Episode 5 – Amanda Grennell

Highlights from Ep5


Amanda Grenell is a chemist and a professional science writer. She is also one of the admins of two science blogs, Science Buffs and Chembites. This year, she is selected as one of the Mass Media fellows for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Find out more about her.

About PhD study

“Grad school was more about the relationships that I built with people.” – Amanda Grennell

“I have this really great base of knowledge.. as well as the scientific process, and how research works, and how the publishing process works… And so being a writer and journalist and reporting the science that is published… Having those things in your mind is really helpful.” – Amanda Grennell


“My curiosity with the natural world got me into science.” – Amanda Grennell

“That’s what I’m really excited about – that we were able to work with grad students on campus and take their science and repackage it in a way that their families can read.” – Amanda Grennell


“It’s really hard to have got to be good at something and then becoming terrible at what you’re trying to do when you’re transitioning to a new career.” – Amanda Grennell

“The earlier you start looking [for career], the better.” – Amanda Grennell

“Being opened to new things, trying new things is very important.” – Amanda Grennell

“It’s really important to have other things going on in your brain, give yourself a break from trying to bang yourself from the scientific problem that you’re having.” – Amanda Grennell

“You just need to try different stuffs… You may not know what you like or dislike until you try it and find out.” – Amanda Grennell

“You should just do “you” and do what you want. It takes a lot of honesty with yourself.” – Amanda Grennell

What does PhD mean to you?

“First of all, it means that I get to call myself a doctor when I want to. [laughed] Second, it means that I went through something that no one else did before. ” – Amanda Grennell

Being a science writer

“A passion for science and nerding out about science is very easy to chat up researchers and talk to them for a very long time… have good instinct for questions to ask in addition to the ones prepared.” – Amanda Grennell

“[To be a science writer,] The first thing is to identify the writers they admire, and read them and read more of them and figure out why they like the writer.” – Amanda Grennell

“You have to like reading to enjoy writing… Apart from that, you just need to practice.” – Amanda Grennell