Filed under Science Writing

Avoiding the Temptation to Use Jargon

For science writers, this guideline is almost universal: don’t use jargon. But using jargon is an easy crutch when trying to describe something that’s complicated. It’s tempting to use one word to describe a scientific concept, rather than search for a jumble of general terms (that have the caveat of being inaccurate or misleading) to … Continue reading

Discovering Open Science

A topic that has captured my interest this past month is “open science,” a movement that promotes collaboration among scientists on research questions by using digital tools, such as open source software and blogs. In my opinion, right now is an exciting time to be a science communicator. We’re heading into a golden age of … Continue reading

How Soon Do We Start Yawning?

Yawing is a universal sign for sleepiness and boredom. Yawns are also contagious — observing a person yawn creates an empathetic chain reaction in others. In general, researchers believe that yawning is an arousal mechanism. Some theories suggest that yawns flush carbon dioxide out of our bodies, and others that yawning cools the brain. Some … Continue reading

What is the Appeal of Science Writing?

At the risk of sounding cliché, this question came to me in a dream last night. I’ll spare you all of the wacky details surrounding the key question. In summary, I was attending a panel discussion featuring a successful bearded and bespectacled science writer (no one in particular, perhaps a composite of writers who inhabit … Continue reading