What’s it like to be a Science Communicator in the Philippines?

Flexible working hours, great pay, genuine passion for work. Isn’t that what everyone searches for in a job right now? Well, because of my love for Science and writing, I think I’ve already found a job I can do for the rest of my life without being bored.

Science writers or science journalists write articles geared to the general public, scientists, engineers, and newspapers. It makes the seemingly daunting subject of basic and applied Science more accessible.

What kind of training do you need?

While formal training and degrees are offered abroad for Science Communication, such opportunities are sadly not available in the Philippines. So what can you do in a country that does not invest sufficiently in scientific research and actively attacks its scientists?

  1. Get a traditional degree in Science from the best institution you can find — UP Diliman, in my case, and
  2. Learn all the soft skills that you need from mentors and professional training. For this, you need to find a company or an organization that values the growth of its employees. Luckily, I found one.

I’ve been pursuing a career in Science for as long as I can remember. I took Biology in college and majored in Zoology. I went through two years of med school before I finally had the courage to pursue what I really love — research. I’m currently working on my thesis work for my Master’s degree in Microbiology.

What sort of subjects and skills do you need in your toolbox?

As your future work will most likely be geared toward a general audience, introductory courses and more general Science courses might be beneficial for you. These subjects will give you a broad range of Scientific knowledge to allow you to have a rudimentary knowledge of several Science projects in the future.

However, you must not forget the importance of targeted research and the joy of understanding a specific subject on a deeper level. Working on something you’re genuinely interested in will make the difference when the going gets rough in your degree. In my case, I chose the wonderful world of Microbiology and drug discovery.

How do you find job opportunities as a Science Communicator?

Build a solid portfolio.

The work you highlight here doesn’t always have to be Science-related. Have samples of your work ready for future clients ready on a single document such as your CV, or better yet, a website. See how I present my previous works here.

Pursuing a degree in Science, working on your skills as a writer and communicator, and having several samples of your work at your disposal can only help with your visibility to possible partners and clients.

Brand yourself as a Science Communicator at every opportunity.

Let the people know what you are and what opportunities you’re interested in. By clearly labeling yourself as a Science communicator, possible collaborators and clients can easily find and build meaningful relationships with you.

Join communities.

As in other forms of communication, having a supportive community helps. Find science communities on the platforms you’re already using — Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or WordPress. @PinoyScientists is a great way to know the Scientists in the community. Visit their page and get inspired about getting an advanced Science degree. Also, you can learn how they communicate Science to the masses.

By being an active part of a Science community, you’ll learn how to reach out to your target readers much more easily. What’s more, you can have access to endless opportunities for collaborations, partnerships, and friendships.

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