NEUWRITE NORDIC

Bringing together scientists and writers

What

NeuWrite Nordic is a regional branch of the international collaborative science-writing workshop NeuWrite.

The original NeuWrite was founded in New York City in 2009 by the chairperson of biological sciences at Columbia University, along with members of Columbia's fine arts writing program, with a bold idea: that people rarely found in the same room—scientists and creative writers—can together develop novel strategies for communicating about science to general audiences.

Today NeuWrite has branches around the United States, in London, and in the Nordic region. Participants meet regularly using the creative-writing workshop model to comment on drafts of each other's work. This work can include journalistic articles; essays; nonfiction books; novels; scripts for film, theater, and podcasts; and other forms of creative writing, broadly defined, that deal with science.


NeuWrite Nordic is a nonprofit project supported by a generous grant from

Science writers benefit from a collaborative space like NeuWrite because their work crosses the boundaries of the sciences and the literary arts. This hybrid nature of science writing forms a cultural glue that can help hold science and society together, and that can help scientists and the public interact and understand each other's roles—a challenge that has never been more important, or difficult.

Through NeuWrite, scientists and creative writers escape their professional isolation; they make writing social and transdisciplinary. This enriches literature, science, citizen engagement, and public policy.

Why

How

"Convention says science and literature are separate, and that the public must be told the correct facts of objective science. But as scientists, writers, and audiences, we are communally navigating mixed-together scientific and humanistic narratives going all directions. Thus science writing can, and perhaps should, also embrace uncertainty, vulnerability, subjectivity, emotion, metaphor, and imagination if the goal is to create lasting insight and impact."

Trevor Corson
director, NeuWrite Nordic

Based in Helsinki, NeuWrite Nordic draws on the particular cultural and social orientations of science and the arts in the Nordic region to foster a fertile workspace to nurture existing and rising talent, helping Finnish and Nordic science writers address local concerns while also attracting global audiences.

To that end, NeuWrite Nordic hosts workshop salons on the second Thursday of every month. Most workshop salons are in-person events held in downtown Helsinki, with hybrid participation also available via Zoom; occasional regional meetings may also occur.

Each salon begins with an informal dinner hour at 18:00 (6pm), followed by a workshop of two texts for 50 minutes each at 19:00 (7pm) and 20:00 (8pm). Each text is a work-in-progress of less than 5000 words in length that deals with science in almost any genre, and that poses writing challenges to its author that would make transdisciplinary group feedback useful. Currently the focus is on English-language texts that can help Nordic-based work reach an international audience. Texts are submitted for consideration in advance by interested participants, and are reviewed and scheduled for workshopping as appropriate by the NeuWrite Nordic director in consultation with the advisory board. To apply to participate and submit work, please contact us.

 

2023 Schedule

Workshop salon dates:

  • 12 January
  • 9 February
  • 9 March
  • 13 April
  • 11 May
  • 8 June
  • 10 August
  • 14 September
  • 12 October
  • 9 November
  • 14 December

When & Where

Who

Director

Trevor Corson


Deputy

Juha Saarikangas

Principal Investigator & Associate Professor, Cellular Individuality Lab, University of Helsinki

Advisory board


Brendan Battersby

Research Director, Battersby Lab, Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki

Paul Graves

Poet and University Lecturer, Language Centre, University of Helsinki

Riikka Haikarainen

Former science journalist and Senior Communications Manager, Aalto University; founder, Black Box (Musta laatikko) performed journalism series, Finnish National Theater

Howard Jacobs

Professor of Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University

Tim Requarth

Science writer; Lecturer in Science & Writing, New York University; former director, NeuWrite

Nitin Sawhney

Professor of Practice, Department of Computer Science, and leader, Critical AI and Crisis Interrogatives research group, Aalto University

Jussi Valtonen

Novelist and Visiting Professor of Writing, University of the Arts Helsinki; Researcher, Department of Psychology and Logopedics, University of Helsinki

Satu Vasantola

Novelist and medical & health journalist; reporter, Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

Hanna Västinsalo

Filmmaker; PhD in genetics, University of Helsinki and MFA in directing, American Film Institute Conservatory

Virpi Yliraudanjoki

Writing coach in creative academic writing and poet; PhD in education, Language Centre and Open University, University of Helsinki

NeuWrite Nordic | 2022