The Secrets of Science Writing

The Secrets of Science Writing

Who: John Pickrell
Saturday 18 February, 10am-4pm
Full Price: $180; Member: $125; Conc Member: $110

John Pickrell is an author, award-winning science writer and the Editor of Australian Geographic magazine. In this one-day workshop he will talk about the craft of science journalism, guide you through approaches to researching and reporting news and feature stories and explain how to inject passion and colour into articles, while also turning complex technical information into clear and engaging copy. The workshop will feature practical exercises and also include advice on breaking into the industry. It will also briefly touch on the importance of social media, blogging and photography to budding science journalists.

The practical exercises will involve breaking the class into groups of five or so, and giving them articles to read and discuss/dissect as a group, to see if they can spot the elements I have been talking about in my lecture segments. I will go around each group in turn, talking to them about what they have found. I will do the same activity for both news and features at different sections of the day. Each practical session will last about 45 minutes including reading time.

 Learning Outcomes:

  • To get a basic understanding of what working as a science writer involves
  • To understand how to report stories and put science news and feature articles together
  • How to go about pitching stories and breaking into the industry.

Participant Requirements
Bring a pen and notepad, or laptop/tablet. 

About the Tutor
John Pickrell
is an award-winning journalist and the editor of Australian Geographic magazine. He is also the author of Flying Dinosaurs: how fearsome reptiles became birds. John has worked in London, Washington DC and Sydney for publications including New Scientist, Science, Science News and Cosmos. His articles can also be found online and in print at BBC Wildlife, National Geographic, Scientific American and the ABC. He has been a finalist in the Australian Museum’s Eureka prizes three times, won an Earth Journalism Award and has been featured in The Best Australian Science Writing anthology in 2011, 2014 and 2015. John studied biology at Imperial College in the UK and has a Master of Science from London’s Natural History Museum.


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