Self expression is an important survival tool. When babies are born, they express basic needs through crying. However, it seems not all cries are created equal. An Australian performer, Priscilla Dunstan, claimed to be able to differentiate her baby’s cries into ones expressing hunger, sleepiness, or discomfort. Children later on learn their mother tongues to convey more complex needs, feelings, and ideas. They soon learn to employ different forms of verbal and non-verbal communication in pursuit of their desires. Years later, some of these children become scientists who need to communicate their hypotheses and findings to peers, supporters, industrialists, and the public.
Scientists are engaged in different forms of professional communication. In the laboratory, they communicate with colleagues to plan and execute experiments. Up to this point, most of us are doing well. Then comes the discussion of results and findings. Here, things start to get a bit tricky depending on the audience. The majority of scientists can explain their work to their direct colleagues but it gets more difficult when they try to reach a broader, less specialized audience. It gets even more difficult when scientists must write and disseminate their findings. The majority of the scientists I know keep postponing the writing process because they don’t know where to start, or doubt their findings and are on an eternal journey to seek the ultimate proof.
The truth is, we all need advice, back up, support, or feedback every once in a while. That’s why I started the “writing tips” blog to share the small tips and pieces of advice I’ve picked up along the way. Most of these tips I’ve picked up in writing workshops with world renowned science writers. So I definitely encourage you to attend one if you have the time and funds for it. If not, you can still contact me and we can arrange a solution that fits all.