Science writing

When I started getting interested in science outreach and public engagement it was mostly through directly speaking to audiences. However, I quickly realised that, unless I organised these myself, opportunities to speak about science would be quite limited.

Silhouette of a man in front of a computer screen

Fortunately, Glasgow has a fantastic student-run science magazine, The GIST. They mostly publish their articles online but they do run print editions when funding allows. I decided to write a few articles for them. I started with short, “snippet” articles under 400 words and then moved on to longer pieces.

Because of this, an editor from The Conversation contacted me to ask if I’d like to write a review of The Theory of Everything. They wanted a scientist, preferably a physicist to see the movie and give their thoughts within the context of their background. They also wanted someone with writing experience, so I happened to fit the bill.

I continued writing for The GIST but also did guest blogs for UKCGE, Womanthology and Soapbox Science. At this point its been a fair while since I wrote anything with a scientific theme. I did have the idea of writing my own science blog more regularly but science blogging takes up quite a lot of time. I feel like in order to write well on a science topic I need to do quite a lot of reading around it. As such my habit of writing for The GIST and for my own blog has fallen by the wayside recently. Maybe I’ll pick it up again after I’ve finished my thesis.

I did make an exception recently, however. I was contacted by someone who wants to start a new science website with a focus on future science and technologies. He had spotted my Conversation article and wondered if I’d like to write something. I agreed, which sent me off reading about refrigeration techniques and how to make them (and by extension a bunch of other technologies) increasingly envrionmentally friendly.

That was fun. I was reminded of how much I like doing this. I’ll link the article when it goes live but that could be a while. It got me thinking about freelance science writing. I’m not ready to do it yet but I’ve been looking into it and it might be a good way to supplement my income once the stipend starts running dry. I’d rather have a real job but I’ll still need to eat and pay rent while I look for one.

Watch this space, I guess. I’m still new to the idea. Does anyone have any experience with freelance writing? Or any other freelance work? Do you have any hints or tips? Recommendations? Suggestions?

Originally posted here:


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