[ASC-list] Personalising science for scientists?

Jesse Shore jesse at prismaticsciences.com
Fri Oct 28 16:05:36 UTC 2011


Personalising science for scientists? 

 

There is an interesting blog entry in physicsworld.com titled “Should
scientific papers be written in a first-person narrative?” by James Dacey,
http://physicsworld.com/blog/2011/10/should_scientific_papers_be_wr.html.
It’s really a teaser for people to cast their vote on physicsworld’s
Facebook page but it raises an interesting aspect of science communication. 

 

Sci-commers have regularly posed the value of having a more narrative tone
for papers only to be told that the science journals won’t accept papers
written in that style. 

 

Is there a need for journals to change their editorial formats? If there is
change I imagine it would be at a glacially slow rate unless there is some
worldwide paradigm shift in science report writing. 

 

The question is also related to the communication skills of scientists. Some
are superb communicators but many lack the skills to weave a compelling
story which supports their thesis. Many ASC members make their livelihoods
partly because of the preponderance of the latter. We also recognise that
scientists need time to do science, and crafting a cracking communiqué is
usually time-consuming. 

 

Yet I wonder whether more readable papers would become more popular among
scientists and get increasingly cited? That may not make for better science
but could lead to academic promotion.

 

What are the reasons for scientific journals to welcome relevant narrative
in papers?

 

How many science communicators does it take to change a scientist’s
narrative light bulb?

 

Can you suggest other interesting opinions about personalising scientific
papers?

 

Is this worthy of a session at the national conference?

 

 

Cheers, 
Jesse

 

Jesse Shore

President, Australian Science Communicators, 2011

 <http://www.asc.asn.au/> http://www.asc.asn.au/ 

 

Jesse Shore PhD
Science Communicator
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