Many universities have dedicated student-run science publications. Such publications are ideal places for young science writers to work with an editorial team, build up confidence and grow their portfolios. But they are also teasers of what is to come from the emerging generation of science writers.
Periodically, we’ll cover some of those student-run science publications here on The SA Incubator. Today, we feature Experimentation. A national publication, Experimentation, recruits writers from universities all over the UK. Experimentation believes that the media needs to change the perception of science for the better. This is what it aims to do as its Editor in Chief, Charlotte Lawrenson, explains.
Experimentation (Website, Twitter, Facebook) was launched in October last year and has since grown to be one of the most successful online national student science publications in the UK. Last year alone we published 340 articles. Founded by Dr Alistair Jacklin and Dr Emma Kiddle, Experimentation is part of the Erudition newsgroup, a set of Bristol-based publications including Erudition and Intuition.
Student newspapers have always reflected the media in general as they are run by people from an arts or social science background. Consequently science and engineering tend to be neglected despite playing an increasingly important role in society today. For too long science has been rendered as something that cannot be understood unless you’re a ‘boffin’, when really all that needs to change is how science is portrayed in the media. By creating Experimentation we have placed Science and Engineering directly in the spotlight and therefore hope to change people’s perceptions.
There are four sections to Experimentation covering different aspects of science: Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering and our newest section, Psychology. Our passion for science writing ensures that for each section we provide the best coverage of current news and interesting stories whilst making it available to the general reader. We provide an easy and accessible way for inquisitive minds to write articles and get their voices heard.
Science awareness for policy making and public understanding is under increasing scrutiny from the likes of Ben Goldacre, Brian Cox, Mark Henderson and more. There is increasing pressure to put scientific methods at the forefront of how we base decisions for many aspects of life including our politics and economics. Scientists are finally finding a voice through the use of media and we want UK university students to be at the forefront of this revolution. This month we released our first special themed edition investigating the issue of ‘science in policy’. It was a surprisingly broad topic with our writers finding ever interesting points to write about—including how policies affect global manufacturing, how the influence of tobacco companies can be greater than scientific evidence and the popular topic of science funding.
Due to the success of having a theme, our newest objective is to provide a topic each month allowing more in-depth and detailed analyses, whilst also allowing other non-specific articles to shine through. Next month we will look at ‘Environmental issues’, which span all the sciences as it’s important to understand such concerns from different views across different disciplines. We will also be encouraging more book reviews, coverage of science in the news and recent notable discoveries. In order to increase our success we would like to expand our reach by making more people aware of what we are trying to accomplish.
Experimentation is published at the start of each month, September to May each year, with a break to fit in with the student summer holidays. The majority of our writers are graduates, so our articles are often written by Masters or PhD students who are becoming experts in their given field. Writers are recruited from universities up and down the country, with people based in York, Belfast, Edinburgh, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leeds and more. We are always looking for new writers to contribute articles so if you are interested in joining our ever growing team please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor in Chief at Experimentation
UPDATE (4 September, 06:29 EST): Caption mistakenly said "Synapse team" instead of "Experimentation team".