Telling Stories about Science: My experiences as a science writer

20140117-132112.jpg

Could you be a freelance science writer? Read on to find out.

Many BCMB students have taken the elective course, taught by Jeremy Nathans, called Great Experiments in Biology. Year after year, students enjoy the class and recommend it to their peers. Why do we like it so well? Other than an appreciation and understanding for the great scientists who came before us, I think that we enjoy the class because Dr. Nathans focuses on the personal stories of the scientists: how they got interested in science, why they studied what they studied, how they reacted and felt and progressed along their path to these fantastic discoveries. In my experience, I always remember the science better when I understand the motivation behind the discovery; I loved discussing science with visiting lecturers and BCMB faculty not just for the academic part of the conversation, but also finding out the background and circuitous path they followed to get where they are today.

If you are finding yourself nodding and agreeing and connecting with what I just described, you might be interested in a career in science writing and communication. Here, I’ve “interviewed” myself; I hope this can stimulate some questions and discussion about our roles as scientists in the world of media and communication.

Continue reading

Which BCMB professor are you?

It is the start of a new academic year, and new students will be meeting their BCMB professors for the first time. If you’re just arriving at Hopkins this seems a bit overwhelming, as there are currently 107 faculty listed on the BCMB roster (though there are likely more). Let me help you out by describing just six of the professors who you will likely meet during your first days of class. For the rest of you, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Late summer is the perfect time for reflection about your scientific disposition, so let’s all answer the question “Which BCMB professor are you?”.
Continue reading