Current Book Recommendations

All, science communication

DSCF6132 (3)Recently, I found that I’ve been reading less than I used to. It’s always been one of my favourite things to do, so to inspire both myself and hopefully some of you to dust those books off the bookshelf, here are some of my favourite books right now!

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Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Some of you may already know, I am a big fan of Amy Poehler. Her work, her voice and her honesty really speak to me. This book is the epitome of all three. She is down to earth and speaks frankly and light-heartedly about things that we all think, yet sometimes don’t say. Whether it be about who we are, what we want to do or who we want to be with – Amy dishes out some real life advice from her own experiences.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This novel is a classic. Set in 19th Century England, it centres around the lives of the Bennet sisters, in particular Elizabeth Bennet. I’m one of those people that tends to forget the details once I complete a book, so I love having this one on hand to re-read it all over again. Also, I have a soft spot for Mr Darcy..

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The Hands-On Guide for Science Communicators by Lars Lindberg Christensen

This book is slightly different to those previously mentioned. Written by my former boss from my time at the European Southern Observatory, it is a great guide to science communication. The foundations of communicating scientific concepts are explored in the book, illustrated by graphics which concisely present the information in a colourful way. I’d recommend this for not only those new to the field, but also experienced science communicators out there. 

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The Picture of Dorian Gray

The first time I got my hands on this book I was around 15. I found it in my parent’s house and in an attempt to try something more mature, I gave it a try. Needless to say, I didn’t really understand a lot of the philosphical elements back then. But, now at the ripe ‘old’ age of 24, this book is one that I think anyone can read and gain something from. It’s quite a dense piece of literature and can be slow at times, however the character of Dorian Gray is so different to others I think it is worth the read.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Usually, I like to read the original book before watching the movie version of a story. This was a rare exception. I caught the movie on my flight home from Canada last year and immediately knew I had to read the book. I was not dissapointed. Let’s just say, you will not have a dry eye when reading this one. It’s a very heartwarming and touching storyline for all ages. I also like the fact that my new home of the Netherlands makes an appearance in the book too!

What are your favourite books right now? Let me know and I’d love to give them a try 🙂

-Nikita

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Creating Communication: 5 Ways to Improve your Writing Style

Creating Communication, science communication

Doing what you love for a living is one of the best things in life. However, as a Science Editor, writing for both work and as a hobby can sometimes lead to times of creative slumps or writer’s block. Ever had that frustrating feeling of wanting to write and/or having something to write about but for some reason the words just don’t seem to flow? Or, maybe you’re writing something but your writing style is still not coming across how you would like it?

Stepping away from your desk and taking a walk, a coffee break or talking to someone are great to distract the mind from overthinking your style of writing. But what about when you attempt to write again? It’s sometimes easy to get lost in the pages and forget what you’re communicating. Here are five ways that I’ve found help me to produce great content whilst ensuring that my writing style stays on the right track.

  1. Read More

It may seem obvious, but great reading leads to great writing. It allows you to grow as a writer, grow in vocabulary, inspiration, story arcs and sentence structure. The next time you find yourself in a creative slump, dust off your bookshelf and settle down on your couch for a few hours with a good read. That’s always a good idea.

  1. Write Like You Talk

Overthinking can lead to writers block. Often, writers that are great communicators in person can struggle on paper. When in doubt, it’s always better to be conversational.

  1. Know Your Audience

Keeping your reader in mind during the writing process is a vital element to ensuring that your article engages, inspires and most importantly is understood by the audience you are directing your words towards. The only true measure of how good your writing is, is the impact that it has on your audience.

  1. Feedback

The first attempt is almost always never how the article will look upon publishing. Seeking comments and criticism from editors, other writers, friends and perhaps a mentor helps to identify where your writing falls short. From this, you can now return to it with a fresh set of eyes and hone your style of writing with further iterations.

  1. Write What You Know

Research is key. Write about things that you know about and through extensive research, have earned the right to communicate. The more you know, the more confidence and credibility will come across through your words.

Hope some of these tips prove to be useful, happy writing!

-Nikita