Regular reader Brian Curran sends us this link on the Plain Writing Act and the results thereof, following up on earlier discussions of clear language in government writing. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2013/11/19/plain-writing-in-government-agencies-plainly-speaking-arent-there-yet/ As the report card from the Center for Plain Language shows, NOAA gets a D for “Plain Writing”, although which documents were used was not stated […]
This Comment in Nature today by William Sutherland, David Spiegelhalter, and Mark Burgman is meant as a primer for policy makers who need to interpret science, but I would argue that this primer is also useful for scientists who might fall into this trap of overinterpreting or misinterpreting results in their own or others’ studies. […]
I wonder if these authors chose this title, just to get the attention. Anyway, here it is.
Jim Steenburgh sent me this article from The Guardian about “what pop music can teach you about building sentences.”
Brian Curran sends along this great blog post about how to read and understand a scientific paper. The subtitle is a guide for nonscientists, but Brian points out that even scientists could benefit from this information. In fact, I would say that many of the questions asked by the author are valuable in constructing a […]
The point of writing a scientific article is to get it read. How do you ensure that your article will reach the largest possible audience? Search engine optimization. I found this web page from Wiley about how to optimize your article for search engines. Optimizing your article for search engines will greatly increase its chance […]
Brian Curran forwarded me this article about how to communicate with the public in active voice using straightforward, easy-to-understand language. Reading this article took me back to my time in Finland a few years ago. I loved to use colorful language and turns of phrases when I lived in the U.S. Then, in Finland, I […]
Each sentence should be clear Each sentence should make sense. Each sentence should be supported by evidence. If you can’t defend it, remove it.
The following text was written in 1979 by Verner E. Suomi from the Foreword of the report Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment. Truly eloquent science! Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment. Report of an Ad Hoc Study Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate to the Climate Research Board, Assembly of Mathematical and […]
I’ve talked about the importance of choosing appropriate words when you need to introduce new scientific terminology here and here and (loosely) here. With the full moon in its orbit being closer to the Earth than normal, the media has been fixated on the “super moon” being 14% larger and 30% brighter than it normally […]