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Journalistic Writing for Scientists

Stories about science, technology, health and environment are some of the most exciting and important for the media and for the public. But it often is a challenge for scientists to convey the wonder of new findings in writing and make complex research accessible to a lay audience. One reason for this difficulty is that journalistic writing is quite different from the paper and report writing in which researchers normally engage. It follows its own principles, style and structure, designed to simultaneously entertain and inform the reader. Luckily, journalistic writing is a skill that can be learned and perfected with practice.
This one-and-a-half-day seminar aims to teach the basics of journalistic writing to scientists. Topics covered include:
• Key principles of communication and science journalism.
• Picking your story: what makes science newsworthy.
• Capturing the reader’s interest: rendering science exciting and understandable.
• Different formats of journalistic writing:
o News articles: how to write concise and informative news pieces.
o Features: how to structure and present longer articles.
• Style guide: style and language of journalistic writing.
• Effective interviewing: how to gather your information.
• Overview of career paths in science communication and journalism.
This is a one-and-a-half-day seminar (12 hours including lunch and coffee breaks). It will comprise a combination of theory lessons and hands-on exercises. All topics will be illustrated with real-life examples of journalistic writing about different scientific disciplines. Parts of the seminar will take the form of an interactive workshop requiring active participation. No prior knowledge or preparation is necessary. Subsequently to the course the participants will be given the task to write a feature article about a science topic of their choice (preferably from their direct research environment or department) as homework to apply and practice the principles covered. They should send their articles to the trainer via email to receive feedback on their work.

This seminar is appropriate for PhD students who would like to learn about journalistic writing and science journalism to acquire additional, transferrable skills for their research careers, but also for those considering a career in science communication or journalism after their PhD studies.


Seminarzentrum D 2, Raum 3, Bergheimer Straße 58, Eingang Fehrentzstraße


Monday, 29.01.2018, 09:00 - 16:30 Uhr
Tuesday, 30.01.2018, 09:00 - 13:00 Uhr


Anna-Lynn Wegener
EMBL Heidelberg, Press Officer

Target Group

Number of participants

Max. 12 Personen


25 €

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