by Catherine Gara
"Making Science Make Sense"
(Credit: National Park Service)
Gravel crunched underfoot as Dad and I walked along “The Towpath” – 185 miles of dirt, sandwiched between the Potomac River and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. No longer do families live on coal-laden barges or tend to the mules that power their livelihood, but The Towpath is still a family affair. And for me, it was the embryonic beginning of my career as a science writer. Dad would point out wildlife to me, name plants and animals, bend down and whisper about something too beautiful for a normal volume. That’s where it all began, my love for science. Many years later, the wonder mixed with curiosity that he instilled in me still fuels my writing.
Today, I have more than six years of experience translating the biological sciences for a lay audience. After receiving my Ph.D. in cell biology from Johns Hopkins University, I spent four and a half years in media relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where I promoted the faculty of nine basic science departments, and their discoveries. My work most frequently took the form of press releases, and feature stories and faculty Q&As for our basic science newsletter, Fundamentals, which I helped name. I’m skilled at interviewing experts, interpreting journal articles and turning science discoveries into engaging stories for a lay audience. You can reach me on Twitter or at writingscisense [at] gmail.com