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Outtake chapter: Incorporating Communication Skills into Teaching

December 22, 2009   Filed under Blog, Excerpts, Resources, Writing  

I had written a chapter for Eloquent Science entitled “Incorporating Communication Skills into Teaching.” This chapter was later dropped as too tangential to the topics focused on in the book. Although I never completed writing that chapter, I felt that the draft might be useful to others, so I make it available here. Incorporating Communication […]

A course to improve scientific and communication skills

December 22, 2009   Filed under Blog, Resources  

Here is the abstract of the talk that I will be giving at the AMS Annual Meeting in Atlanta about the 14-week university course that I designed based on the book Eloquent Science. To improve writing skills, a student needs to write more and write more often. Thus, I tried to minimize the lecture material […]

“Have Your Cake and Communicate Better, Too”

December 21, 2009   Filed under News  

From the American Meteorological Society blog: In the modern world of text messages, Tweets, and, yes, blogs, it’s easy for the craft of writing to be overlooked for the sake of immediacy, shock value, or just plain laziness. Indeed, time for eloquence increasingly seems like a luxury as technology makes communication more convenient and commonplace. […]

What Climategate means for scientists and their emails

December 18, 2009   Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri  

The so-called Climategate scandal in which hacked emails from the University of East Anglia Center for Climate Research were released to the public is a sad day for public confidence in science. (I hesitate to use the term Climategate as the similarity with Watergate is 180 degrees opposite. Whereas the burglars in Watergate were caught […]

Hot under the collar about “hot temperatures”

December 17, 2009   Filed under Blog, Potpourri, Writing  

The December 2009 issue of the journal Weather published by the Royal Meteorological Society has a letter by David Pedgley, referring to a 2005 letter by Malcolm Walker, which refers to an earlier letter by John Cook. At issue? “Hot temperatures.” Read an excerpt from Pedgley’s letter: Temperature is a measure of the heat content […]

“Redefining the peer-review literature”

December 14, 2009   Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri, Reviewing, Writing  

Amid all the public commentary over the stolen University of East Anglia emails, what hasn’t been as widely discussed is that ever since the internet became a tool for mass communication, scientists have been redefining what the peer-review literature is.

How to buy a signed copy of the book

December 14, 2009   Filed under Blog, News  

The fastest way to get the book in the United States is by ordering through the American Meteorological Society. The book is now ready to ship, and I have heard that people have received their copies relatively timely. If you want me to send you a copy personally, I am happy to do so and […]

Advertising flier for Eloquent Science

December 7, 2009   Filed under News  

If you are interested in posting a flier in your institution or department to help advertise Eloquent Science, I would greatly appreciate it. Those who do so can get some nifty Eloquent Science bookmarks to distribute as well. Please email me at for more information. Eloquent Science Poster

Redundancy in scientific writing

December 7, 2009   Filed under Articles, Blog, Writing  

You may remember an elementary or middle school English teacher urging you to vary the vocabulary in your writing. I have a very strong memory of that from my youth. Such strict lessons from an early age may be difficult to break, but scientific writing does not have to be like prose writing for English […]

Errata: Figure 19.1

December 7, 2009   Filed under Blog, Excerpts, News, Resources  

Please replace Fig. 19.1 on p. 227 with the correct version below. I had inadvertently used an earlier version of the figure that Dave Whiteman supplied, and this error slipped past both his and my readings of the page proofs.

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