short post 7

Final short post of the week. This has been a good exercise for me, I think. 

I read an essay by Steve Pinker today about academese writing, it’s origins and just why, even within a field, academic writing can be so opaque. It was a long, but interesting read. And I am guilty of the academese style myself.

Some of it is lack of training. We focus on research, not writing even though that is a key component of science. If a hypothesis is proposed and no one can write it down, was it posed at all? There’s more to it, but it is one of those things that really has always bothered me about academia.

I’ve discovered that I want to be more of a creator. A collaborator, a communicator. Beyond just the narrow confines where I’ve been cloistered my entire academic career. It is letting light in through the cracks that are now bigger than even in my mental world (whereas before, I felt very locked in a box). So there’s progress, but being able to feel like getting ideas out is OK is something academia needs to work on more.

We may wall all be impostors, after all, teh nature of science is that yes, we know a lot empirically, but also live in a very uncertain world where things can change.

I’m probably guilty of academese in my blog posts.



Author: Ian Street

Ian is a plant scientist and science writer relating stories of plant science and scientists on his blog, The Quiet Branches as well as other outlets. You can find him on Twitter @IHStreet.

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