By Bianca Datta
I spent this summer working with the digital team at NOVA, writing for the NOVA Next site. I worked directly with Senior Editor Tim DeChant, and occasionally with associate editor Allison Eck. I wrote 18 pieces about topics as varied as the impact of the internet of things, biological bases of color, multi-colored photons, and fake news. I learned about the importance of journalistic integrity, and engaging readers without misrepresenting the scientific process.
When I applied for this fellowship, I had no experience with science writing, and very little with writing in general. As I observed the events of the past year, and the growing mistrust of science, I felt stuck. I knew that doing research was not going to be enough.
When I started at NOVA, I lacked confidence about my writing. I was so pleasantly surprised by how helpful and patient the other writers here have been, and even more surprised by how much my writing has progressed. I’ve written about such a vast array of topics, strengthened my own voice, and even clarified my own understanding of research.
I recently finished my most extensive feature of the summer—a piece exploring the future of AI and policy in these changing political times. One of my key sources for the article wrote back after I published it, thanking me for taking the time to be rigorous. Being thanked for doing work that I not only love, but am so grateful to be doing, is a feeling that I will carry with me forever.