Friday, January 14, 2011

Science writing

Writing in simple words about wonderful big things is an amazing gift. Being able to explain the science, to a non-professional audience is extremely important for the general advancement of knowledge, bringing people closer to the nature, opening the interest for things whose theoretical uniqueness and loneliness might look scary at the first methodological encounter. In the last years, the expansion of the online resources reached the elitist domain and science as well, and the results are impressive: a lot of blogs and scientists present in the social media networks - Twitter, Facebook etc. 
Why do we need science if our background and interests don't have nothing to do with it? Because science is more or less about the world around and we have, as humans, the obligation to know it and respect it, but based on evidences and the reality. In this case, the science writer have an obligation deriving from the ideals of the 18th century Enlightement: bringing light and understanding of the world, for fighting against the darkness of ignorance. 
These are the thoughts coming into my mind a couple of days after a wonderful conference of Ranga Yogeshwar, I attended recently in Berlin, where he had read from his collection of short stories about learning to use the critical thinking. 
Science writing is a good instrument against self-induced and educated ignorance. Smart people need to understand that learning how to write for the public opinion is worthy for the permanence of the scientific spirit. 
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