Re: Science Writing

Subject: Re: Science Writing
From: Randy Allen Harris <raha -at- WATARTS -dot- UWATERLOO -dot- CA>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1993 17:21:17 -0500

Funny you should ask, Alicia.

I'm teaching a course this term on science writing (which I've just come
back from), mostly because the students needed it, rather than because I
know what I'm talking about. Fortunately, I've been able to draw on a
goodly amount of local talent, so we have guest speakers virtually every
week. All of them have included advice very much like Joe's: it is very
tough to make a living at; don't quit your day job; pursue publication
relentlessly. But they've all still endorsed it heavily for various other
reasons, mostly having to do with personal fulfillment. I've tried it
myself (though I'm not at all sure how successfully), and I'd also endorse
it. It combines (or can combine) the clarity and precision of technical
writing with more freedom of expression and potentially more aesthetic

So far, we've had speakers (practioners) on newspaper science writing,
biomedical writing, environmental writing, collaborative science writing,
science writing for children, and radio-and-TV science writing, as well as
a hoot of a mock press conference featuring a guy who makes insect-like
robots out of broken calculators, fritzed-out Walkmans, and other trash.
We also read and discuss examples of science writing. The students and I
have been enjoying it all immensely; their work (about one 900 word story a
week) is mosly wonderful and getting wonderfuller.

-------======= * =======-------
Randy Allen Harris
raha -at- watarts -dot- uwaterloo -dot- ca

Rhetoric and Professional Writing, Department of English, University of
Waterloo, Waterloo ON N2L 3G1, CANADA; 519 885-1211, x5362; FAX: 519 884-8995

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