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Writing Science (2)

已有 2534 次阅读 2013-5-4 21:46 |系统分类:科研笔记

Some sentences or phrases from Schimel, 2011<Writing Science>, share with you: 

A paper tells a story about nature and how it works.

how to become better storytellers and better communicators, that is something we can all work on.

Ensuring that science is used properly requires more than just presenting facts to decision makers.

Our inability to communicate outside the narrow confines of our specializations undermines our ability to influence policy and to generate new sources of funding.

Doing so will make us more effective with each other, with our professional translators (science journalists like Kolbert), with policy makers, and with the public.

raw data have limited direct value and are usually interpretable by only a small group of experts

Data --> Information --> Knowledge --> Understanding

The role of scientists is to collect data and transform them into understanding.

The further along the path from data to understanding you can take your work and your papers, the more people will be able to assimilate your contributions and use them to motivate their own work and ideas -- and that should be your goal.

develop your story from the bottom up, then tell it from the top down

Only by exploring the boundaries and limits of your data can you find the important story

She was exploring the issues to deepen our thinking, to ensure we found the story that tied together the sometimes apparently contradictory data, and to identify issues that might trip us up later.

Let the story grow from the data and then structure the paper to tell the story.

There are three aspects to effective storytelling. The first is content -- what makes a story engage and stay with us? The second is structure -- how do you put together that content to make it easy for us to get? The third is language -- how do you write the story in the most compelling way possible?

A sticky idea is an idea that is more likely to make a difference.

Ideas that stick tend to be simple.

A simple idea contains the core essence of an important idea in a clear compact way. Simple ideas have power.

It is important, however, to distinguish simple messages that capture the essence of an issue from those that are just "simplistic".

These simple ideas don't explain the details and fine fabric of natural systems, but they do provide a large structure on which more complex dynamics elaborate.

I have to make things simplistic enough that I can understand them.

Cutting through the clutter to see the simple in the complex is what distinguishes great scientists from the merely competent.

I have always felt that I don't understand something until I can draw a cartoon to explain it.

The pain of an embarrassing review lasts a few days, the pain of an embarrassing paper last a lifetime.


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