Q: What is your advice on getting started for a scientist (PhD, postdoc experience) who is looking to make the transition from academic research to science journalism?
A: My advice is: turn up. You can start writing now – you need some combination of: An idea; an editor; a word processor; the internet.
There are lots of guides out there on how to structure a story but chances are you’ll make a pretty good fist of it if you approach it with your research skills. Pick a news outlet, read some articles, learn the style and content, see what sort of things they are doing and then try to replicate it.
Experience is obviously the best way to learn and a good editor will give you feedback on your work (asking for it helps). Any editor will want to see an example of your writing, and if someone else has published it, that’s a good endorsement.Hope you enjoy.
(Full disclosure: I am a Chemistry World freelancer.)