Science and Industry Quotes
If you can't explain what you're doing and why you're
doing it to any intelligent layman, that really means
that you don't understand it yourself.
Allan Bromley, former President of the American Physical Society
Communicate and we'll win in the end.
David Brower, former Director of the Sierra Club
The aim of science is to discover and illuminate truth.
And that, I take it, is the aim of literature, whether
biography or history or fiction. It seems to me, then,
that there can be no separate literature of science.
Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring
In science the credit goes to the man who convinces the
world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs.
Sir Francis Darwin
If you can't explain something simply, you don't understand
Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.
Everything should be as simple as it can be, yet no simpler
Even for the physicist, the description in plain language will be a criterion of the degree of understanding that has been reached. Werner Heisenberg (Nobel Prize winner in physics)
The grant proposals that are well written are usually
the ones that get the checks.
Dr. Paul (Wyn) Jennings, the National Science Foundation's Program Director of Graduate Research Traineeships
We need to be writing for Congress and the public. We've
been too elitist too long. Scientists want their stories
in the press, but complain when they are misquoted. You
won't get the support you need if others don't understand
what you're doing.
Ruth Kirschstein, Acting NIH Director, to her staff
One way to find out if you have succeeded (in writing
clearly) is to show your draft to colleagues in other
specialties. If they do not understand, neither, very
probably, will The Lancet's staff.
It is impossible to disassociate language from science...To
call forth a concept, a word is needed.
Antoine Lavoisier (generally considered to be "the father of modern chemistry")
Clear writing is an essential ingredient of any communication
and especially scientific communication. For example,
in Science, we don't encourage clear writing, we insist
Dr. Alan Leshner, CEO, AAAS
Vague forms of speech have so long passed for mysteries
of science; and hard words mistaken for deep learning,
that it will not be easy to persuade either those who
speak or those who hear them, that they are but a hindrance
to true knowledge.
John Locke, 1690
Write for a scientist in another field. Don't underestimate
your readers' intelligence, but don't overestimate their
knowledge of a particular field. When writing about science,
don't simplify the science; simplify the writing.
Julie Ann Miller, Editor of Science News
I have made this letter longer that usual because I lack
the time to make it shorter.
Without the crucial ability to write clearly and forcefully, you will find the process of getting support for your work more difficult. David Porush, author of A Short Guide to Writing about Science, talking about applying for research funds.
If you cannot - in the long run - tell everyone what
you have been doing, your doing has been worthless.
Erwin Schrodinger (Nobel Prize winner in physics)
Clarity begins at home.
Edie Schwager, American Medical Writers Association
Whatever is worth saying can be stated in fifty words
Stan Ulam, world-famous mathematician