In honor of Earth Day this Friday, I’m talking about a bunch of different topics, starting with science writing: one of my favorite kinds! (Maybe I’m nerdy.)
For the last eight years of my life, I did a lot of writing about scientific research. Many people have commented that it must have been horribly boring work, so I want to set the record straight: it was awesome!
One of the coolest things about being a science writer is chatting with excited researchers about what they are most passionate about. They hang out in the lab all day combining chemicals, testing substances, developing, innovating, and trying to solve our problems. And I got to write about it! Come on. How does that not sound cool?
I suppose what turns most people off is the jargon, the cut and dry descriptions, or the long explanations of what a scientist did with their electron microscope or mass spectrometer. But as a science writer, you don’t deal heavily with that stuff. Your job is to communicate to the public, and the vast majority of people just want to know why this research is important to them.
Working for the government, my job was to assure the public that their tax dollars were being used for the greater good of the nation. And the major goal of the research I wrote about was to protect the environment during energy production, from extraction from the ground to the end-user.
A lot of the samples in my portfolio are from that era, so if you’re curious about the stuff a science writer writes about, poke around. My job was to make science accessible, and my background in biology (just one of my degrees) gave me the knowledge of the heavy stuff, while my background in writing (from my English degrees) meant that I could translate it into something readable by a reasonably educated adult.
Back in the game! I’m thrilled that I have been asked by Rachel Rakovan over at Eco Action to jump back into this type of writing. If you click on the Eco Articles link at the top, you can read up on some of the topics I’m discussing, from water scarcity to recycling to, well, anything else that can help the planet. They offer some nifty green products, too, so check those out. Not only will you help keep this little blue planet a bit cleaner, but you can also help protect your skin from harsh chemicals and dyes.
Now for the fun! Legos! Yes, those fun little bricks that you played with as a child are not only going environmentally friendly, but they are also great for developing a scientific mind. Problem solving, architecture, creativity . . . yep, you work on all those and more skills when you play with Legos. One of the scientists who I worked with back in my science writing days, Circe Verba, actually designed a Lego set that features a female geologist: Research Geology. The mini-fig (that’s “tiny Lego person” in their lingo) is active in the field and in the lab, rocking the scientific world with her genius discoveries. Circe and I would both be thrilled if you would vote for the set because Lego determines which sets to make available for purchase by popularity. And just think, you would be supporting a company that cares about the environment, develops toys that stimulate the mind, and provides the opportunity for children to see women in science fields! That’s a whole bunch of good in just one click (and a simple, free profile on their site)! She needs about 6,000 more supporters in roughly 100 days, so share, share, SHARE! (For more info, read my article by clicking https://coriwamsley.com/portfolio/employee-spotlights/ and then selecting the “Circe and Legos article” link.)
And for more green fun, check out some of these resources:
That about covers my Earth Day thoughts: science writing, cool scientists, Legos (please vote and share!), oh, and Earth Day itself.
Please consciously think about how you affect our planet! Check your neighborhood bulletins to see exactly what you can and can’t recycle. If you can, use public transportation, or at least combine trips to save gas. Conserve water and electricity. Choose digital over paper. I could go on and on. Love your planet because it’s the only one we have, at least until we can build a giant Tardis to get us to a similar planet. Of course, we must make sure it’s not too near the Death Star. Then again, if we can get ahold of the One Ring . . . or the Elder Wand . . . eh, I should really be directing you to my books instead of pop culture references. Happy Earth Day!
And if you have ideas for writing topics you would like me to cover, please let me know!