How to get started in science writing and communications

There was another interesting discussion over at ask.metafilter this week.  This time, the conversation was about scientific communications.

As I enter the (hopefully) final year of my PhD, I am thinking hard about what’s next for me. My soul searching has recently led to the realization that my passion isn’t necessarily in my particular niche of science as much as it is for science in general. Great discoveries, elegant methodologies, and the philosophy of scientific inquiry all tie my stomach in knots with excitement, and I dislike the idea of limiting myself to my sub-sub-specialty of science. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I would love a career communicating science to the public. Whether I actualize this goal by writing books, discussing with students, hosting a scientific tv show, writing a science column, or just talking about science to the person next to me in line at the supermarket counter, I think I could be an excellent liason between the scientific community and the general public.

So, how does one go about developing a career as a science popularizer? Whether you want to be the next Carl Sagan — or Bill Nye — the ask.metafilter discussion provides a lot of great ideas and links.  A user named ChuraChura posted a link to a blog called “Through the Looking Glass“, which features an excellent post on the realities of a job in science communications and some thoughts on getting started. The “Black Hole” blog, which is focused on issues affecting science training in Canada, also has a great post on the topic entitled “So, you want to be a Science Writer when you grow up…“.

Some of the links from these resources are great, so I’m going to pull them out and share them here, along with some others I’ve discovered:

Fellowships and Internships in Science Communications

Professional Programs, Courses and Workshops in Science Communications

Professional Associations for Science Writers

Even if you don’t want to make science writing your career, you should take a look at some of this advice if you hope to find a job as a medical science liaison, medical education specialist, or any other role where being able to clearly communicate scientific concepts to mixed audiences would be valuable.

Good luck in your search!

Posted: August 18th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments »

7 Comments on “How to get started in science writing and communications”

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