The workshop’s main objective is to impart the basic skills necessary for communicating science to the lay person via the written word.

Students will learn the elements of good science writing and the art and craft of conducting effective interviews. The workshop will focus on news and features, two forms of writing that can form the foundation for a career in communicating science to the lay person. Popular science writing and journalism isn’t merely about summarising an academic paper. Rather, it strives to entertain and educate, provide multiple points-of-view, and at its best be an independent and necessary part of a thriving culture of scientific enquiry.

The workshop will demand active and committed participation from students. They will have to interview scientists, write news and feature stories, which will be edited in-class by the instructors. A firm grounding in science and/or technology is mandatory as is a facility with language.

The workshop will require fulltime attention, from 9 AM to 6 PM. We’ll be working on all days except Sunday. Students are expected to commit fully to the workshop.

Students from outside NCBS are also encouraged to apply. The workshop is for a maximum of 10 students. Accommodation will be provided on campus for up to 5 out-station students.

If you are interested please email Anil Ananthaswamy at by May 31, 2017. Each applicant should send a CV and write a short essay, of no more than 500 words, describing his or her reasons for wanting to join the workshop. Prospective students will be contacted via email by Jun 30, 2017.

Please do not inquire about your selection before Jun 30, 2017. The organisers are unable to respond to individual requests for information before the deadline.


Anil Ananthaswamy: consultant and former deputy news editor, New Scientist magazine. Anil has a BTech (IIT-M) and MSEE (UW, Seattle) and trained as a journalist at UC Santa Cruz. He is also freelance feature editor for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)’ Front Matter. Anil’s work has appeared in New Scientist, Discover, Nautilus, National Geographic News, The Independent (UK) and Times Online (UK). Anil is the author of The Edge of Physics (Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt, 2010), and The Man Who Wasn’t There (Dutton, Penguin Random House USA, 2015), which was nominated for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.

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