By the Fancy Comma, LLC Team
.@ErinWinick has a mechanical engineering degree and started freelance writing in college. Of getting into #SciComm, she says: “I started honing my writing skills and sharing more science on social media.”Tweet
Fancy Comma recently interviewed with Houston-based SciCommer Erin Winick, a science communications specialist for the International Space Station (ISS) writing articles for NASA.gov. Erin began her science writing career with an internship at The Economist. Today, she divides her time between her full-time job doing research for a NASA contractor and her work as a freelance science communicator. Her SciComm work ranges from writing to explaining science on social media.
Fancy Comma: Where are you based? What do you do as a SciCommer? What is the scope of SciComm in your region? And how is your business going?
Erin Winick: I’m based in Houston, Texas. My job with NASA contractor Barrios Technology brought me here. Science communication here is very space focused! It’s been going great for me. I get to do a mix of full-time work for International Space Station Research (ISS), and freelance SciComm on the side for myself and a variety of partners.
FC: How did you break into SciComm? Which area of SciComm (writing, designing, podcasting) is your favorite, and why?
Erin: I have a mechanical engineering degree but started doing some freelance writing in college. My big break was my internship at The Economist after graduating. I started honing my writing skills and sharing more science on social media. I think my favorite way of sharing SciComm right now is the short-form video for TikTok and Instagram Reels, but I love writing too. That’s my solid base.
FC: Looking back at your five years of SciComm experience, what is your advice to aspiring SciCommers? Any secret tips?
Erin: Don’t be afraid to spend time making your own content. Show the type of products you wish to make for clients on your own channels. They won’t all do well, but it will let you test things out and attract the type of clients you want to work with. Also, put yourself out there and apply to as many opportunities as you can! There are some awesome fellowship programs, internships, and grants that can help you get things started. For example, the Jackson Wild Media Lab was an incredible networking and skills-building experience for me. And The Economist Richard Casement Fellowship jump-started my SciComm career.
About Erin Winick
Erin is a science communications specialist for the International Space Station (ISS) and a prolific freelance science communicator. Her work for the ISS has provided innovative ways to communicate science on broad public platforms including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Her independent science communication work includes writing articles for MIT Technology Review, as well as social media SciComm and public speaking. Find Erin on Twitter @erinwinick and check out her posts on TikTok.