Aug 15, 2011

Science in Writing

As part of my endeavour to immerse myself in the culture of writing, I attended a FREE seminar held at CSIRO (initialism for some sciencey department) titled:

Get Your Facts Right: How science can help you write your book.

This was organised by my local writers centre: ACT Writers Centre

The speakers covered topics about weather predictions for 2050. It was great information if you intend to ever include a storm, flood, drought or fire in your story. For instance, did you know that if the Great Barrier Reef was to die off and no longer exist, that storm surges along the coast of Queensland would be much worse?

I also found it interesting to learn that if global warming keeps affecting Australian summers and heats reach low 50 degrees in summer, we could still survive but our lifestyle and culture would change. We'd have to do all outdoor activities at night when it's cooler and try stay still and indoors during the day - good weather for vampires? And that you might first notice the onset of a deadly heatwave by the unusually high death of parrots?

There were also experts in the field of forensic science. One interesting story was about a copper that killed his ex-wife and tried to make it look like suicide. The investigating policeman said he wouldn't have been suspicious at all, until he stepped into the bathroom. The toilet seat was up in a house where a woman lived alone. That little clue might not be evidence, but sparks suspicion and then the police can search for some evidence to convict.

I was surprised to learn that even if the police witness a crime taking place, they still need to gather forensic evidence to convince a jury. And that scientists are working on one day being able to produce a picture of how a suspect would look based on their DNA sample.

Have you joined your writer's centre? They can let you know whenever there are writers events you might find useful.


  1. Intersting stuff, although the cop who left the toilet seat up was clearly wanting to be caught. Who takes a comfort break in the middle of a murder?

    Moody Writing

  2. How interesting.

    I downloaded a Kindle book on general science the other week to use for inspiration - and accuracy.

  3. That is good stuff. I hadn't thought about some of this. Now I'll have to take a closer look at my WIP. Thanks!

  4. I love the title of the seminar. I wish to incorporate hard science into all of my fiction and am very interested in 'getting it right.'

  5. Fantastic topics. And great inspiration for stories too. I love all that science stuff.

  6. The seminar you went to sounds really interesting! Whether you use this information or not, I hope you had fun, and maybe it will trigger some new interesting subject matter for you to investigate too.

  7. Fascinating stuff. Sounds like a really great seminar.

  8. Interesting!

    I used to keep my college science textbooks hoping I'd use them for my writing, but I really never put them to good use. Maybe I should have.

  9. That's amazing, constructing a person's looks from a DNA sample. Amazing what we will be able to do in the near future using science!