Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Complaint about researcher terminology

One of the news articles that just popped up in my random search was a letter to the editor from an Alabama newspaper complaining about the terminology used by NIH-funded researchers. The letter-writer apparently can not understand the research papers he is attempting to read and complains that all researchers should publish in "lay terms".

This complaint made me chuckle. If all researchers starting publishing articles that could be understood by the general public, it would take double the amount of writing to explain the same thing. If people want to read about current research findings, they can visit PubMed and view abstracts for almost anything they want to read. After all, that is the point of the abstract, and the reason NIH instructs us to write it clearly and concisely, right?

I do agree with part of the writer's argument, though. The media could certainly do a better job covering the amazing scientific research studies and findings that happen on a daily basis around the globe. Maybe they should spend less time reporting on Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears and more time showcasing our scientific accomplishments.

I can dream, can't I?

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