Feature writing about science and technology

Feature writing about science and technology

Then shuffle these around to create the skeleton of your feature. If a child claims she was bitten by a dog two metres tall, she is exaggerating the truth - but she is also lying. For example, instead of describing the strength of a new sewing thread in scientific terms saying that it will resist a force of so many kilograms - you might write a story telling the same facts, but in concrete terms, like the example on the next page. Diagrams should be simple and well-drawn. For more on jargon, see Chapter Language and style - words. State the facts in a clear, simple and interesting way. WRONG: Farmers on New Ireland are battling a plague of the new insect species penetrens lugoles which is related to the horse fly and has devastated large herds of pigs in Africa and South East Asia and already killed pigs on the island by laying eggs in their ears which eventually hatch into maggots which burrow their way into the animal's brain in search of food. In television, your explanation can be illustrated by film of the different parts of the machine in action. She was previously a senior editor and staff writer at The Atlantic, and the editor of TheAtlantic. Shakespeare notes that embryo editing for conditions that cause major disability and death are likely to raise less concern and criticism in the long term. In many cases, it is like listening to a foreign language which you cannot speak.

It is a cruel thing to do. When they discover that they themselves cannot be cured, they will feel even worse than before your story. Therefore they are offended by sensational reporting which becomes a lie.

For more on jargon, see Chapter Language and style - words. They are more likely to say it is "a step towards a cure" or "a possible way of preventing the disease" or even "a way of reducing the symptoms". People will panic if you report that a giant meteor is heading towards earth but fail to point out that it will arrive in a thousand years from now and miss us by a million miles.

Examples of good scientific writing

If a scientist gives you some facts which amaze you, it is not enough to tell your audience that you were amazed. Simply telling your readers or listeners how "wonderful" or how "awful" something is does not make proper journalism. Later in the story you should give the scientific figures in kilograms for readers or listeners who can understand them. Speak to researchers, speak to those affected by the issue and speak to people with different viewpoints. The nearest you might come to a concrete example might be to explain that to reach the nearest star outside our own solar system the star Proxima Centauri, which is four light years away from us , the fastest man-made rocket so far invented would have to travel for more than 18, years - but even that concept will be too big for many people to grasp. So you should develop a bright style of writing. If you use pictures or diagrams offered by other people or taken from books or magazines, make sure that you have permission from the rightful owners to use them.

Change the pace Employing a single, uniform style throughout your article will make for a tedious read. It probably offends them more than simple errors, which they might forgive. Similarly, when reporting sizes - specially the very large or very small - translate them into terms which your ordinary readers and listeners can understand.

science writing

She was previously a senior editor and staff writer at The Atlantic, and the editor of TheAtlantic. In newspapers and on television, pictures or diagrams can say very quickly what it might take you a thousand words to describe. In television, your explanation can be illustrated by film of the different parts of the machine in action.

Sensationalising science can often lead to harm by falsely provoking strong emotions such as hope or fear in readers or listeners.

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Science Features