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Science Writing: the Basics

The ABSW beginners guide to science writing 'Science Writing: the Basics' was completed in June 2015 and a PDF version prepared for the ABSW Science Journalism Summer School can be downloaded as a PDF.  

In 2002 we published an edition of our popular guide So You Want to be a Science Writer? This edition is now out of date – it predates the web boom, for example – although it still contains useful information. (Feel free to download the 2002 edition of So you want to be a science writer (PDF, 437 kB).)

The guide is aimed at those wanting a career within the UK's science media.


The World Federation of Science Journalists have developed a free online course in science journalism in many different languages, inculding english. 

You can also take a look at our guide to various science communication courses. There is also a useful Wikiversity resource on science communication in the UK including courses. Plus the European Guide to Science Journalism Training (1.4 MB PDF file).  Or use to search for postgraduate courses, as this is the UK's official graduate careers website. 

The Guardian now run a number of journalism/writing courses which have included in the past courses on science journalism and science blogging. 

Other useful resources

Council for the Advancement of Science Writing: rules of science writing

The Guardian published a series of articles on Science Writing in 2014:

A number of ABSW members contributed to an article on careers in science writing published by Kings College London in Spring 2013

The ABSW organises a biennial conference the UK Conference of Science Journalists with many sessions aimed at those new to the field or who wish to develop new skills.   The UKCSJ website has write ups, audio and video footage of sessions from all previous conferences. The ABSW also organises a biennial Science Journalism Summer School aimed at those wishing to become science writers/journalists or those new to the field.   

Media Fellowships

If you want to stay in research and want to find out a bit about how the media operates, then the British Science Association has a scheme just for you.

Media Fellowships create greater awareness and understanding of the workings of the media among practising engineers and scientists. Fellows spend between three and eight weeks with either a print or broadcast organisation, working alongside journalists to gain experience of the news selection process. Fellows learn to work within the conditions and constraints of the media to produce accurate and well informed stories about developments and technical breakthroughs, as well as becoming better equipped to communicate their expertise to the general public and their colleagues. The deadline for applications is usually in April.