Barbara W. Sarnecka

Nov 2, 2022

The Writing Workshop

Write More, Write Better, Be Happier in Academia


Listen to this interview of Barbara Sarnecka, Professor of Cognitive Sciences and Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies for Social Sciences, University of California, Irvine. We talk about putting your mind in print. She is the author of The Writing Workshop: Write More, Write Better, Be Happier in Academia.

Barbara Sarnecka : "The more quantitative a person's field of study is, the more likely they are to say that they just don't think that writing is a big requirement in their field. And they'll say, 'Well, writing isn't very important. I'm a biologist.' They imagine that writing is somehow for people in the humanities, or it's for playwrights or novelists, or something like that. But whenever anyone fails to be productive as a scientist, it's because they're not writing. It's because they're not publishing manuscripts or they're not producing funding proposals that are getting funded. It's not because they don't have enough ideas for experiments, or because they didn't collect enough data, or because they didn't learn to analyze the data properly. Those things are all kind of trivially easy, and that's why we can subcontract them to graduate students or the statistical consulting center or somebody to do them for us. You can't get somebody else to think for you, and you can't get somebody else to write for you."

  • Find about more about Barbara, including why she chose to self-publish, in this interview.
  • Read the research on Barbara's writing-shop intervention here.
  • Read the research on cascading mentorship here and here
  • Contact Barbara's editor at

Daniel Shea is committed to helping scientists write at their best. Contact me at

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Daniel Shea

I am committed to helping scientists write at their best. To this end, I founded the Graduate Communication Services, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. Here I work in the unique role of textician. Want to know more? Contact me at
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