Eager to get started? Here are some resources Scheherazade would have found useful when she thought of hers!
The Association of British Science Writers
They offer plenty of useful resources including
- ‘Science Writing: the Basics’ a beginners guide to science writing, part of their Science Journalism Summer School.
- The guide So You Want to be a Science Writer?
- An elaborate list of courses on science journalism and communication offered by universities around the UK.
- A Wikiversity resource on science communication.
- The European Guide to Science Journalism Training
- Rules of science writing by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing
- The biennial Science Journalism Summer School and UK Conference of Science Journalists aimed at aspiring writers and those who wish to develop new skills.
British Science Association
The British Science Association offers Media Fellowships for engineers and scientists. Fellows get media training to communicate their expertise to the general public.
Randy is a marine biologist-turned filmmaker. He has written three books that aim to help scientists communicate more effectively with the general public. In Don’t Be Such a Scientist Randy discusses his transition from scientist to filmmaker and advocates striking a good balance between style and content. Connection features narrative tools that help bring story to life. In Houston, We Have A Narrative Randy focuses on the importance of narrative as a fundamental communication structure that is at the heart of the scientific method. We particularly love those!
One of the resources Academic Life offers is Hands on Writing: How to Master Academic Writing in the Sciences. It’s an online course by Marialuisa Aliotta, a professor of Experimental Nuclear Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh. It provides guidance, structure, tools and strategies that help students and researchers with their writing. If you prefer a book to an online course, you can find the same material in her book Mastering Academic Writing in the Sciences. The resources section contains more info that you may find useful!
- Creative writing courses for science journalism and blogging.
- Secrets of good science writing, a series of articles on how to write a compelling science story, report, blog or feature.
The New Yorker
There’s nothing like a great example and The New Yorker is full of them! Here you can find short-medium length articles about recent scientific discoveries and science content relevant to current news. What we particularly like about these articles is the succinct but interesting writing styles.
Yale University Science Writing and Journalism Podcast
A series of 6 podcasts lasting between a few minutes to an hour focussing on anything from writing for different audiences to an interview with a science journalist to science filmmaking. If you’re frustrated with the blank faces often staring back at you while describing anything scientific to family or friends (and we’ve all been there!) then this resource helps you make your stories interesting and engaging to different groups of people through different media.
The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing by Richard Dawkins
This book is a compilation featuring scientists such as Crick and Hawking writing for the wider public. It has four sections; ‘What scientists study’, ‘Who scientists are’, ‘What scientists think’ and ‘What scientists delight in’, each containing a wide range of science articles. Their formats vary between poetical and philosophical, making this book particularly special. It may give you inspiration on what type of style you would like most. For example, my favourite article is by Max Perutz, and I’ve now read quite a few of his books!