Science Journalism, Publising, Illustrating and Librarianship


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Although careers exist in science journalism, success in this field depends on the qualities of the individual. The ability and background to interpret science and present it in a way that is understandable and interesting to the lay public is a rare talent and a flair for lively and evocative writing, coupled with a high regard for factual accuracy are essential. Success in journalistic writing for newspapers and magazines consequently requires imagination, knowledge and skill and there is a demand for people that have these attributes. The reason that newspapers pay relatively little attention to science reporting is due more to a shortage of competent writers than to a lack of interest.  There are also opportunities for technical scientific writing in various aspects of publishing, including commissioning and copy editing for both the institutional and private sector. This aspect is becoming increasingly important as these bodies have become much more market orientated and publicity conscious.

Professor at workAnimal drawing and painting offer yet other careers through the illustration of books and the preparation of technical drawings for museums and other research institutes, especially those where taxonomic research is undertaken. Similarly, animal photography offers some scope for the freelance individual. Successful animal photographers need to be especially talented photographically as well as possessing a wide knowledge of animals and their habitats. Many institutions and other agencies employ full-time photographers to document the lives and behaviours of animals in their natural environments. Television also offers a market for films on animals, both for general broadcasting and for educational purposes. The sophistication of this medium requires considerable technical competence as well as sound zoological knowledge. The trend to encourage more school children to study science and mathematics, now gathering momentum after years of relative neglect, will also create opportunities for those who wish to communicate the excitement and importance of science through the written word, film and computer-based instruction.

Librarians with a good knowledge of science are also in demand, particularly at institutions with large technical libraries.

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