Science Writing

I am now searching for a science writing internship/fellowship for 2019.

As an aspiring science communicator, an internship would provide constructive criticism from those who excel in the field, experience a classroom cannot provide, and an opportunity to discern whether or not to pursue formal graduate studies in science communication.

Many science writing internships strive to have their participants clearly disseminate complex topics to the public, and learning how to better distill technical knowledge down to the most salient points will be useful in all of my future communications.

While I continually adjust my writing style to be as effective and concise as possible, I would appreciate the opportunity to learn from experts in the field. My ability to absorb and integrate feedback will add value to my stories, propel my development as a writer, and better position me for a career in science communication.

An internship would give me the know-how and tools a science communicator needs, while also teaching me how to get stories to the right audiences. Targeting the appropriate audiences will increase the impact of my work. Regardless of my future career or audience, these skills are fundamental.  No amount of coursework can be a substitute for long-term immersion in a professional news organization.  

Although I currently write freelance articles, these occasions are limited and leave me wanting more — more opportunities, more direction, and more chance to impact the public.

The Early Years

I started to delve into science writing in 2017, and I sought opportunities to write articles for different campus publications at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I currently work with the Department of Chemistry and School of Pharmacy to highlight stories of interest to our faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

My first article highlighted one of my peers, Arielis Estevez, who was selected for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Chemistry-Biology Interface (CBI) Training Grant and was published in the Winter 2018 issue of DiscoverRX,  the School of Pharmacy’s quarterly  alumni publication, which aims to promote the excellence and significance of current research efforts in the School.

Shortly after, in the 2018 edition of Badger Chemist, the Department of Chemistry’s yearly alumni publication, I shared how four lab alumni described what it was like working for 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry recipient Francis Arnold. As the student of Arnold lab alum Andrew Buller, I was excited for him when the news of her award become public. When I congratulated him, I was intrigued by his experiences with Arnold and wanted to give others an inside look at working in a Nobel Laureate’s lab. You can read about those experiences here.

Most recently, I highlighted an exciting 3D printing breakthrough from the Boydston Group at UW-Madison. A detailed version of the article can be found here. Alternative versions of this article will also be published by the Department of Chemistry and UW-Madison Communications the week of March 10, 2019.

3D printing is the process of making solid three-dimensional objects from a digital file by successively adding thin layers of material on top of previous layers. Successful applications for 3D printing have come despite the fact that most 3D printing techniques can only produce parts made of one material at a time. The Boydston Group recently developed a novel 3D printer that uses patterns of visible and ultraviolet light to dictate which of two monomers are polymerized to form a solid material. Different patterns of light can provide spatial control to yield multi-material parts. The work was published Feb. 15 in the journal Nature Communications.

In the near future, look for an article that explains how proteins fold into biologically-relevant conformations instead of aggregating into non-beneficial protein masses.