Science Writing

Category archives for Science Writing

As you may or may not know, I’m currently at work on a book called How to Think Like a Scientist. This raises the fairly obvious question in the post title, namely, why should people think like scientists? What’s the point? In a sense, this is (as Ethan Zuckerman pointed out at lunch the other…

Science In Different Voices

One of the things that’s been rattling around in my head since ScienceOnline back in January is the need for a greater diversity of voices in science communication generally. I don’t mean diversity in the sense of racial and gender make-up of the people doing the communication, though that would be nice, I mean a…

Science Online Advice: Writing Books

Last Friday, when I didn’t have any time to blog, Zen Faulkes wrote an interesting wrap-up post on Science Online 2013 in which he declared he won’t be back. Not because it was a bad time, but because other people would benefit from it more, and his not going frees up a spot for somebody…

This is the second post in which I’m pulling a revise-and-extend job on some things I said at Science Online at a few panels on bloggy stuff: in the how-to-do-outreach session (posted yesterday, the blogging long term session, and the what-to-do-when-people-start-taking-you-seriously session. In order to get these out in a timely manner, while catching up…

I ended up feeling that my most valuable contribution to the Science Online meeting (other than boosting the income of the Marriott’s bartenders) was providing experienced commentary and advice from a slightly different angle than a lot of the other participants. A bunch of this got tweeted out by other people in the sessions, but…

This has been out for a little while now, and Chris has been promoting it very heavily, and it’s sort of interesting to see the reactions. It’s really something of a Rorschach blot of a book, with a lot of what’s been written about it telling you more about what the writer wants to be…

There’s been a bunch of discussion recently about philosophy of science and whether it adds anything to science. Most of this was prompted by Lawrence Krauss’s decision to become the Nth case study for “Why authors should never respond directly to bad reviews,” with some snide comments in an interview in response to a negative…

Always Write the Introduction Last

Here are some excerpts from the introductory sections of the very first drafts of some book chapters: [BLAH, BLAH, BLAHBITTY BLAH] and [Introductory blather goes here] and Blah, blah, stuff, blather. There’s a good reason for this, based on the basics of scientific writing, namely that the Introduction should give the reader a rough guide…

As I’ve said a bazillion times already this term, I’m teaching a class that is about research and writing, with a big final paper due at the end of the term. Because iterative feedback is key to learning to write, they also have to turn in a complete rough draft, which I will mark up…

Why So Many Theorists?

When I was looking over the Great Discoveries series titles for writing yesterday’s Quantum Man review, I was struck again by how the Rutherford biography by Richard Reeves is an oddity. Not only is Rutherford a relatively happy fellow– the book is really lacking in the salacious gossip that is usually a staple of biography,…