Scientists Speak Funny

chalk board with lots of math equations scribbled on it
Courtesy of WildAboutMath.

Scientists often talk about their work only with other scientists within their specialized research field. As a result, they spend years learning to speak in a technical dialect full of acronyms and jargon that is difficult for others to understand.

If the person off the street can’t understand you, is that a sign that you’re incredibly smart and well educated? Actually, in my opinion it means the opposite. If you really understand something, then you should be able to explain it to anyone. You shouldn’t have to rely on jargon or math. And you should also be able to explain why the concept is relevant to “real” life.

So, my challenge for this science blog is to be able to communicate about science using every day language. I spend much of my time at work writing dry technical publications, reports and grants. This is my attempt to talk in a more conversational way about science news and what it is like to be a woman scientist.

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Author: Jennifer Huber

As a Ph.D. physicist and research scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, I gained extensive experience in medical imaging and technical writing. Now, I am a full-time freelance science writer and science-writing instructor. I've lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of my life and I frequently enjoy the eclectic cultural, culinary and outdoor activities available in the area.

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