January 23, 2018

Sreekanth B

The Differences Between Scientific Writing and Medical Journalism

Scientific writers and medical journalists play an essential role in engaging the public with science, healthcare news, health economic awareness, medical updates, delivering the work of researchers from the laboratory to the public domain and much more in the Life Sciences and Healthcare organizations. Their work is essential to ensure that only ethical and evidence based science impacts pubic thinking and government policy. In today’s age of information explosion and globalization, the scientific writers and medical journalists have a much larger role to play by keeping good science into limelight and also uncover the false scientific claims and evidence, much akin to mainstream journalists who have brought recognition for investigative journalism. A scientific writer does not generally require detailed, thorough expertise of a specific field, but should have an extensive knowledge of science and scientific procedures, together with an enthusiasm for writing and the capability to translate complex concepts for non-scientific readers.

The past two decades observed a huge increase in the volume of information accessible to people, with communication platforms such as satellite TV, digital radio and the Internet offering new approaches for individuals to get in touch with journalistic practices worldwide. This, combined with a huge investment into research activities and discoveries made by scientists globally on a day-to-day basis, which indicates that, now more than ever before, there is a huge requirement of medical journalism and scientific writing.

However, this increase in the communication portals has both favorable and unfavorable consequences, resulting in more writers fighting to attract smaller readers. Regardless of an enhanced requirement for scientific writers and medical journalists, there is even now heavy competition for the top writing job opportunities. Becoming a scientific writer or specialized medical journalist is one of the most challenging and fruitful professions you could choose which needs a strong personality, be insensitive to criticism, creative, convincing, persistent and talented at networking and developing professional contacts.

Difference Between Scientific Writing and Medical Journalism

There is lot of similarities in scientific writing and medical journalism and also some distinction. Universities and study sponsors, usually hire scientific writers, to make a scientific or academic subject available to the general public by presenting it in an understandable form. As the job title indicates, this means writing about science. Even though there are many medical journalists who do a bit more than this quite often, journalists are suppose to be more sceptical and be capable to approach a story, a researcher, or the scientific group with a critical eye. James, an ex-editor of leading publication, describes: “Scientific writing is about describing complicated ideas that no one wants to keep secret; medical journalism is about describing things that each one can comprehend but that some may prefer to keep hidden.” Obviously, the word ‘writer’ remains a fairly useful word for both medical journalism and scientific writer.

The point, however, is that while all journalists are writers, but all writers are not journalists. A more mixed up difference between scientific writing and medical journalism is to do with the readers: medical journalism can often be little more than a try to entertain, while scientific writing is much more usually a try to inform. But, to different degrees, writers and journalists must often do both.

Career in Scientific writing and Medical journalism

Even with the appropriate credentials and a few journals under your publications, do not assume to begin working as a science reporter for a major publication immediately. There is huge competition for permanent jobs as scientific writer or medical journalist, so generally scientific writers initially work as freelancers and then try for permanent job in their preferred area.  Scientific writers may see themselves preparing a science story one day and a marketing advertisement for laboratory equipment the next.

If you want to become a popular writer, it is essential to try to get people identify your name in print, and developing popularity for yourself. When beginning out, you may want to try submitting out articles to top publications in the wish they will publish it. Although this will not result in a publication very frequently, it does mean that you are getting recognized by the publication’s editors and the article may be published later. It is essential to thoroughly modify the article to each publication’s own design and format.

Along with print, good science communicators are also required in TV, radio and the Internet. Radio science is restricted to programmes developed by the BBC’s Science Unit for BBC Radio 4, while TV has a more wide range of possibilities, in research, production and even presenting. However, there are the most job opportunities obtainable in online journalism.

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