One Week Workshop for Scientists and Researchers
Comments on two-week workshops
The output in the form of a dummy science magazine and the feedback from the participants of the second workshop on science writing held in IISER Pune can be seen here:
One-week workshop for media students
Comments from 1st year students of MJMC, ASAS, Kochi. November 2015
The evaluation of the workshop can be accessed from here: EvaluationWorkshopMJMC ASASNov15
Comments from 2nd year students of MJMC, ASAS, Kochi. August 2015
“I used to think that science is only the Chemistry, Physics, Biology. But after your workshop it changed. Now I know each and every thing is related to science and maths.”
“I thought that science is only the study of medicines, chemistry and electron, neutron etc. But my attitude towards science changed. A small insect is also connected to science.”
“It provided me a new insight into science. I came to understand that the basis of science is questioning everything.”
“The workshop changed my attitude towards Science. Now I’m an enthusiast in Technology, Health, Agriculture and Environment. Hope I can write about issues related to these.”
“It truly motivated me to write science. ‘Little’ big information you shared with us made an impact on me, and it motivate me to read more science related articles.”
“When I use the internet or other sites, I just searched and read the pages fully. I never used the bookmark, advanced search etc. The workshop helped me a lot in the way of using Net.”
“The workshop is very helpful for our research in using Net. It also improved the writing skills.”
“The workshop was really awesome. Through this workshop I gained confidence to search and research on what I want to write and on what I want to know.”
Workshop held in MBL Media School, Kozhikode
“I am a literature student. My knowledge about science is very poor. I thought that there is no need to study science. But after the workshop my attitude towards science changed.”
“I never thought of writing an article in science and I felt like it’s a difficult process. But by this workshop it seems easy for me to write.”
“I read research paper but I never knew how to explain it to somebody else. Now it’s possible.”
“Actually I belong to biology/Life science, now I am eager to approach other sciences apart from biology. A confidence has developed to work in all science. That is only due to this workshop.”
“As an activist I am already in the field of cultivating scientific temper among mass by involving in various activities organised by KSSP. The workshop has nourished me.”
“I was not much interested in writing. Since I was pressurised to write, I had to do it. Now I feel it interesting and fantastic. There is an urge in me to write I realise. I’ve developed my editing skills.”
“Editing was always a difficult one. But now I know how effectively we can edit articles.”
Comments from faculty members:
“Forming GOOGLE group was a good idea, as it made us understand each other before the workshop itself.”
“As per the students feedback – they suggested one more week of workshop, so that they can produce some output (Magazine/ Journal/ Blog).”
One year after the first workshop in IISER Pune
“The science writing workshop was a turning point of my life. It was great learning experience. It is really unique workshop. I was writing in Marathi before I joined workshop but was not aware about the rule or ethics in the writing. That was first difference I noticed in my writing. This workshop changed my perspective completely. Now, before writing anything either on paper or on social media, I think twice.
The other techniques in reading, writing, photography and recording were also useful. The important aspects learned from workshop really help me. I started writing press releases in English ( 5 W’s and H techniques is really helpful)….. I was not used to writing in English but now I can draft press releases very well. It gets published in local news papers. (The photographs clicked by me were also published). The exposure from various resources – Journals, magazines, news papers etc – were really amazing and also the faculty guided us so well.
I am now working in NCL – science outreach : where I am dealing with the much younger kids. I realized, there are hardly any scientific contents for kids or adults in their regional language which you were insisting and expecting from us to write.”
“Pre workshop information and online introductions were extremely useful since it set the stage for the face to face session, and saved on time. The links and resources were very helpful. Training in the usage of these resources was even more helpful.
Peer sharing and critiquing was very beneficial. Brainstorming sessions, and the gallery walk to review participants ideas (on post it notes) was fun. Diversity of the participants brought in fresh perspective and new ideas at every stage. Opportunity to interact with journalists, editors and accomplished writers gave me a real world feel for science writing.
The technique of writing a story even without an initial structure was an eye opener. Giving us the confidence that the structure will evolve through careful editing. Learning to edit line by line, and by breaking down sentences was super useful! Therefore to not be afraid to write even if the structure is not crystal clear in the initial stages. As you said “just write”.
The workshop made a difference to my professional life. I am able to structure pieces better. I’ve been writing press releases for TIFR, on EurekAlert, using several tips I learnt at the workshop. I’ve been writing stories on the research findings and discoveries from TIFR. These will be published on the TIFR website.”
“All the presentations, sessions by in house trainers and invited speakers/guests were useful and it touched upon all the areas related to science writing starting from writing, editing, layout, publishing etc also it was good opportunity to interact with the professionals in the field.
I think the best part was all participants edited each other article. We posted our writing on the group and we all saw the change as it was revised
The brainstorming sessions were quite useful. I think we learned many from participants, thanks for choosing participants from varied background with different skills. ”
“I benefited in many ways:
- I started reading between lines, learning how the sentences are framed, how to choose word for the impact, construction of sentences… Proofreading own writing: DO NOT fall in love with our writing.
- Group discussions and comments received from colleagues are really helpful.
- Structure of the article as well as magazine.
- Exposure to Adobe InDesign, Reuters, Web of Science, Eureka Alert etc.
- Encouragement for writing in regional languages.
Inspired from this workshop, I have started a website http://jaivikshastram.com/”
“It was by all means a great way to motivate and train people. I enjoyed the team work. The training on ways of editing was good. Now, when I write something and then look back at it I feel proud of myself for having improved and certainly have got back the confidence.
I did make use of the ideas communicated during the workshop for a paper writing immediately after the workshop.In fact, just last week we were asked to write a science story from our experience which could be called history. I distinctly remembered how should I open the paragraph.
The other striking thing which I liked in particular, and was a lesson for life, was, how to be simple, considerate, down to earth and yet be the most effective in communication. Thus, the work shop helped also to imbibe some soft skills as a by-product.”