On the Origin of Science Writers.

My job as a scientist and professor is to conduct new research in my areas of expertise (genomics and evolution) and to teach science to university students about major concepts in biology. I also feel that it is very important to share my excitement and knowledge about science with a wider audience, which is why I give public talks, publish overview articles, and write this blog. However, the real bridge between science and the public is built by good science writers. Some of them I have come to know because I have been on the interviewee side of science stories. Others I have encountered via the blogosphere.

We need good science writers. (We also need scientists who write well about science, but that’s a different topic). As scientists, we need to point out the best among them and to be willing to help them communicate research in an accurate and interesting way. A good science writer, incidentally, is one who does not consider accuracy versus interest an either-or choice.

Anyway, I am sure that there are some aspiring science writers who read this blog, and others who have not yet recognized it as a viable career path for which they may be well suited. Fortunately, one of the best — Ed Yong of Not Exactly Rocket Science — has begun compiling the stories of science writers and their routes into the profession (On the Origin of Science Writers). If you have an interest in scientific communication then this is highly recommended reading.

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