Democracy in action! Here are the blog posts from the “Tips” series which have received the most traffic in 2012. Tips is a series on The SA Incubator which aims to provide young and early-career science writers with, well, tips to aid them in their budding careers. It links out to existing resources available online.

I won’t presume that those popular blog posts were the most helpful ones but they certainly were the most intriguing ones.

Tips: “How I Write About Science” By Established Science Writers

How I Write About Science is a blog series contributed to by reputable science writers in which they tell us, well, how they write about science! It’s run every year in conjunction with the Wellcome Trust Science writing prize and is hosted by the Wellcome Trust and the Guardian. Here’s a snapshot of what the series is all about.

Tips: Insight Into Science Writing By Charles Choi

Last week, science writer and Scientific American blogger, Charles Q. Choi, contributed as guest blogger on the Scitable blog, ScholarCast. In his three guest posts, Charles explored what it means to be a science writer.

Tips: Charles Q. Choi’s Website Is A Treasure Cove

Today we feature the website of prolific science writer, Charles Q. Choi, which is packed with information about writing, pitching, how to keep up with science news and also links to numerous resources and more. Full disclosure: Charles is a blogger on Scientific American.

Tips: 12 tips from Ann Friedman

Today we showcase Ann Friedman’s twelve tips for young journalists to make it in the journalism world, published by the Nieman Journalism Lab. Friedman was formerly the executive editor of GOOD magazine and is now working on the crowd-funded publication, Tomorrow.

Tips: Deal With Missed Deadlines By Blogging Regularly

Communications consultant, Georgina Guedes, shares ten steps to getting forgiveness when you miss a deadline at The Media Online. In addition, I also point out that blogging regularly may help you meet deadlines more easily.


The SA Incubator also featured a number of other blog posts which were meant to help or spur/motivate young and early-career science writers. Here are some of the most popular ones from 2012.

Jonah Lehrer Turned His Back On Science

Three days ago famous science writer, Jonah Lehrer, was revealed to have fabricated quotes in his book, Imagine, which he subsequently attempted to cover up by repeatedly lying to a fellow journalist. Lehrer resigned his staff position at The New Yorker the same day. While his actions were largely interpreted as being an affront to journalism, they amounted to much more: a disrespect for and a betrayal of the fundamentally pure enterprise that is science.

Science writing program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

The professional track master’s program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with its strong focus on science journalism, dates back to the 1960s, making it one of the oldest such programs in the country. Over the years, some of the country’s best known science journalists – including both William J. Broad and Jane Brody of The New York Times – have studied at Wisconsin. And program graduate Deborah Blum(blog), a Pulitzer-prize winning science writer, is now a professor in the UW School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Why Writers Should Be On Google+

Forget about the ghost town label that’s been stuck on Google+. And it doesn’t matter if you won’t actively use Google+ (perhaps Twitter, Facebook and what else are sufficient for you). You should still create a Google+ account. Why? Because Google can display your author information, which it obtains from your Google+ profile, in its search results. This can boost your image… literally.

Klout Is Important Even If You Aren’t Using It

Are you on Klout? You probably should be. Because even if you are not, potential employers are increasingly looking at Klout scores when screening candidates.


Special mention to:

Twitter List Of Young Science Writers

Twitter is great. You can scan for breaking news or trending topics, fumble the keyboard in successive 140-keystrokes manoeuvres to share news and views and socialise with all the @-ing and DM-ing. Some (power-) users also specifically follow Twitter hashtags to keep abreast of conferences and be updated with updates from blog networks, for instance.  Following user lists is another way to be in touch with certain communities. With this in mind, I created a Twitter list of young science writers some time back.