Science writing and its effects

I have just finished reading a book about story-telling in scientific writing and will, no doubt, be including a lot of what I have learnt in my next few blogs, and certainly in my workshops. Here’s a quote to start you off:

“Ensuring that science is used properly requires more than just presenting facts to decision makers. Unfortunately, our approach to communicating to them is often analogous to traveling overseas and speaking louder when the locals don’t understand English.”

From: by Joshua Schimel, J. 2012. Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Cited and Proposals That Get Funded

I often find that the papers I read – both those from native speakers and those from non-native speakers – want to put across an interesting message but are doing it in a language that only the small inner circle can understand. But what’s the point of writing if not many can understand it. So let’s try to stop all the shouting and start the process of simplifying. It will be a whisper to start with, but I’m convinced that in the end science will be able to tell a more forceful story.

Anne Wegner

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