Who should write about science and technology?

Science and technology fields are based on very specific, dense information. If only scientists wrote about their work, common people would never understand their writings, as they would be too complex. In order  for non-scientists to recognize the innovative works of professional scientists, the information needs to be presented in a way they can comprehend. Based off of the readings we did in class, Stimmel’s work would be best understood and appreciated by his fellow scientists. He writes with the assumption that his audience is familiar with his field and they can clearly follow his experiment and findings. In reality, only a certain group of people are able to read his work and know what he is talking about. In order for the work to be understood by all, writers such as Shapin and Schaffer and Bryson translate the material into language that can be understood by people not educated in the field of science or technology. Their work is equally important because the work needs to be adjusted according to the audience. Shapin and Schaffer include more scientific information than Bryson because their audience is more familiar with the topic, but not experts like Stimmel. Bryson’s readers appreciate his conversational tone of writing, which helps them identify with the information. Each of these types of writing are equally important because of the wide range of readers. If any one of these types of writing were left out, a vast audience would not have a way of grasping the scientist’s findings.


In my writings, I try to use the tactics of Shapin and Schaffer and Bryson. I am not currently an expert on any field, so I would not write anything as specific and specialized as Stimmel. I want my readers to be able to understand what I am writing about, but also learn from the material, much like Shapin and Schaffer’s work. In my own reading, I prefer Bryson’s style of writing but in the future I want to challenge myself by reading more dense material.


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