Science Communication and Outreach Careers

What does a career in science communication look like?

Science writing encompasses careers that can be highly technical or public-facing

Working in science communication encompasses a variety of careers, from traditional journalism, working for scientific journals to public outreach. Careers exist for general interest scientific publications, universities, federal agencies, and even textbook writing. Effective science communication is critical to having a positive impact on the way science is viewed by the public. Read more about this from Robert Irion of UC Santa Cruz's Science Communication Program

The type of career that is right for you will be related to the audience you want to reach. For example, do you want your audience to be the public, doctors or those in the medical field, scientific researchers, or investors for biotech companies? You will also want to consider the format of your communication. For more information, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has resources on Science Communication and Journalism.

For more about Science Writing, check out this book or this one. Sciencemag writer Jim Austin shares some resources for those interested in science writing and editing or you can visit this Duke University page to learn more about careers in academic publishing.

Some Science Writers become freelance journalists. Learn more about how a scientist becomes a freelance writer from Stephanie Chasteen, some survival secrets published by Sciencemag, and some solid advice from Chris Tachibana of iBiology. 

Ready to get started? Read about making the transition in The Open Notebook and this Science article titled "Building a Career in Science Communication." You may also want to check out Practical Science Communication Strategies for graduate students.

Science Communication - The Fundamentals
Get a quick overview of consulting careers from UCSF alums working in the field

Interested in illustration and animation?

Watch UCSF alum and TED Fellow Janet Iwasa show how animation can be part of the scientific process:

Check out how CDC medical illustrators created the most iconic image of the COVID-19 pandemic, from the New York Times.


Science Communication Alumni Career Paths Panel featuring UCSF alums Roshini Epasinghe, PharmD, Karuna Meda, PhD, and Pallavi Penumetcha, PhD.

Get hands on exposure to science communication careers with an

InterSECT Job Simulation

Upcoming Events


Mastering the Art of Uncomfortability: How to Network

Date: April 3, 2023
Time: 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Info Session II: Peer Teams, Spring 2023

Date: April 4, 2023
Time: 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Communicating Science to Nonscientists with Jean-luc Doumont

Date: April 14, 2023
Time: 10:30 a.m. - -12:30 p.m.

Evidence-Based Teaching Course (STEP-UP) Opens

Date: June 5, 2023
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