How to write about science (or anything else)
Have you seen the videos on science storytelling that the Wellcome Trust has posted as part of its 2012 science writing prize? We particularly enjoyed Bill Bryson’s thoughts on popular science writing.
Around three minutes into this video, Bryson makes what I think is a really important point. He's talking about how he wrote A Short History of Nearly Everything, winner of both the Aventis Prize for science books 2004 and the Descartes Science Communication Prize 2005. He says:
“Just because something's important doesn't mean people are going to read it. And that means you have to use all sorts of devices. One thing I looked for was human interest stories.”
Whether you're writing about science, business, charity or anything else, it's worth remembering that amazing things are done by amazing people. It's these stories that will really engage people with your writing. And that's crucial because, as Bryson says, you've got to entertain people as well as inform them.
That's the key to great writing, whatever the topic.