✍️Science Writing News Roundup #1 (August 19, 2020)
Improve your science writing by staying up to date on the latest news!
New app from ICFJ Knight Fellow helps journalists connect with scientists. Science Pulse is an open-source platform designed to bridge the gap between journalists and scientists within social media platforms. The main goal is to help journalists find trending scientific content.
Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT announces 2020-21 fellowship class. 18 American science journalists will delve into issues including institutional responses to Covid-19, racial bias and race-based health disparities, the long-term effects of chemical spills, and the impacts of climate change.
Science Write Now is a new network of people and resources that support creative writing about science. It was born in August 2020 with the support of an Australian Council for the Arts grant to Jessica White and Amanda Niehaus. In their first edition, they are celebrating Women in Science with essays, fiction, poetry, and interviews with/from writers and scientists across Australia.
Three ways to decolonize science journalism. Diversify the sources you quote, use more inclusive language, and diversify science journalism itself and make it show, writes Pruthvi Mehta.
🧬 Data visualization
Misconceptions in the visual communication of science. Is simplifying your message "dumbing down"? Picture as Portal covers this and other misconceptions in the visual communication of science in their most recent blog post.
Design hacks — How to create visuals when it’s not usually your job. Beth Francesco, the National Press Club Journalism Institute’s senior director, shares best practices and tools for designing visuals when it’s not usually part of your job.
Check out this in-depth primer for science writers on doing data journalism, by Betsy Ladyzhets. As Betsy writes, data journalism skills are within reach for many science writers, even without any programming background: “Simply ask questions, and you will find the central tenet of a story.”
🚀 Career advice
Do you want to learn what it's like to write for WIRED or Science Friday? Hear from six AAAS Mass Media Fellows about their experiences writing for some of the nation's top science outlets.
If you're curious about how science stories end up in your local paper or on the radio, check out this video from AAAS Mass Media Fellows. Hear from six scientists who spent the summer working as journalists about what it's like to bring science stories to a local audience during a pandemic.
Freelancing is always challenging, but especially now during coronavirus. Luckily, Stephanie Parker was able to talk to some great editors and freelancers about how to make it work.
Four strategies for covering science at your student publication. “Make sure you have sources that represent diverse communities,” says Kate Pundyk, science and technology co-editor for The Yale Daily News. “Science can be really male and really white, especially at the principal investigator level, so try to interview minority and women sources when you can.”
Where should I publish my science writing? Evolutionary biologist & author Rob Brooks shares six types of places to publish your science writing.
What do you wish you had known when you started out as a science writer? Rob Brooks asked some accomplished writers for their advice.
Who Pays Writers? is an anonymous, crowd-sourced list of which publications pay freelance writers—and how much.
Diverse Sources is a searchable database that aims to make it easy for writers to include a wider range of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives in their science, health and environment work.
Are you trying to inspire others with authentic and relatable images of women in STEM? The IF/THEN® Collection is a new digital asset library of women STEM innovators, for educational and other noncommercial use.
For award-winning author and journalist David Quammen, “science is a human activity, so you need to write about people; you do not just express ideas and findings, you tell the story of the heroic and suspenseful work that goes into the doing of science – and that is how you make it interesting.”
Science writing as a career path. The American Society for Microbiology interviewed Dr. Mike May, owner of TechTyper, a company that provides technical writing, editing and project management services.
Communicating the “beauty and complexity” of science. “There’s so much cool science out there, but as you progress toward a PhD, it gets narrower and narrower,” says Fernanda de Araújo Ferreira. A career in science journalism, she adds, is a way to open that up again.
The British Pharmacological Society and the Society for Experimental Biology announced a Junior Science Writing Competition for anyone under 12. Applications are due by 8pm on August 28, 2020.
The Writers' Co-op has the budget to offer three women to receive quarterly coaching for free, thanks to a grant from the International Women's Media Foundation. Applications are due by August 30, 2020.
💬 Science communication
Have you ever thought about writing a poem to bring a research paper to life? Rachel David recently experimented with a form of poetry called “Found Poetry”, which can be a fun and engaging way of conveying scientific ideas.
A Virtual Conversation with Science Journalist Roxanne Khamsi (ScienceWritersNYC)
2020 Science Writers' Boot Camp: COVID-19 – Moving from the Bench to the Bedside (Johns Hopkins Medicine)
Science Writing with Riley Black (Skype a Scientist)
How to get students engaged in science writing (NASA IV&V Education Resource Center)
Webinar: Find the Money with Grants & Fellowships (The Writers’ Co-op)
Science Journalism Forum, Virtual Event from 24 to 26 August 2020: A virtual event where science journalists, writers, publishers, scientists, students, and academia can share new ideas and thoughts in science journalism. The Open Notebook shared a 50% discount code on Twitter.
The ECSJ2020 European Conference of Science Journalism, organized by Science Writers in Italy (SWIM), will take place - in Trieste and online - on 1 and 2 September, right before the Euro Science Open Forum 2020.
ScienceWriters2020 will be held virtually in October, with a core program the week of Oct. 19-23 as well as other satellite events throughout the month.
UK Conference of Science Journalists. A three-day online program of professional development and networking, October 13- 15, 2020.
Note: The top image is from https://www.drawkit.io/
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