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Three lessons I’ve learnt for communicating science

Before my PhD I worked in science communications. I helped scientists explain their work to non-scientists. Whilst I only worked in the role for nine months, I learnt a lot, and I consistently saw the same patterns and mistakes.

There’s a lot of science communication advice online, but I think there are three lessons that will most improve your science writing:

 

  1. Write for your audience, not for yourself.

Obvious, but routinely ignored. Every piece of science communication should have a defined audience, such as the general public, a funding body, politicians, scientists in another field, etc.

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About Me

Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to be a scientist.

I was fascinated by the natural world, by fossils, and how frogspawn turned into tadpoles and then miniature frogs. When all the other kids were pretending to be professional footballers and superheroes, I wanted a white lab coat and thick glasses.

Despite my childhood dreams, and not being too bad at science at school, somehow I ended up working in marketing… for ten years. Predictably, I hated it. One Monday morning, lying in bed, fighting the dread of getting up and going to work, I decided a career change was in order.

So after various additional degrees, I’m undertaking a PhD in ecology at Imperial College London in the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership (SSCP DTP).

I also enjoying writing, both fiction and non-fiction.