How I came to write a radio drama…

The transition from studying a degree in Maths and Physics to a Masters in Science Communication was a much welcomed change for me. Not only was I fed up of the multitude of exams in my undergraduate course, but I was also craving the chance to be more creative. Thankfully the last six months studying science communication have not disappointed.

Kick-starting the creativity

In the spring term I chose to study a module called Narrative, which dissected the techniques that authors use to produce compelling texts. The assignment for this module gave us a chance to produce a short story of our own, incorporating the theory we had spent the last few weeks learning about. The writing process was a bit of a rollercoaster, however the result of this creative endeavour was a story that I was really proud of. 

Another module I chose to undertake in the spring term was Sounds, Signs and Meanings in Radio. We were taken through a multitude of different radio styles, techniques and theory in the five weeks of the course, but the style which perhaps hooked a lot of us was radio drama. This was furthered when we had to analyse a radio drama for the assignment of this module. 

Project Commencement

The creative juices have not stopped flowing since the modules have finished. Determined to make the most out of every opportunity, the I, Science radio team decided to adapt some of our narrative assignments into short radio dramas. Over the Easter break several stories were chosen, re-worked into scripts, acted out, then produced by students from the Science Communication Unit.

One story adapted was the one I wrote for my narrative assignment, called Three, Two, One. I attempted to portray the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster, for the 73 seconds from take-off to the disintegration of the shuttle and its seven crew members, from the perspectives of five individuals all connected to the events. For the radio drama, I adapted the story into a script, adding in sound effects and an extra voice to tie it all together, as well as co-ordinating all the voice actors. The mammoth task of editing it all together was taken up by Tristan Varela, who did an absolutely amazing job.

Finished product

Three, Two, One, alongside another wonderful radio drama Fish out of Water, was broadcast for the first time on I, Science’s weekly radio show last Monday on ICRadio. So much hard work went into both of these dramas and we are all so proud of the result. Better still, there is another radio drama The Gift, which is currently being produced and will be aired in the coming weeks on the I, Science radio show.


You can listen to the premiere of Three Two One and Fish out of Water here. I hope you all enjoy listening!

And if you want to find out more about the spring term studying science communication, and the student-run publication I, Science, why not check out my previous blogs; A Day in the life of a SciComm student and All you need to know about I, Science.

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