Meet new member Sayali Avachat

Sayali Avachat

Sayali Avachat, an astronomer, currently working as an independent contractor for science and content/curriculum writing, shares #WhySciWri in this short Q&A.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

A: I am passionate about science education and communication. As a child, I was always fascinated by stars and planets and galaxies and everything in our Universe. While in school, I enjoyed reading astronomy articles in newspapers and read about all the amazing things that are out there to learn about. After completing my PhD from Florida Institute of Technology, I was a part of a founding team in establishing Teaching Learning Centre for astronomy and astrophysics in one of the leading research institutes in India. This job really got me into communicating science to students as well as general public.

Q: How did you get interested in science writing?

A: I wrote a piece for EarthSky.org, on black holes after the announcement of Nobel prize 2020. This article got a very positive and encouraging feedback from everywhere. The topic of black holes is closely related to my research area, that is active galactic nuclei. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this article. At the same time, I realized that I love writing and would love to continue writing and sharing my knowledge. Since then I have written several popular science articles for online magazines and local astronomy clubs on different topics in astronomy. I also write technical articles based on latest research in physics for the scientific community under American Institute of Physics.

Q: What are you working on at the moment?

A: Recently, I founded my own company, EdCosmic LLC. I work on science, content and curriculum writing through my initiative. I work with several online learning portals to develop and write the science content for different education and cognitive levels. I also offer STEM workshops and courses for school kids through my LLC that I design, develop, and conduct through online instruction. I love the interaction that I get to have with the kids. Answering their curious questions about our Universe gives me immense pleasure. I run a Facebook page ‘Astronomyn’ where I periodically write and share short, easy-to-read posts on the important events and news in astronomy.

Q: If you could write about any scientific event/breakthrough/topic (past, present or future) what would it be and why?

A: Anything and everything about astronomy fascinates me. Especially, I love to write about research on quasars, black holes, and galaxies. Another topic that I find interesting is gravity, how it connects everything around us, and how it shaped our knowledge of the world and in turn of the Universe over centuries.

Q: Why did you join NASW and what kinds of professional connections/opportunities are you seeking?

A: NASW gives a unique opportunity for a budding writer like me to connect with other writers who are at different levels of careers and paths in the science communication. It is important for me to meet and interact with other similar minded writers, to learn from them, and grow as a science communicator.

Hero image by István Mihály from Pixabay.

Oct. 19, 2021