Science Writing

Category archives for Science Writing

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…

On Market Rates

There’s been a bit of a kerfuffle in the SF blogosphere about what writers should be paid for short fiction, which has led to a lot of people posting lists of their short fiction and what they were paid for it (Scalzi has links to most of them). This naturally leads me to wonder what…

My panel on “Communicating Science in the 21st Century” was last night at the Quantum to Cosmos Festival at the Perimeter Institute. I haven’t watched the video yet– Canadian telecommunications technology hates me, and I’m lucky to get a wireless connection to stay up for more than ten minutes– but if the video feeds I’ve…

Taking Off for the Great White North

I’m heading to the airport right after my second class today (I’m doing two weeks of our first-year seminar class), to appear at the Quantum to Cosmos Festival at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo. This promises to be a good event– I had a great time at the Science in the 21st Century workshop last…

Don’t Be Such a Scientist by Randy Olson

This book is, in some ways, a complement to Unscientific America. Subtitled “Talking Substance in an Age of Style,” this is a book talking about what scientists need to do to improve the communication of science to the general public. This is not likely to make as big a splash in blogdom as Unscientific America,…

I’m a late addition to a Sunday panel at Worldcon: Science Blogging – The New Science Journalism? Touted as a new way of reaching the public, has science blogging matched its initial promise? Has it caused more problems than it solves? Well? What do you all think?

Academic Poll: Paper Torture

I’m sitting here finding new and inventive ways to not write the pedagogical paper I’m working on at the moment. This seems like a good excuse for a poll! The hardest part of writing a paper is:(survey) As you can tell from the list of elements, I have scientific papers in mind, here, but other…

No, this isn’t another “How dare those journalists muddle the explanation of some scientific topic” post. The concept here is journalism itself, as seen in Ed Yong’s discussion of different modes of science journalism. Writing about the recent World Conference of Science Journalists, he talks about some controversy over what “science journalism” actually means: Certainly,…

Popularization Is Its Own Reward?

One of the major problems contributing to the dire situation described in Unscientific America is that the incentives of academia don’t align very well with the public interest. Academic scientists are rewarded– with tenure, promotion, and salary increases– for producing technical, scholarly articles, and not for writing for a general audience. There is very little…