Ever wondered what scientific journalists do? Well, there are some useful FAQs on the web, in particular at the CASW, NASW, WFSJ, and ABSW sites that do a pretty good job of explaining although from my personal perspective there is no definitive job description.
As you know, David Bradley writes for numerous websites providing news, views and interviews, but he also does a spot of web doodling, web editing, photography and image manipulation. He has written numerous information brochures, reports on scientific meetings for several outlets, contributed anecdotes and pithy observations to Feedback in New Scientist and other markets. He has also written and contributed to several books, done radio interviews, consulted for TV and radio, newsletters, journals (I’ve sub-edited a fair few of those too!) and websites, and that’s on top of pounding the scientific journalism beat for countless (well, not quite) magazines and papers from The Guardian and Daily Telegraph to Nature, PNAS and Science. He produces several RSS newsfeeds for his own work and that of several clients. He has even written a few letters to magazines, although admittedly that’s not quite as challenging as helping to create a science news webzine! Is that enough bragging?
Anyway, if you want to know more about science writers, science journalists, scientific journalists, journalistic scientists or whatever then Wikipedia has a nice entry on the subject. This is an earlier rendition: “A science writer is more than a scientific journalist although similarly, a science writer specializes in writing about science topics. He or she may do this for many audiences outside the realm of the traditional journalist’s beat. For instance, books, essays, feature articles, brochures, in-house magazines, press releases, promotional literature and other materials like websites and intranets. A science writer, like a scientific journalist must be competent not only in stringing words together to create interesting sentences but must also be able to understand scientific issues and research to such a degree that important results can be interpreted for the particular audience in question. This may entail simplifying or equally expanding on a given scientific topic.” For an alt view of web design check out this company.
David Bradley is a member of the US National Association of Science Writers, the Association of British Science Writers, which in turn, is a member of EUSJA (the European Union of Science Journalists’ Associations. He is a writer specializing in chemistry and other sciences.