Writing Science: Interviews

Our first writing task of the week was interviewing the person next to us, with the aim of creating a news story about them based on what we learnt in 5 minutes. We then had to decided what type of publication our story would be part of, structuring our story and hook to match.

In my interview, we focused on the path that my interviewee took through school and uni to get to the MSc, and how that tied in with her main career goal.

I decided to base my story on a career profile, aimed at students or school leavers, that could be displayed in a school newsletter or in their prospectus.

Think of climate change, and you might think of lonely researchers investigating far-off lands and exotic species, or analysts ploughing through vast collections of data. You might assume all decisions are made by massive committees arguing about fractions of percentage points.

However, getting noticed in climate change can be easier than its seems. “A lot is annoying people, finding the right button to push to get their attention” says Hannah, an MSc student at UWE Bristol.

Her goal of working in climate change outreach has always been a driving force, used to lever a path through education that pulls together a diverse set of subjects and projects.

At A-level, this meant leaving science aside to study History, Sociology, and English; the perfect combination for someone whose ideal day would be spent writing fiction in a secluded cottage, and whose favourite part about working in a Veterinary surgery was getting to avoid working with people.

But now, armed with a degree in Wildlife Conservation, Hannah is studying Science Communication so she can share what she loves.

The goal of achieving climate change outreach is a compelling lure away from the Walden life- “the more you learn, the more you realise you can’t turn a blind eye.”

Considering that story was written in a short time frame, I’m fairly happy with how it turned out. However, I learnt a valuable interviewing lesson- taking notes during the interview is crucial to remembering the detail and keeping track of stand-out quotes.

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