Do Arts the Science Way !

How would you feel if you could do two things simultaneously? If you could get the best of two worlds? If you could merge two different things and prosper? Elated! Of course!

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There are various students who are unable to contemplate whether to choose arts or science as a career path, when their heart lies in arts, and soul in science. To motivate your ardour for both the streams and erase your confusion, an enticing stream which provides fuel to both, the grey cells and the artist in you, has emerged and is evolving.

A career in scientific writing involves inter action between the scientists, journalists and the public. The aim of the ‘scientific writer’, is therefore, to more or less render the very precise, detailed and often jargon-laden information produced by scientists into such a manner that non-scientists can understand, and is clear, concise and accurate. In other words, it is the job of the scientific writer to make the banal man aware of the various things happening in the world of science in a language that is easy for him to understand.

Hence, journalists aiming to pursue scientific writing as a career must learn to be specific and should be able to understand complex scientific information, theories and practices.

Editing or broader communications responsibilities in addition to researching and writing can also be a part of science writing jobs.

Basic work requirements:

  • Producing articles for publication in print and online

  • Conducting interviews with scientists, doctors and academics

  • Attending academic and press conferences;

  • Visiting research establishments;

  • Reading and researching specialist media and literature

  • Plan the content of a document or publication

  • Carrying out reference searches;

  • Reviewing and amending work in response to editor feedback

  • Selecting appropriate artwork.

Qualification: There are two ways to become a science writer.

  1. Switch from a science career into writing; or
  2. Switch from journalism into science writing. Writers with a science degree can immediately upon graduation move into the industry, or can take up the profession after several years of scientific research.

On the other hand, to make it as a science writer with a journalism background, you will have to have an aptitude for science writing. Endeavour to present a portfolio of work. Recruiters will want to see as many published examples of your writing as possible.

Look for experience at:

  1. University- Write for your university and aim at getting your work published in newspaper, newsletter, blogs, etc.
  2. Professional bodies: Professional bodies like The Royal Society of Chemistry or look for advertised opportunities.
  3. Media organizations: You could try for internship at reputed media houses.

You could also consider entering science writing and communication competitions.

Job opportunities: A science writer can be employed by a national or local newspaper. Other opportunities for scientific writers come from the specialist magazine sector as well.

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