Writing: Brains, Science, and Words


As a follow-up to the Virginia Heffernan piece, here’s something in a rather different tone. As I was exploring the reactions to Heffernan’s take on science blogging (a take with numerous faults, yes, yes, but also some valid points), I came across two things that delighted me, as they actually focused on writing.

Livia Blackburne has an engaging blog over at A Brain Scientist’s Take on Writing. Her most recent post, The Power of Touch, moves from touch to the scaffolded mind and onto touch imagery, including coverage of recent experimental data. She’s also has a post on fMRI and reading, which she then uses to discuss how to think about narrative in novel ways. And there’s some good comments on that post as well.

Over at Not Exactly Rocket Science, Ed Yong started a post where science writers of all stripes have shared their getting-started stories in On the Origin of Science Writers. Ed, whom I admire for how he does science journalism, starts off with his, then Carl Zimmer follows with the next one, and from there you’ve got another 110 stories to explore.

For the anthropologists who might be feeling left out, I wrote a little (well, a lot!) about how we can reach a broader audience, and much of that has to do with the way we write. Some of the ideas are, I hope, equally relevant to science writing.

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