3 Easy Ways to Find Diverse Sources for Your Stories (or Press Releases)

By Monica May

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Many of us want to include more people who are underrepresented in science in our stories, but may not know where to begin. 

To help this process become easier—and hopefully at some point second nature—SANDSWA’s Social Justice in Science Writing club recently read the Open Notebook piece “Finding Diverse Sources for Science Stories” and brainstormed ways to incorporate these ideas into our daily work. 

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SANDSWA book club recap: The Perfect Predator by Steffanie Strathdee

By Deborah Bright

My husband found out he had cancer for the third time at the age of 25. I didn’t know him then, and I’ll be forever grateful to the team of doctors at the Mayo Clinic for saving his life. But even though he’s been cancer-free for five years now, he still wakes up with debilitating stomach pain most mornings. It’s left him unable to work and constantly searching for a sense of purpose. I often find myself wishing I could cure him. The Perfect Predator by Steffanie Strathdee inspired me to try. 

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Transcending (Human) Nature: What Emerson Can Teach Us About Science Communication

By Tiffany Fox

Although it’s an unlikely source of guidance for science writers, Transcendentalist philosophy — made famous by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and other 19th century thinkers — is surprisingly relevant for anyone seeking to persuade readers to take an interest in the natural world. 

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You’re Working from Home Now

Working from HomeI’ve been freelancing from my home office for around eight years, and I would be reluctant to trade back. I enjoy the freedom and flexibility. On the other hand, it wasn’t an easy transition. I missed having colleagues close by and sometimes had trouble budgeting my time. For those who are working from home for the first time, here are a few tips.

The Office
Take time to set up your office right. You may want to pick up a second monitor – I find it indispensable. But also spend some time (and money if you can) on good ergonomics and a comfy chair. You’re going to be there a lot.

You will also have to learn new skills. Maybe Zoom wasn’t your best talent. It is now. And nobody from IT is coming to your home to troubleshoot your network problems. If you’re trying something new, test it before the interview/meeting. There’s nothing worse than facing technical failure while you’re trying to do something important.

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Too Much Good Stuff

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Several SANDSWA members recently visited the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, in Escondido next to the Safari Park. I’d say the tour was amazing, but that would be underselling it.

We were led by Maggie Reinbold, director of Community Engagement. Maggie talks fast – we had to keep up – but there was a lot to cover: conservation genetics, reproductive sciences, population sustainability, disease investigations, plant conservation, recovery ecology, biodiversity banking.

Let’s start with the last one. We got to check out the Frozen Zoo – a comprehensive cell sample collection covering hundreds of species. We happened to pass by when the zoo team was pulling Northern White Rhinoceros cells for further study.

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