Lynne Timpani Friedmann
A freelancer is a self-employed individual who pursues a given profession without having a long-term commitment to a single employer. Science communication fields where freelancing is common include journalism and other forms of science writing, copywriting, editing, and public relations–media consulting. Each plays an important role in communicating science. Freelancers typically come from the ranks of traditional journalism, university public information, and corporate communications positions where they gained work experience and editorial contacts prior to striking out on their own. Other freelancers are scientists turned writers. To make the transition and be competitive in the market, scientists often take courses on journalism basics, interviewing skills, and feature writing; attend specialized science-writing seminars and workshops; and/or complete science-journalism fellowships or certificate-degree programs. Freelancers generally enjoy a greater variety of assignments than those in a full-time staff position and usually have more freedom to choose their work schedule. The experience can lead ...