Filed under Communication

Practical blog writing tips for scientists

A Share Your Science event recently took place in Seattle. This event was a workshop for scientists who wanted to practice writing for public communication. Around 15 years ago, I made the switch from lab scientist to professional writer. Even though I wasn’t able to attend the event, I wondered about the type of writing advice I … Continue reading

Making space again for creativity

Ah, back to blogging. I only managed to write one blog post in the past two years. But I think about blogging, a lot. I buy notebooks with the intent to jot down blog post ideas, drafts, and outlines. Some nights I wake up with paragraphs floating through my brain. It’s just hard these days to write … Continue reading

April is Analogy Month

Analogies have been on my mind this week. It first came up in a discussion thread. I’ve been taking a Coursera course about leading innovation in an organization, and part of the MOOC learning experience is participation in weekly discussion forums. This particular forum topic was about making sense in groups. I responded to a … Continue reading

I Can’t Wait to Draw More!

This past month I’ve been working in a data analytics group at my current job — participating in discussions about data analysis and brainstorming ways to communicate analysis findings in a fun way. It’s “big data” in the sense that we’re mining large data sets for business intelligence insights. But my task is rooted in … Continue reading

An Inspiring Mix of Media for Storytelling

My friend and boss alerted me to the New York Time’s article, “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek.” My friend, a web designer, described it as “the coolest interactive feature that she’s ever seen,” and I agree with her. It’s an inspiring mix of media to tell a complete, compelling story. I don’t think … Continue reading

Shooting an iPad

Last week I had fun experimenting with a video shoot starring an iPad app. I was taking footage of hand gestures and program responses for a tutorial video that I’m currently working on. Initially, I was primarily using screen shots captured on an iPad 3 for the video (which looked amazing thanks to the retina … Continue reading

Avoiding the Temptation to Use Jargon

For science writers, this guideline is almost universal: don’t use jargon. But using jargon is an easy crutch when trying to describe something that’s complicated. It’s tempting to use one word to describe a scientific concept, rather than search for a jumble of general terms (that have the caveat of being inaccurate or misleading) to … Continue reading

Discovering Open Science

A topic that has captured my interest this past month is “open science,” a movement that promotes collaboration among scientists on research questions by using digital tools, such as open source software and blogs. In my opinion, right now is an exciting time to be a science communicator. We’re heading into a golden age of … Continue reading