Guest Post by Marilyn Sigman: Writing Science Creatively: what inquiring minds want to know

science creatively” feels like an oxymoron when you’re slogging through a
science journal article to find a nugget of information that will sing off a
page of creative writing or trying to capture the amazement and meaning behind
“just the facts” of science.  Whether
you’re a creative writer with an inquiring mind, a scientist who wants to
express more than is possible in the rigid format of a scientific journal
article, or a professional science communicator, help and advice is on the way.  A number of outstanding writers
who have managed to translate the technical language of science into engaging
and even lyrical prose as they follow their own questing minds will share what
they have learned.
you would like to begin, or continue, writing about science more creatively,
please join a panel discussion with these successful writers about how
they incorporate science into their work over a broad spectrum of writing
styles and genres – from interpretive writing about public lands to public
outreach for research institutions to essays and novels. Panel members include
Nancy Lord, Sherry Simpson, and Andromeda Romano-Lax, faculty members of the
UAA Department of Creative Writing and Literary Arts (CWLA), and Judith Connor,
from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. The writers will provide
insight into their writing process and tips and lists of recommended readings
and potential science writing outlets. The workshop is being sponsored by 49
Writers, the UAA Department of CWLA, the Alaska Center for Ocean Sciences Education
Excellence (COSEE-AK), the North Pacific Research Board (NPRB), and the Alaska
Ocean Observing System (AOOS).
free workshop will be held at the Captain Cook Hotel, Endeavor Room, from 2-4

on January 20.  No registration
is required, but if you would like more information, contact Marilyn Sigman,
workshop is a pre-conference event for the Alaska Marine Science Symposium
(AMSS), also at the Captain Cook Hotel from January 21-24. The symposium will
kick off on Monday morning with a Communicating Ocean Science Workshop keynoted
by Nancy Lord and Judith Connor. The
rest of the symposium will provide an abundance of current marine science
information in the form of presentations and posters. Dr. Connor will
participate in a series of keynote presentation on Monday afternoon especially geared to the discussion of
issues of interest to the general public. She will speak on “Technologies for
Ocean Studies,” and the topics of three other keynotes will be ocean
acidification, the Japanese tsunami debris and invasive species, and current
declines in chinook salmon. Presentations on the following days will focus on
specific Alaska marine ecosystems: Tuesday on the Arctic; Wednesday on the
Bering Sea; and Thursday on the Gulf of Alaska.  Poster sessions will be held on
Monday and Tuesday nights at the Egan Center. 

There is no charge for the Communicating Ocean Science workshop or the AMSS,
but registration is requested for both by January 11. For more information and
to register, go to

Sigman is a graduate student in the UAA CWLA Program who struggles with writing
science creatively on a daily basis when she is not avoiding writing. She is
beginning a new blog as an outlet for creative Alaska science writing.
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