Field of Science

Writing Science: Itchy Writing

We're moving onto looking at science journalism.

Writing out of the lab - how well does translation work between the scholarly scientific literature and the newspaper or magazine? What is most likely to get lost? What gets added? Should popular science writers be/have been scientists? Should scientists have editorial control over articles written about their work? Should there be (are there) ethical rules for how science can be popularized?

Questions on the table How does the narrative work in that piece versus the shorter pieces? How is scientific language deployed? is it decorative or iconic or instructive? The titles? What did they promise versus deliver?

Several of my students began Atul Gawande's piece thinking it was fiction - what are the clues that suggest this is science reporting embedded in a riveting narrative? Several others had read it almost three years ago (when it appeared in June of 2008) and still remembered the article (as did I!) - what is so compelling about The Itch?

Writing prompt
Write about a time you itched. The itch could be literal or metaphorical. Five minutes.

Up next? Do not use dialect unless your ear is good

"Clipping" was generated by from this blog post: Sex and the scientist

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