensation

The Planetary Society has been the world’s largest and most effective space advocacy group for 40 years. We offer a fun, supportive work environment, and many of us consider this to be our dream job. We work hard and are passionate about our organization while respecting and protecting our personal time.

Compensation details:

  • Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience

  • Medical and dental insurance

  • 403(b) retirement savings plan

  • 11 holidays + vacation and sick leave

  • Group Term Life insurance

  • Long-term and short-term disability

  • Supportive work environment

  • Beautiful location in Pasadena, CA

  • Extraordinary colleagues

The Planetary Society is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity at all levels of our work. Job applicants from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

To apply

Email us at [email protected] with the following:

  • Your resume

  • Three writing samples that showcase the range of your talents. Use links if you can, but PDFs are fine too.

  • A brief cover letter that starts with three Facts Worth Sharing about yourself. See our worlds pages for examples. We do this to summarize key talking points for readers so they can share what they’ve learned with others. Do the same to distill your skills, experience, and why you’d be a good fit for the job.

The position will remain open until filled.