The stereotypical view of a scientific conference is generally a mind-numbing parade of semi-coherent individuals droning on at the floor about their pet piece of fringe research while a room full of sedated people sit there wondering when they can legitimately sneak out and enjoy the local tourism opportunities but still earn the requisite CPD … Continue reading Conference capers
Remember Roladexes? In this era of iPhones and Google, I was surprised to discover that they still exist. My memories of Roladexes tend to be of them appearing in movies, when a character was trying to look someone up, they would spin their Roladex like a roulette wheel and voila! The perfect name would be … Continue reading Your little black book
It’s a pretty hackneyed thing to write about how you’ve not written a blog post in ages, but I’m going to do it anyway. I’ve been busy. Not the kind of busy where you’re contentedly working through a list of things, but the kind of busy where you white-knuckle it from one deadline to the … Continue reading Love Sexy Money
This is the story of The End. I’m sharing it because before I had a book published, I had no idea how the whole process worked and I learned quite a few things the hard way (such as the fact that nothing happens quickly in publishing unless you’re the biographer of a prematurely dead celebrity). … Continue reading Diary of a (non-fiction) book
I’m writing an article about diversification in farming. WAKE UP! It’s not as boring as it sounds. It’s about a farmer who started out in egg production, then in an attempt to cut down overly high costs in one area of his business, he ended up developing a separate business in that area. Then his … Continue reading Diversify or perish?
When I first heard the term ‘pantsing’ I thought it was cutesy Gollum-speak (“yessssss, we is pantsing, my precioussssss”). But no. Turns out it’s writer-speak for ‘flying by the seat of your pants’, also known as discovery writing, also known as driving without TomTom, also known as writing without an outline. What is an outline? … Continue reading Plotting or pantsing?
I wrote my first astronomy story recently. It was one of those stories where the journal/research organisation press release sounds amazing and you think, ‘wow, this story is going to write itself’. Then you look at the actual paper and you can’t even understand what the title means. Reading the abstract makes your brain leak … Continue reading Do you need a science background to write about science?
I’ve had a few professional titles over the years, and a few unprofessional ones too (Office Monkey in the 1995 student newspaper office being a notable one), but the one that has always been there and I hope will always be there is science journalist. I’m very proud to be a science journalist and I … Continue reading Why science?
So I’m at a conference about science communication. I’m surrounded by fellow science nerds, communicators, journalists and scientist. I have met some inspiring, fascinating, funny and dedicated individuals who have fired me with enthusiasm to be a better science journalist, a more diligent blogger and a more discerning science nerd. I am brimming with ideas … Continue reading Blocked up
I used to believe that I wasn’t cut out for writing fiction. That was until I did an online writing course at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop. (I should point out that I am as yet unpublished as a fiction writer, so for all I know I’m utterly shite at it). I wanted to try my … Continue reading Gotham’s finest