The Craft of Science Writing Publishes Today

Siri Carpenter holding a copy of The Craft of Science Writing, standing in front of a bookcase.
Siri Carpenter edited The Craft of Science Writing, The Open Notebook‘s first book. The Open Notebook

I’m thrilled to say that The Craft of Science Writing comes out today! It’s available in paperback, hardcover, and ebook forms through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, or wherever you like to buy books.

When Jeanne Erdmann and I started The Open Notebook in 2010, the project was very much a labor of love. I don’t think either of us imagined that nearly a decade later, we would have published more than 400 articles or that the project would yield a book. That could not have happened were it not for the generosity of spirit that hundreds of science writers have brought to TON, giving us all a glimpse behind the scenes as they’ve shared their tips, tricks, and strategies—and even their stumbles.

The articles we’ve published at TON, and those that appear in The Craft of Science Writing, cover wide ground, from how to read a scientific paper to how to deal with the pernicious impostor phenomenon. But the theme that runs through all these pieces is the idea that whatever science writing challenge you may be dealing with, you are not alone. Others have been down the same rocky path before you—and through these stories they’re turning back to lend you a hand. Collectively, they set and maintain standards of excellence for us all and help science journalism thrive. I’m delighted to now see their thoughts and words on the printed page.

If you’d like to support the book, here are some ways you can do that:

  • Buy the book for yourself or for a friend, colleague, or student. (If you’d like to buy The Craft of Science Writing for a student and have us make arrangements to make a gift through an accredited educational program, click here to order.)
  • Spread the word about The Craft of Science Writing through email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn … even the miracle of telephonic communication. The book lives online at
  • Leave reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, or elsewhere.
  • Please recommend The Craft of Science Writing to your local public library or, if you have a university affiliation, recommend that your academic library purchase the book. (Here’s a handy recommendation form for academic libraries.) ISBNs: 9781734028003 (paperback), 9781734028027 (hardcover)

Creating this book has left me profoundly grateful to all who gave of themselves to make it possible. I’m not going to recreate the book’s entire acknowledgements section here (read it in the book!), but I want to take a moment to express my thanks to the whole TON editorial team—Aaron Brooks, Rodrigo Pérez Ortega, and Kelly Tyrrell—for all they do, and to our board of directors: Jeanne Erdmann (TON co-founder), Ann Finkbeiner, Julie Rehmeyer, and Alexandra Witze. I also want to thank Alison Mackey, the talented freelance art director who designed both the book’s beautiful cover and its interior. Last (for now) but far from least, I’m deeply grateful to Russ Campbell of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, whose financial support for the book has been critical. Russ has been a tireless champion for The Open Notebook for many years, including with BWF’s support for our early-career fellowship program. Many chapters of The Craft of Science Writing were written by our fellows during their fellowships, so BWF’s support has truly been a gift that keeps on giving.

Finally, here are a few upcoming book-related events (please notice the varying time zones in these):

  • I’ll be on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Central Time, a call-in program, next Wednesday, February 5, at 3 p.m. CST (Notice that’s CENTRAL TIME). Tune in—or call in!
  • I’ll be taking part in an “Ask Siri Anything” event hosted by the Science Talk online community (which you should join if you’re into science communication). It’s next Thursday, February 6, from 11:30 – 2:30 p.m. CST.  Join us!
  • Alexandra Witze, a book contributor and TON board member and all-around superstar, will be talking about the book on How on Earth, the KGNU Science Show in Boulder, Colorado on Tuesday, February 11 at about 8:43 a.m. MST. Tune in!
  • We’re having a launch party in Seattle! It’s on Thursday, February 13 at 7 p.m. PST, at Elliott Bay Book Company, right at the start of the AAAS meeting (and a short distance from the meeting venue). This party is being co-hosted by the Northwest Science Writers Association, for which we’re deeply grateful! RSVP here.

I hope you enjoy The Craft of Science Writing as much as I’ve enjoyed seeing it come into being.

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