Science for the General Public

Scientific publishing for the general public is an interesting field with many things to consider. The people writing about science for the mass audience who are not particularly involved in science can be challenging. Researchers first publish in primary journals where their articles must go under a peer-review process in order to assure validity in their research and findings. But how does the mass public come to learn of new scientific discoveries if they can’t understand data and figures and scientific jargon? The answer is scientific journals such as Scientific American, the Discovery Journal, Popular Science, and National Geographic. These journals allow for the general public to stay informed of new scientific knowledge and discoveris along with general new stories. For those interested in science but do not have the background to understand primary sources of literature, these more relaxed journals with common language are the way to go for new science news.

http://cheminfov.informatics.indiana.edu/cicc/cis/index.php/The_Publication_Process:_Primary,_Secondary,_and_Tertiary_Sources

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4 thoughts on “Science for the General Public

  1. jesslangone February 5, 2015 / 5:58 am

    Are you thinking about this field for your own writing? I would love to hear more about the process of publishing in this market, especially writing for scientific journals like National Geographic. I think this post really made me want to learn more about this field, do you have any sites/sources you found really interesting?

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    • rebekahjoy94 February 12, 2015 / 2:21 am

      As a biochemistry researcher, I will soon begin to start publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and that is why I chose to focus on scientific journalism for this class.

      As for National Geographic, they do not allow for free-lancers to publish in their journal. National Geographic only allows for employees to publish in their journal; but they do have internships available as posted on their website.

      However, other popular scientific journals like Scientific American allow for free-lance writers to contribute to their journal. This could be an opportunity for us as college students to get involved in scientific writing. Another way to get involved now is to write about current research at our university for our Central Florida Future. Many news agencies use university coverage of science as a source for their news reports, so this could be a way to get recognition.

      Scientific American free-lance instructions: http://www.scientificamerican.com/page/submission-instructions/

      National Geographic career information: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/siteindex/careers-faqs/

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  2. courtneycalderon February 14, 2015 / 10:06 pm

    I think this field is SO important. As someone who cringes at the very thought of studying math and science, I need writing platforms like this to exist.

    No one wants to feel unintelligent, but science news articles are often drowning in jargon that makes readers feel that way. These outlets are really necessary. However, my only question is whether or not these publication could be marketed to the general public in a more effective way. It seems that even though they’re written for the general public, most of the people who know about them are in the science community.

    I’m sure you know more about the current exposure of these than I do, but I would be interested to know how more people could learn about these publications and be convinced to regularly review them.

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    • rebekahjoy94 February 16, 2015 / 11:48 pm

      There are science journals that are aimed at having a target readership to the general public. Obviously, researchers do not expect the everyday person to read about their scientific discoveries in the peer-reviewed scientific journals that they publish in. This is why news teams and public relations personal attempt to translate scientific jargon into language that everyone can understand. This is seen in magazines like Popular Science and Scientific American as well as newspapers. They usually do this “translation” by using metaphors, or narratives to explain complex concepts.

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