Writing About Science

Nov 29, 2011   //   by Harjit   //   Compass News, Physics Education  //  3 Comments

Over the past few months, I’ve been interested in writing about science viagra ou trouver. When I say science, I’m primarily talking about astronomy and physics. I would like to be able to talk about a concept and explain where it originates from and its basic elements to a layperson. Does anyone have any advice/suggestions on how I can get started and how far I can take my writing. Currently, I’m thinking about trying to explain the idea of dark matter, candidates for dark matter, and why we know it exists. I would appreciate any help! Thanks!


  • My friend Chris used to write science articles for (I think) LBNL, and his intended audience was (again, I think) lay people. I’ll send him a link to your post in case he has any advice to share with us.

  • Hi Harjit,

    Sorry it has taken me so long to reply. It’s really exciting to hear that you are interested in science writing! The science section seems to be one of the few areas of the modern newspaper where you can read it through and still feel like the world is becoming a better place after your done.

    I’m not quite sure what to write in terms of advice. A firm background in science should be helpful, particularly if you want to broadly explain a field such as dark matter research as you mention above. But more importantly, I think that all writing is fundamentally about storytelling. You want to get your facts right, but if you can’t also captivate your reader then your facts aren’t worth anything.

    Two of my favorite pieces of journalism that capture both of these requirements are Bill Bryson’s book “A Short History of Everything”, and the npr program RadioLab, hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich. The RadioLab guys even did an interview at Oberlin once talking about the approach they take when developing stories, (you can find it by Googling: “Jad and Robert: the early years”.) I think it’s really interesting that they say that one of the strengths of the program is that they approach almost any topic they do radio piece about as “novices”. I agree.


  • This is a link to the writing guide posted on the Physics-Astronomy Library website. There are a number of books and websites listed that will help you with writing about science, especially physics. Each year we do an exhibit on science writing, this year we are focusing on poster presentations.

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