Writing science in English

Anno Accademico: 

  • 2015-2016


Primo Anno


For those who wish to work in the media, or in some other form of science communication, having some knowledge of science writing in English is essential. The science journalism industry is rapidly changing, presenting new opportunities and knowing how to write about science in English opens up audiences in the US, UK and elsewhere. This course is delivered in English and provides an introduction to the key techniques of science writing in English. Students will also learn about current trends in English-language science journalism. While all forms of science writing will be considered, there will be an emphasis on writing for digital media.

Programma del corso: 

The lessons will be presented in March, April, May and June (24 hours of lesson):

Lesson 1: Essentials of Science Writing in English

An introduction to the English-language science media and the opportunities it presents. Here we will look at the key principles and techniques of science writing in English and students will be provided with an ‘insider’s guide’ to what science editors are looking for in science stories.

Lesson 2: Writing short science stories

How to structure a news story in English; the key components of stories and how to prioritise them. We will also identify the stories that appeal to different English-language media outlets, both online and in print, as well as looking at the essentials of writing online blogs and how writing blogs is different to writing for print publications.

Lesson 3: Writing longer stories

How to structure a long science article and advanced skills in science writing in English. In this session, students will be given ideas and inspiration for different formats of ‘feature’ stories as well as considering how to adapt their stories to different audiences and how to get the tone right in articles.

Lesson 4: Getting noticed and future trends

How to use the English-language social media to get your science writing noticed. How to pitch your ideas to an editor. Different trends in social media use in different countries. New opportunities in English-language science writing both now and in the future.



  • Improved oral and written skills in English.
  • Knowledge of the key techniques in English-language science writing.
  • An ability to adapt writing style to different online and print outlets.
  • An insight into the opportunities for getting science writing published in English.
  • Knowledge of the key trends in science writing in English.


Andy Ridgway

Lecturer of "Science writing in English".

Andy is a Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at the University of the West of England in Bristol, UK. He is an award-winning journalist and has spent the last 20 years in the profession, most recently as a science journalist. He was Deputy Editor of the BBC’s science magazine, Focus, and while editing Focus’s iPad app, it was named Specialist Publication of the Year twice at the UK Digital Magazine Awards (2011 and 2012). Andy continues to work as a practicing journalist and is a regular contributor to New Scientist and Focus. He is a judge of the Max Perutz Science Writing Award run by the Medical Research Council in the UK.

Testi consigliati: 

  • Blum, D., Knudson, M. and Henig, R.M. (2006) A Field Guide for Science Writers (2nd Ed), Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Brown, P. (2014) An Explosion of Alternatives: Considering the Future of Science Journalism. EMBO Reports [Online]. Available at: – an account of current trends and issues in English language science journalism
  • Carroll, B. (2010) Writing for Digital Media, London: Routledge
  • Harcup, T. (2009) Journalism  Principles and Practice (2nd Ed), London, Sage.


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