Background of a Science Writer

As writers, we’re in a field with a big range. Folks building additional skills may include: journalists who arrived at science writing as a beat, after learning journalism through experience or school; journalists whose assignments were mainly shortform (less than 1,000 words), who trained themselves to write longer and better-paying articles or to use video and other skills; writers who self-trained in journalism; those who view themselves as essayists or fiction writers but have an interest in science communications; journalists with graduate degrees in journalism who wonder if they measure up to characters in films about old-school journalists, like His Girl Friday and All The President’s Men; and many others.

You may be from one of the above camps, seeking information on starting in science writing. Or maybe you are someone:

  1. with a bachelor’s or graduate degree in science, who decided to leave behind lab work or other paths to communicate science
  2. who attended or completed a graduate program in science communication
  3. who trained in journalism through work or journalism school and learned science as a beat
  4. who liked your science classes in high school and college, read many science articles and studies, and are trying to piece together work

Whatever kind of writer you are, we all bring strengths. Return to How to Become a Science Writer here, and let’s get started!

Want to hear more? Check out some of my work in environment and public health, journalism, technical reports and white papers, or editing.

*If you have questions or you’d like to get in touch, cb.arnold@gmail.com.

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Catherine B. Arnold is a hired pen writing about science, health, urbanism, and wildly unrelated areas. She’s published articles in the Washington Post, Seattle Times, Science Careers, Bicycling, and NBC Health; and does content marketing for NGOs, universities, organizations, and companies.