David Lindsay

Dec 7, 2022

Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words

CSIRO Publishing 2020

Listen to this interview of David Lindsay, emeritus professor of the University of Western Australia. We talk about his book Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words (CSIRO Publishing, 2020) and how your hypothesis can save the communication of your research.

David Lindsay : "It's quite unfortunate that we're training our undergraduates in science this way. I mean, undergraduates know that when they write something, for example, a protocol to be graded—undergraduates know that their professors are seeking to find out whether the student knows something about the subject. So, as long as there's any semblance at all in the text that the student knows something about the subject, well, then the professor ticks a box and marks the student accordingly. This just encourages undergraduates to dump knowledge, to be writing any sort of rubbish just so long as something substantial-like bubbles out of it that seems to suggest that they have a reasonable understanding of the subject. But when these same undergrads get to the point of writing this way for scientific publication, well, then it all comes crashing down, because they can't just throw information together and hope that reviewers or editors will say, 'Oh, yeah, I think I can see what you mean. You know stuff.'"

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Daniel Shea

I am committed to helping scientists write at their best. Every year that I've helped scientists has added 365 days to my love for the English language. I am the founder of the Program for Research Communication, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. Here I work in the unique role of textician. Want to know more? Contact me at daniel.shea@kit.edu
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