Re: Math vs. writing

Subject: Re: Math vs. writing
From: Marilyn_Osterman.Radiology's_Mail_Server_NW040 @OSCAR.RAD.WASHINGTON.EDU
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 1994 10:36:12 U

>> Kimberley Lackey wrote...It is also very well accepted at my university at
least that one cannot be a good writer and a good scienntist. I hope to one
day prove them wrong when I finish my CE degree...but we will see...

My job is to edit papers and grant proposals for scientists doing research in
the Radiology Department. We have physicists, chemists, biologists, etc. all
doing very high level work that I don't begin to understand. One thing that
90% of them have in common is that they lack good writing skills. However, the
ones who have taken the most advantage of my editing services and listen really
do improve over time. Its a learning process and writing wasn't a priority for
them when they were training.

So what's my point? The fact that your university "accepts the fact that one
cannot be a good writer and a good scientist" may simply be that they haven't
made it a big enough priority to teach scientists writing skills. I know the
faculty I work with regret that each and every time they sit down to write.
And what about the other 10%? I copyedit and proofread for them. They're
either natural born writers or they've learned to write somewhere along the
way. But they're out there and with any luck there will be more scientists who
can write by the time I'm through with the other 90%!

Good luck Kimberly.

Marilyn Osterman
osterman -at- u -dot- washington -dot- edu

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