So, I Wrote a Book

Posted 23 July 2015 by Matt Shipman

So, I wrote a book. It’s called The Handbook for Science Public Information Officers, and if you’re the sort of person who enjoys reading this blog, I have high hopes that you’ll find it useful and interesting. What was I thinking? I’ve spent the past three years writing about the practical aspects of science communication, on this blog and elsewhere. Somewhat to my surprise, a lot of folks were interested in what I had to say. It occurred to me... Read more

Following Your Passion Project: Notes from the 2014 National Association of Science Writers Meeting

Posted 13 November 2014 by Matt Shipman

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Brooke Borel. Borel is a freelance science writer and author. She organized a session at the 2014 meeting of the National Association of Science Writers on what it takes to make a “passion project” a success, and I asked her to write a guest post on the subject. Last month, 430 science journalists and communicators took over a Marriott hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio for their annual meeting, which included talks and... Read more

I’m Never Bored: an Interview with Florence Williams

Posted 9 December 2013 by Matt Shipman

“Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History,” by Florence Williams, is one of the best nonfiction books I’ve read in years; a smart, funny read that touches on everything from evolutionary biology to toxicology and environmental health. In November, I met Williams at the annual conference of the National Association of Science Writers and she was exactly as smart and funny as I’d hoped she’d be, based on her writing. I wanted to know how she got into journalism, why she... Read more

The Story Trumps Everything: an Interview with Deborah Blum

Posted 21 May 2013 by Matt Shipman

If I had to hatch a murder plot with a science writer, Deborah Blum would be my first choice. Like Agatha Christie, Blum’s work frequently references poisons, skulduggery and murder most foul. Unlike Christie, Blum’s work is nonfiction. An award-winning journalist, Blum has written about issues ranging from primate research to the science of sex. But in recent years her focus has been on, broadly speaking, the science of murder. Her 2010 book, “The Poisoner’s Handbook,” chronicles an exciting era... Read more

How Do You Not Get Curious? An Interview with Jessica Wapner

Posted 7 May 2013 by Matt Shipman

Medical writing can be dry, technical and confusing. But it can also be spellbinding, pulling readers into a world where men and women are engaged in a daily battle against human suffering. At its best, medical writing reminds readers that the triumph of scientific discovery can not only change lives, but save them. “The Philadelphia Chromosome,” by first-time author Jessica Wapner, is an example of great medical writing. The book involves dozens of researchers, more than a century of complex... Read more

Science, People, Ideas and Agendas: an Interview with David Dobbs

Posted 22 January 2013 by Matt Shipman

Books can be powerful communication tools, and good writers can turn complex scientific subjects into spellbinding stories that are accessible by readers of all backgrounds – not just scientists and science enthusiasts. David Dobbs is one of those writers. Dobbs is the author of “The Northern Forest,” “The Great Gulf” and “Reef Madness,” and has written for The Atlantic, New York Times Magazine, National Geographic and other outlets.  He also writes the Neuron Culture blog for Wired Science. I read... Read more

Popular Science Writing by a Scientist: An Interview with Rob Dunn

Posted 26 November 2012 by Matt Shipman

I love science books that are couched in language that is accessible to non-scientists. When done well, they are a joy to read. Most “popular science”(not Popular Science) authors are reporters or former reporters. But what about authors who are scientists themselves? Ask any nonfiction author and they’ll tell you that it takes an enormous amount of time, organization and effort to crank out a book. It’s a full time job. How do scientists engaged in research find the time... Read more