Science Writing

Category archives for Science Writing

Alternatives to Lab Reports?

An academic email list that I’m on has started a discussion of lab writing, pointing out that students in some lab classes spend more time on writing lab reports in a quasi-journal-article format format than they do taking and analyzing data. This “feels ” wrong in many ways, and the person who kicked off the…

In the Open Lab 2010

It occurs to me that I’m kind of dropping the ball on my shameless self-promotion because I haven’t mentioned that one of my posts made the cut for this year’s fifth edition of the best-of-science-blogging anthology The Open Laboratory. The post included is Science Is More Like Sumo Than Soccer, a discussion of the importance…

Science Is Not Irreducibly Complex

The poor coverage of science in the media is an evergreen topic in blogdom, to the point where I’ve mostly stopped clicking on links to those sorts of pieces. This ScienceProgress post about newsroom culture bugged me, though, and it took me a while to figure out the problem. The author worked as a reporter…

Entangled in Sports Analogies

Having written in defense of analogies in physics yesterday, I should note that not all of the analogies that are brought out in an attempt to clarify physics concepts are good. For example, there’s this incredibly strained opening to a Science News article on entanglement: If the Manning brothers were quantum physicists as well as…

Warped Passages by Lisa Randall

I have nothing useful or interesting to say about electoral politics, but I suspect that’s all people will want to read about today. So here’s a book post that’s been backlogged for quite a while. Lisa Randall’s Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions dates from 2005, and was, I think, part…

There’s a blog post making the rounds of the science blogosphere titled If Sports Got Reported Like Science, which imagines the effect of applying the perceived restriction on scientific terminology to sports reporting: HOST: In sports news, Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti today heavily criticised a controversial offside decision which denied Didier Drogba a late equaliser,…

I am currently on a committee looking to set some standards for technical writing in the introductory engineering sequence (which means the first two terms of physics, as they constitute 50-67% of the classes common to all first-year engineers). One of our jobs is to come up with a list of skills that we want…

Via Twitter, Michael Barton is looking for some good books about physics. I was Twitter-less for a few days around the period of his request, and this is a more-than-140-characters topic if ever there was one, so I’m turning it into a blog post. The reason for the request is that he’s going to be…

Last week’s Seven Essential Elements of Quantum Physics post sparked a fair bit of discussion, though most of it was at the expert level, well above the level of the intended audience. such is life in the physics blogosphere. I think it’s worth a little time to unpack some of the disagreement, though, as it…

I’m typing this from the local Barnes and Noble, waiting for the dealership next door to finish changing my oil and inspecting my car. Sadly, they don’t have How to Teach Physics to Your Dog on the shelves in their (rather small) science section. Grump, grump, grump. The disappointment at not immediately finding it on…