This. This is why good writing is important. I’ll return to this topic (again and again, probably, because there is no topic that deserves good writing more than science) but for now, read this and enjoy. It’s splendid.
By Vicky Fraser
Years ago now, I recall a senior scientist who’d read a piece of my work saying doubtfully, ‘It’s very well-written. Very literary.’ The implication was clear: ‘But is it good science?’
With hindsight, I can agree: that particular effort wasn’t ace. I can’t even remember its title, and the obscurity’s well-deserved. What did stick was my surprise that my colleague (undoubtedly a good scientist) saw good science and good writing as not just independent, but even perhaps opposed, since science is all about precision and language is irretrievably vague.
Years later, I still have a problem with this.
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