Finding Angles and Pitching Science Stories

To tell science stories to the public, science writers need to find a compelling angle — and be able to sell an editor on both the story angle, on the idea that the story needs to be told now, and on the notion that they are the writer to tell that story. Pinning down story angles and pitching them effectively can be challenging even for the most experienced science communicators. Science journalist Siri Carpenter, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the journalism nonprofit 'The Open Notebook', will talk about how the best reporters identify, vet, and pitch science stories.


Siri Carpenter is an award-winning science journalist and editor whose writing and editorial work has appeared in The New York Times, Science, Discover, Scientific American, bioGraphic, Science News, Science News for Students, Slate, Prevention, Magazine, and many other publications. She was a features editor at Discover magazine from 2012 to 2014, and has worked as a contract editor for numerous publications, most regularly for Science News for Students. 

Carpenter is co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Open Notebook, a non-profit organization that helps science journalists improve their skills, and she is the editor of The Craft of Science Writing, published by The Open Notebook in 2020. She is also first author of the psychology textbook Visualizing Psychology, published by Wiley in 2008. She has been a member of the National Association of Science Writers since 1998 and was president of NASW from 2018-2020. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and of the Online News Association, and she is on the Advisory Board for Science Journalism Forum. She has a Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University and lives in Madison, Wisconsin. She tweets @SiriCarpenter.