Newsstand Menu

Quiet please, we’re writing!

Photo of the 2023 Scientific Writing Retreat
Attendees of the 2023 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Scientific Writing Retreat held November 14-19. The retreat was organized by CSHL Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Director Charla Lambert (last on the right, standing) and PLOS Associate Editorial Director Stephen Matheson (last on the right, kneeling).
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Imagine you’re a scientist just starting your career. You and your colleagues have spent many months tinkering away in the lab. And the team has finally made a breakthrough. Now you need to compile and publish the results. Where do you start?

Writing skills are critical for success in science. Research scientists write papers to share their findings with the public. And they write grant applications to get funding for experiments. But one doesn’t learn to write clear and compelling copy by taking science classes. So, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) came up with a solution.

Each year, scientists from around the world head to a quiet, 55-acre estate in Lloyd Harbor, New York, to attend small group workshops as well as one-on-one meetings with writing coaches. They’re here, at the Banbury Center think tank, for CSHL’s annual Scientific Writing Retreat. The retreat provides early-career scientists with the time and space they need to work on writing projects. Attendees get to chip away at everything from research papers to grant submissions, job applications, and personal statements.

CSHL’s Charla Lambert organized the getaway with Stephen Matheson from scientific publishing house PLOS. Lambert calls the retreat “an annual opportunity for scientists in all areas of biology to immerse themselves in good writing practices and discover which ones work best for them.”

When the time came to describe what they took away from the retreat, this year’s participants didn’t mince words. “This course is amazing!” wrote one student. “I expected to get help with writing, but I also got help with project design and thinking about projects before submission. This will make me a better scientist.”

And that, of course, is a goal shared by all of CSHL’s world-class education programs.

Written by: Luis Sandoval, Communications Specialist | | 516-367-6826

Stay informed

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest discoveries, upcoming events, videos, podcasts, and a news roundup delivered straight to your inbox every month.

  Newsletter Signup