Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Want quick publicity? Send out a press release on your unpublished manuscript!

January 24, 2014   Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri, Publishing  

As this article from describes, yet again someone has received a lot of media attention for their unpublished research. This time the study was on the eventual decline of Facebook. The slate article does a fine job of undermining the premises of the paper and showing them not to be valid (particularly the one […]

Lee Grenci is mad as hell about the use of “polar vortex” in the media.

January 24, 2014   Filed under Blog, Featured  

He’s not taking it anymore.

Sell no manuscript before its time

January 18, 2014   Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing, Writing  

This classic TV advertisement from the late 1970s features Orson Welles proclaiming that Paul Masson winery will not sell its wine until it is ready. Unfortunately, many authors “sell” their manuscript to journals before they are ready to enter peer review. The manuscripts are often sloppy, lacking careful proofreading. References are not in the proper […]

More on plain writing in the government

January 9, 2014   Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing  

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. 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 […]

Tornadoes and the “Clash of the Air Masses”

November 26, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri  

Ever seen media reports talk about how tornadoes form in the central United States? It always seems to start with warm air from the south meeting cold air from the north. Need some examples? How about these? USA Today: The Independent: KTBC Fox News, Austin, Texas: The BBC: National Geographic: I […]

Twenty tips for interpreting scientific claims

November 21, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Resources, Reviewing, Writing  

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. […]

Epic Fail: What a Perfectly Putrid Poster Can Do for You

November 15, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Humor, Posters  

Nice article in Eos by Paul Cooper and Julia Galkiewicz who define a PPP (Perfectly Putrid Poster).

From the “You’ve Got to Be Kidding” Category…

November 11, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Humor, Writing  

I wonder if these authors chose this title, just to get the attention. Anyway, here it is.

Interview with Scientia Crastina

November 11, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, News, Potpourri  

I did this great interview with Olle Bergman who runs the web page Scientia Crastina, which bills itself as “communication skills for the scientists of tomorrow”. Thanks, Olle! Readers, I hope you enjoy the interview. I had fun answering the questions that Olle posed for me!

Teaching Quantum Physics to Children: Ellie the Electron

November 10, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri  

Ellie the Electron is a children’s story about an electron who wants to be the star of the show. It was written by Dr. Yvette Hancock, a lecturer in Physics at the University of York. Yvette has done many outreach activities to promote physics to students (such as her Institute of Physics lecture at the […]

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