Bioscience Careers

February 13, 2020

“Always carry a notebook: My career in science writing and media relations”

Bioscience Careers Seminar with James Urton, Ph.D.

Thursday, March 5 2020, 5-6PM, HSB T-747


James is a cell biologist who hasn’t picked up a pipet in years. He spends his days in the University of Washington News Office, where he covers news and discoveries from 15 departments and institutes. He writes press releases, edits copy, pitches reporters, fields media requests, reads papers, responds to breaking news and somehow never misses lunch. James will talk about the moment he realized his future was in science writing, how he shifted his career, his job as a PIO, how his training as a scientist remains central to his work and why he always carries around a notebook. 


James earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Augustana College, a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from the UW and a graduate certificate in science communication from UC Santa Cruz. He was also a postdoctoral researcher in the UW Department of Genome Sciences and a lab manager at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Before joining UW News, James wrote for the San Jose Mercury News, the Monterey Herald and Stanford University. He is also a freelance writer.