NEI Hosts ‘Curious’ Scribes
Young Science Writers Enjoy NIH Visit
It’s possible that some of America’s future health leaders briefly appeared on campus this summer. The students were taking part in a program called Curious Science Writers, which offers high schoolers interested in science writing and research a chance to gain firsthand experience.
The course was originally established by the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research and was operated for several years by States United for Biomedical Research. It’s currently being presented by the biomedical research advocacy group Americans for Medical Progress.
This year’s program kicked off with a week-long science writing boot camp, featuring activities, writing exercises, guest lectures and lots of advice for translating complex science concepts so they can be understood and appreciated by the public. One of the highlights of the camp was a visit to the NIH campus, giving students an up-close view of how science works.
The visit was hosted by the National Eye Institute and featured several lectures by NEI scientists investigating various diseases of the eye and also the brain’s role in interpreting visual data. Dr. Robert Weichbrod, chief of animal program administration at NEI, took the students on a tour of campus. Stops included the Clinical Center, the Animal Tribute and Reflection Garden and NEI’s animal care facilities.
Now that camp is over, student participants are putting what they learned into practice. With the help of science writing mentors, including NIH communications staff, the students are in the process of writing articles that will highlight several current, cutting-edge health investigations. Once completed, the stories will be published on the Curious Science Writers website (https://curioussciencewriters.org/), along with articles written by previous program participants.
Any NIH’ers with students who might be interested in taking part in next summer’s program are invited to visit the CSW website for more information. In addition, Curious Science Writers is always looking for volunteers to help mentor future science writers and scientists. Visit https://www.amprogress.org/about/contact-us/ to learn more.