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The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science

Handbook / Manual

Series: Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing

By: Scott L Montgomery (Author)

228 pages, illustrations, tables

University of Chicago Press

Paperback | Dec 2003 | #137833 | ISBN: 0226534855
Availability: Usually dispatched within 3 days Details
NHBS Price: £13.99 $17/€16 approx
Hardback | Dec 2002 | #215694 | ISBN: 0226534847
Availability: Usually dispatched within 3 days Details
NHBS Price: £38.99 $49/€45 approx

About this book

Whether you are a graduate student or a senior scientist, your reputation rests on the ability to communicate your ideas and data. In this straightforward and accessible guide, Scott L. Montgomery offers detailed, practical advice on crafting every sort of scientific communication, from research papers and conference talks to review articles, interviews with the media, e-mail messages, and more. Montgomery avoids the common pitfalls of other guides by focusing not on rules and warnings but instead on how skilled writers and speakers actually learn their trade-by imitating and adapting good models of expression. Moving step-by-step through samples from a wide variety of scientific disciplines, he shows precisely how to choose and employ such models, where and how to revise different texts, how to use visuals to enhance your presentation of ideas, why writing is really a form of experimentation, and more.

He also traces the evolution of scientific expression over time, providing a context crucial for understanding the nature of technical communication today. Other chapters take up the topics of writing creatively in science; how to design and use graphics; and how to talk to the public about science. Written with humor and eloquence, The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science provides a unique and realistic guide for anyone in the sciences wishing to improve his or her communication skills.

Practical and concise, The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science covers:

- Writing scientific papers, abstracts, grant proposals, technical reports, and articles for the general public
- Using graphics effectively
- Surviving and profiting from the review process
- Preparing oral presentations
- Dealing with the press and the public
- Publishing and the Internet
- Writing in English as a foreign language

"Montgomery wants scientists to cast off the straitjacket of convention when they write for other scientists, or at least to ask a friend to loosen the ties. He covers a huge amount of ground, from papers and review articles to book reviews, technical reports, presentations, and online publishing. He has some excellent practical advice for nervous publishing virgins with writer's block as well as encouragement for more experienced writers flirting coyly with metaphor and the occasional rhetorical flourish."
- New Scientist

"Montgomery's Chicago Guide to Communicating Science has all the authority one would expect from the publishers of The Chicago Manual of Style [...] [He] covers with scholarly grace topics ranging from writing scientific papers and grant proposals to preparing articles for the general public."
- Chris Quigg, Physics Today

"I am pleased to recommend this straightforward, realistic, and accessible guide, which is written with elegance and humor, to anyone – from graduate student to senior scientist – concerned with improving the ffectiveness of communicating scientific ideas or data to colleagues or the general public."
- George B. Kauffman, Chemical Educator

"This guide is a superb one, well written, and a pleasure to read (how often can one say that about a guide to writing for scientists?)."
- Ann C. Jordan-Paker, E-Streams



1. Communicating Science
2. Scientific Communication: Historical Realities for Readers and Writers
3. Reading Well: The First Step to Writing Well
4. Writing Well: A Few Basics
5. Writing Very Well: Opportunities for Creativity and Elegance
6. The Review Process: Contents and Discontents
7. The Scientific Paper: A Realistic View and Practical Advice
8. Other Types of Writing: Review Articles, Book Reviews, Debate/Critique
9. Graphics and Their Place
10. Technical Reports
11. The Proposal
12. For Researchers with English as a Foreign Language
13. Oral Presentations: A Few Words
14. The Online World: Using the Internet
15. Dealing with the Press
16. In Conclusion

Selected Bibliography

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Scott L. Montgomery is a consulting geologist, writer, and independent scholar. He has authored hundreds of papers, articles, monographs, and reports in the geological sciences, as well as several textbooks and translations. He is also the author of several books on the history of science and scientific language, including Science in Translation: Movements of Knowledge through Cultures and Time.

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