Who I am: Pakinam Amer
Where I live: Egypt
What I do: Independent science journalist who previously worked as an editor with Nature Middle East. In 2018 she attended MIT as a Knight Science Journalism Fellow.
Why science journalism: “There’s often this sense of discovery and novelty with science storytelling that I deeply cherish and thoroughly enjoy. I love that I’m constantly learning as part of my job and that I get to brush shoulders with some of the brightest minds in the world. Science is also deeply intertwined in every other aspect of our lives, from politics, education, and health to economy, society and art. So I often find myself drawing on my generalist background and my rigorous training as an investigative reporter to connect the dots, and explore relatable or impactful or entertaining stories at the intersection of all that.”
Suggestions for newcomers:
- Do your homework before sitting down with a scientist but always just go ahead and ask that “stupid question” during the interview. Sometimes the simplest questions yield some of the most fascinating answers or stories.
- Do not be intimidated by science (or scientists).
Always remember you are standing-in for your audience. That audience might come from various backgrounds and from all walks of life, so your job is not just to help them understand something, but to make it interesting enough to hook them and make them stay.