Writers On Writing / Science and storytelling with Bianca Nogrady


Ahead of her one-day course at Writing NSW, The Secrets of Science Writing, we had a quick chat with Bianca Nogrady about writing about science and people.


Whether it’s delving into the origins of the universe, exploring what happens when our cellular machinery throws a cog or riding shotgun as conservationists fight to save a threatened wilderness, science writing can take you to wondrous, fantastical and eye-opening worlds, and introduce you to an inspiring cast of characters who devote their lives to the question of ‘why?’

What was the impetus for pursuing a career as a science writer?

I had an epiphany when I was studying science at university—with a view to going into medicine—that there was actually a career that combined my two great loves: science and writing. Once I found that out, I didn’t look back.

Can you give us a little insight into any stories or projects you are working on at the moment?

I’m working on a story about people donating their brains to science, which is a sensitive and quite emotional piece. It’s about science but mostly it’s about people; about dedication, determination, love, loss and hope. It’s a little different to what I usually write, so I’m quite nervous about doing it justice and honouring the people whose stories I’m telling.

What do you personally find most exciting or surprising about your work?

That I’m rarely bored. I’ve been writing about science, medicine, technology and the environment for nearly twenty years, but I still love it, and I still find the subjects I write about fascinating. I’m also still learning this craft, and challenging myself to do different stories—like the brain donation story. I’m always pushing myself to be a better journalist as well as a better writer.

Bianca Nogrady is a freelance science journalist and author with more than a decade of experience as a full-time freelancer writing for outlets such as ABC and BBC, NatureAustralian Geographic, the AustralianScientific American, and Ecos

The Secrets of Science Writing will take place at Writing NSW on Saturday 24 November, 10am-4pmBook your spot here >


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