The editors invite contributions from graduate students, scientists, and science writers in industry and academic settings. Writers can come from any scientific field, but they must maintain scientific integrity and adhere to our editorial guidelines for non-academic and noncommercial writing. If you’d like to submit an idea for an article, fill out this form.
Audience, Tone and Content:

Blog articles are written in a casual style for an enthusiastic, but non-expert, audience. The purpose of the blog is not merely to disseminate facts, but to get non-scientists excited about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Having trouble thinking of a topic? Here are some approaches you can take:

  1. Find a current topic in the news and write a scientific take on it
  2. Find a scientist or science-related professional you think is really cool and interview them about their work, and either put together a Q&A or turn their answers into a flowing narrative.
  3. Come up with a list; a “top 10” or “five ways” or “five things” related to science.
  4. Write a biography of an under-recognized scientist from history or a scientist from an under-represented group.
  5. Look at a the calendar and find a science-related anniversary or event that’s coming up in the next few months and write an article to coincide with it.

And here are some ideas we’ve been throwing around.

The editors typically go through one or two rounds of edits with the writer and agree on a final draft before publishing, and the ISC will promote the writer’s article through their social media channels.

Guidelines:

Reading Level: Our readers are educated science-enthusiasts, but they are not experts in what you are writing about. Pretend you’re at dinner with educated but non-scientist friends who are curious about what you have to say. Accordingly, please avoid technical language and jargon. If you must use an unfamiliar term, define it when you first use it.

Objectivity: Content cannot explicitly promote any company or its products/services. Writers, however, may promote non-profit causes at the editors’ discretion. Additionally, articles cannot express a political opinion. Articles must be firmly grounded in scientific fact.

Exclusivity: Drafts should not have been published previously and should be submitted to the Illinois Science Council on an exclusive basis. All drafts are subject to review and editing. The editors make all decisions regarding publication of articles.

Topics: For a sample of the variety of topics we cover, visit the blog. The Illinois Science Council covers anything related to STEM. We prefer topics related to Illinois/the Midwest, although we will accept any topic as long as it suits the style of the blog.

Payment: Since we are a non-profit organization, all of our writers contribute articles on a volunteer basis only.

Formatting Specifications:

Title: Please submit a short, captivating title to engage readers.

Word Count: 800-1200 words. For information on a longer, more in-depth series, please contact the editors.

Images: All content should be accompanied by images. Photos and graphics either have to be free license, or authors must cite the image’s creator in the caption. When appropriate, you may also use your own images.  Please send photos as separate attachments or direct links, and include the captions either in the document or in the body of your email.

References: If the information is important enough to be cited, or if there more to learn on a particular topic, please cite within the text of the article using hyperlinks.

Author Credit: Please include a blurb about yourself at the end of your post that includes the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your education
  • Your place of work and other credentials (if it applies to the subject matter)
  • Contact/social media information of your choosing
  • A headshot.