The Athletics of Creative Science Communication

I’ve worked in science communication for twenty years, and it still excites me. Why? Because working in science communication is a creative top sport.

Each day brings new subjects to work on, and I never know what’s coming next: pig breeding, the history of gulags and nanoscale solar cells, to name but a few. And it’s not just the change of subject that keeps me on my toes. Continually switching between editing, copywriting and translating also keeps me sharp. It’s a sort of science communication triathlon with the added challenge of accommodating subtitling and advisory jobs on the way.

So far, I’ve only touched upon the athletic mind required. But science communication is also teamwork. In that sense, I’m a connector. I work closely with my team of freelancers and assign them to the jobs coming in. And I enjoy dealing with a wide range of clients from various countries who have hurdles to jump, records to break and races to win. Each person I encounter is unique, and it’s a privilege to hear their stories and develop a rapport with them.

Creativity and co-creation require an incredible focus and stamina comparable to that of a marathon runner. Reaching the finishing line is a hard and sometimes lonely slog. But it’s definitely worthwhile. In various teams, I’ve contributed to fantastic websites, videos, magazines, and books. For the last twenty years, I’ve also helped many researchers to publish their articles on subjects that vary from soil geology to orthopaedics, and I’ve lent a helping hand in successful grant applications.

Top athletes continually seek new challenges and set goals. Whatever direction science communication takes, I want to be in the breakaway group where I can use my talents to help others excel.