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Improving communication skills through writing groups

April 30, 2014 Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri, Presentations, Writing 

Welcome to EGU2014.

Liveblog (Vienna, Austria): Later today and tomorrow, I’ll be talking to ClimateSnack‘s Mathew Reeve about improving communication skills for scientists. This got me thinking more about what ClimateSnack is trying to do. This graphic shows it well.

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It is about getting scientists to become better communicators with other scientists through short Climate Snack blog posts. The added benefit is that discussion of the research facilitates a deeper understanding of the science by the author, as well as readers of the blog posts. (Remember the old saying that to learn something really well, teach it to someone else?)

The writing and revision process also simulates the peer-review process that occurs at scientific journals. So, through the friendly environment of Climate Snack, communication skills improve of everyone involved.

Although not a Climate Snack group, my own students and postdocs have organized a writing group amongst themselves. Get together, write for a short time, then share their results with each other. Getting together forces them to be prepared, do a little writing at least once a month, and engage in a positive environment to discuss how to improve their own work.

What a great idea!

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