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A discussion on the NASW Freelance Listserv dealt with tips for writing about medical conferences. For example: Are chinos okay at a radiologist's meeting? What do cardiologists eat for lunch? Do you need a laptop, or maybe a pen that'll write in the dark during PowerPoint displays? And the big one: To tape or not to tape?

Nonfiction writers used to be generalists, even science writers. Not now, not for a long time. To get an assignment today, you specialize. Editors are looking for a particular approach to a subject, a certain tone or, occasionally, deep knowledge. For science writers in particular, showing that you have written on a topic before can confer on you instant expertise and create confidence that you understand its complexities.