Science journalism resources
Reporting new developments in science to the general public can be one of the most exciting and fascinating “beats” in journalism. Science reporters have had the privilege of covering some of the most momentous events in human history. In the 21st century, science is the driver of progress and of controversy on many fronts—especially in medicine, environment, and technology. Journalists play a critical role in interpreting science and holding it accountable as a powerful institution.
Furthermore, science and technology play a part in almost every contemporary human story. A writer skilled at asking good questions about science and interpreting technical facts well can make a valuable contribution to civic dialogue anywhere in the world.
Here are a few resources for science writers and science communicators.
CASW created Showcase, a rich curated collection of award-winning science journalism, as a tool for inspiration and self-education. For a deep dive into how award-winning writers do their work, the site includes Storygrams, annotations of great stories by professional writers, examining just what makes great science writing so compelling. CASW Showcase also includes an extensive list of science writing career resources.
Keep up to date by joining one or more professional organizations involved in science writing in the U.S. and internationally. Meet local colleagues by joining a regional science writing group.
The Open Notebook
The Open Notebook (TON) is a nonprofit organization that provides tools and resources to help science, environmental, and health journalists at all experience levels sharpen their skills. Explore TON’s “collections” of articles and subscribe to articles and newsletters. For beginning writers, we recommend “Getting Started in Science Journalism” and “Using Narrative to Tell Science Stories.”
For your library
- Baron, Nancy, Escape from the Ivory Tower, Island Press, 2010
- Blum, Deborah and Mary Knudson, eds., A Field Guide for Science Writers: The Official Guide of the National Association of Science Writers, Oxford University Press, 2005
- Carpenter, Siri, ed., The Craft of Science Writing: Selections from The Open Notebook, The Open Notebook, 2020
- Cohn, Victor, and Lewis Cope, News and Numbers: A Writer’s Guide to Statistics, Third Edition,Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.
- Dean, Cornelia, Am I Making Myself Clear? Harvard University Press, 2009
- Gross, Liza, The Science Writers’ Investigative Reporting Handbook, Watchdog Press, 2018
- Hayden, Thomas and Michelle Nijhuis, The Science Writers’ Handbook, Da Capo Press, 2013.
- Meredith, Dennis, Explaining Research: How to Reach Key Audiences to Advance Your Work, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, 2021
- Nijhuis, Michelle, The Science Writers’ Essay Handbook: How to Craft Compelling True Stories in Any Medium, Michelle Nijhuis, 2016.
- Some advice is timeless. Check out David Perlman’s advice for science writers in this video interview from 2009.
- CASW’s YouTube channel includes presentations from the 2017 World Conference of Science Journalists, ScienceWriters conferences, and online webinars.