So much science writing comes in a certain set of forms. News, features, briefs, profiles, etc.
Why aren’t there more creative types of science writing? There is a movement of creative non-fiction, although that seems to have a fairly narrow view in itself. Why not an experimental science writing?
It probably doesn’t exist because there is no outlet for it. Nobody would publish such a thing, partly by definition because it’s experimental and there is not necessarily an audience for it.
So I’ll make an experimental science writing publication.
First a few key aspects of it.
1. What is experimental science writing?
It’s really any kind of story telling about science that uses unusual forms.
2. Does it have to be text?
Not at all! For a publication, it needs to be capturable in some way, such as text. But photographs would work fine. A recipe/algorithm for how to do something would also be fine.
3. What medium would the publication be in?
To get started so it doesn’t drown under the weight of dreams-too-big, I think that a print-on-demand magazine or book should be able to capture most of what we want. At least to start with. Later versions could be online and interactive.
4. Who would contribute?
Anybody who is interested. There is no need that your day job be as a professional science writer. You can define your connection to telling the stories of science however you like.
5. When will this happen?
I’m thinking now and writing this so it begins now. I’ll put out a call for submissions and see what we start to get in. Then we’ll take another look.
6. How can I be involved?
Contribute, edit, design, organize, contribute, contribute, smile, encourage, contribute, enjoy.
7. What are the kinds of things you are looking for?
I hate to say as it might push you in a certain direction, but I’m thinking about a few things myself. Translating an issue of a journal into haiku. Building an installation of a branching story in real space, photographed for the publication. Creating a rogue QR-code infestation in my town with each code telling a little story of science. Exquisite corpse, science style.
8. What do I do now?
Create something. Send it to me. Chat with me. I’m physicsdavid just about everywhere but I prefer gmail for contact. Or just add your name or a comment below and I’ll keep you in the loop.