A Guide to Careers in Science Writing

Science Writer

When it comes to journalism and non-fiction writing, science writing is one of the more challenging forms, but it can also be enjoyable and extremely rewarding. The rapid advances in science and technology the world has been experiencing in the 21st century has increased the demand for science writers who are being called on to report about the latest discoveries in such areas as biotechnology and astrophysics. The worldwide push for environmentalism and the implementation of green energy production has also become among the many hot topics in science writing.

One of the most challenging tasks with which science writers are charged is translating the complicated technical language used by scientists and researchers. Simply regurgitating a science story in the same language severely limits the audience of the story, so it must be translated into terms that make it understandable to the average person. In addition, science writers cannot simply report what happened. The story must be put into perspective according to social, historical, political or economic context. Science writers must also balance the story between researchers making the discoveries and opposing scientists critical of the research.
The work of science writers is extremely important in modern society because they keep the public abreast of the direction the world and society are moving. The best part of the job is reporting on the exciting new discoveries and what they mean for the future. Another part of the job that can be as equally exciting is acting as a referee and stirring up public debate on controversial issues in science that may challenge long-held traditions. However, science writers must also cover the bad with the good, such as the destruction and loss of life occurring from natural or man-made disasters and the efforts of recovery.