Good Science writing
Good science writing is essential when working in the field of MND research. Not only can good science writing improve your written communication skills it can also improve your ability to adapt your writing style to a variety of audiences.
The key questions you should address when writing about science are:
- Does the piece explain the research accurately and in a way that is easy to understand (aka no jargon)?
- Have you explained why the research was done and why it is important (what is the point to this research)?
- Is it written in an engaging, interesting way for the correct audience (scientists, clinicians and health and social care professionals)?
When writing about MND research the emphasis should be on an accurate and comprehensible portrayal of the research rather than ‘popularising’ it.
Another thing to remember when writing about science is to think of the ‘key message’ you want your readers to take away with them. Once you know your key message you need to introduce it clearly, explain it in more detail and summarise at the end (tell them, tell them again and tell them some more!).
Analogies are a great way to explain complex scientific principles clearly, and when used well they can be highly effective in science writing. For example, explaining upper and lower motor neurones as motorways and dual carriageways is a great way for the audience to visualise and relate to.
Belinda Cupid, Head of Research at the MND Association, has written a blog post about good science writing, after attending the ‘Access to Understanding Science writing Competition’ award ceremony, which you can read here.
You can find more useful information on the Access to Understanding website.
Twitter is an excellent place for researchers and academics. Not only can you easily share and promote your research, but you can also be kept up to date with conferences and grant deadlines within your field of interest. Twitter also enables you to view other research publications in your area quickly, along with recent, relevant news stories.