Science Communication and Outreach Careers

Part of the Every Month Series for career exploration

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.

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 programs
happening in April:

Upcoming Events


Alumni Career Paths in Science Communication

Date: April 21, 2021
Time: 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.