Love of science + writing skills = science writer

If you have a passion for science and good writing skills did you know you can use them both at work as a science writer?

What do Science Writers do?

Science writers research, write and edit scientific news and articles for various different types of publication, from magazines and journals to websites and blogs. Not only do you need a solid understanding of science theories and practices, but you will need to be able to write in a way that makes complicated information accessible to the public. You will also need all the skills that any writer does – the ability to tell a story, to capture and maintain the attention of your audience, and an excellent command of the English language.

Get Writing

So the top tip to becoming a science writer? Simple – write. Seek out any opportunity you can to write about science outside of the work you do for your degree. So you could set up your own blog, or ask to write a guest post on someone else’s blog. See if you can contribute to QMessenger, the Queen Mary student paper. Find out if there are any opportunities to write for your local paper or see if there is a charity with a particular focus on science issues that you could write for. Some large journals or newspapers have internships: for example this one at the New Statesman.

Different Mediums

There are also a plethora of science writing competitions out there, so have a hunt online to see what you can find. By writing for different mediums and different audiences, you can also increase your writing skills and show a diverse range of experience to future employers. See, for example the difference between these two website:

The Guardian                                      IFL Science

In today’s labour market, you will also need to be comfortable using all forms of social media. So if you’re not on twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, create a profile today! (Not to mention these are great ways of finding out about writing opportunities).

For more information and advice on becoming a science writer see these resources:

Prospects: www.prospects.ac.uk/science_writer_job_description.htm

Association of British Science Writing: www.absw.org.uk/

The Guardian: www.theguardian.com/science/series/secrets-science-writing

Heather Campbell

Careers Information Assistant, Careers and Enterprise Centre

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