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Science Careers Blog

January 16, 2013

Science Careers Seeks Good Writing

Most of the articles Science Careers publishes are written by professional writers, but in addition we publish two types of articles that are usually contributed by readers: Perspectives and In Person. For these, we welcome your submissions.

Perspectives are op-ed articles that offer lucid, well-informed analyses of issues relevant to careers in the sciences: diversity, work-life balance, career opportunities, management skills, workforce policy, and so on. They typically are written by people with standing or expertise on the issue. For example, last October, sociologist Ruth Müller, whose dissertation focused on the academic landscape that today's postdoctoral scientists are working in, wrote about how career "bottlenecks"--that is, the widely known challenge of finding a job--affect the attitudes and choices postdocs make. In April, Stephanie Pfirman and Melissa Begg wrote about the career-related challenges of working in an interdisciplinary field. Perspective pieces should have something interesting and original to say, and be written in an engaging, accessible style; we're not seeking technical journal articles.

In Person articles are similar, but they derive their authority from experience instead of expertise. They tell a personal story. They describe the experiences of individual scientists and trainees as they struggle with the challenges of training in science or becoming established in one's field, while also meeting the obligations--and enjoying the pleasures--that life provides and imposes. For example, earlier this month, Rodica Stan wrote about her experiences working with renowned immunologist Alan Houghton, who has ALS disease. In August, Aurélie Ambrosi wrote about sharing a life with a professional partner who works outside of academia. In these articles especially, we emphasize good stories and good writing--but they should always be stories about career-related experiences.

Interested in writing for us? Send your submissions to jaustin (at) aaas (dot) org. Or if you'd rather discuss a potential submission, just drop me a note. In all cases, submissions will be judged by the quality and originality of ideas, as well as the quality of the writing.
 
For younger scientists especially, opportunities to engage in good writing--and to have the result published in a prominent, visible place--are rare. Don't miss out.
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