Presentation

Non-verbal Presentation

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Guide

Presentation Guide

Introduction – Napoleon Dynamite clip (0:25-1:00): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr7djGY1fhA

Overall Theme – Expressing Yourself

Charades – Music, Major, TV

Topics:

Conclusion – Napoleon Dynamite clip (2:05-2:25): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr7djGY1fhA

The Nerdy Writings that All People Enjoy

As the science and technology develop and change every second, there are many essays and books that carries about science and technology. Like Miller said, “scientists seeing an opportunity to produce the more expansive book they’ve always wanted to write about their field or about science more generally,” scientist and authors write and publish science and technology books to inform new discoveries or verify the theories or concepts they
have worked on.  In my opinion, the writing about science and technology concern about both audience and purpose very well. For some writings, such as research paper, authors more focus on the purpose, result, and their thoughts. However, there are many writings that more focus on audience and instruction such as textbooks and children books. Also, both types of science and technology writings fulfill their purpose; verifying the new discovery or informing and teaching people. In addition, for audience, authors use data, graphs, observations, etc. to convince readers.

However, even though there are many writings about science and technology for “audience” while fulfilling the purpose, What about textbooks in science field? I understand that students need to learn vocabularies, scientific terms and information to work in specific science or technology area. However, what about high school students who are taking AP or college students who take science classes generally? What if they get so bored while they read textbooks and do not want to study those and change their future dream? Are those books for audience?  Do those books reach their purposes, teaching people? Like some teachers use YouTube videos or some cool materials to make students interested in science topics or studies, textbooks can give something funny and reality examples or pictures so students can understand easily and also learn the new materials. Authors of scientific and technological writings put a lot of effort to publish their books and inform their knowledge to people. The development of science and technology is in progress because of their passion and efforts. It is important that people should have some specific knowledge to understand those writings. However, to fulfill the purpose of informing, authors can try different methods to convey their purposes to readers and all readers enjoy and get new ideas from those.

Science and Technology Writings

Science itself is a complex subject. Based on Miller’s ideas, it is clear that he believes only scientists should write about scientific things. Although this makes sense, I strongly disagree. Fimmle’s piece was difficult to understand because it was directed towards an audience of other scientists. It was not written for just anyone to understand. Shapin and Shaffer’s and Bryson’s writings were much easier to understand because they weren’t experts on the subjects that they wrote about. Scientific and Technological writings need to be accurate, but don’t necessarily need to by dry and confusing. It is acceptable for scientists to write about scientific things when they are communicating with each other. For the general public I believe that scientific writings should be written in the way that Bryson writes. It should be easy to follow and explain concepts, but should also have sources from scientists, or be edited by scientists to ensure that the information is correct.

I should be writing in the same way that Bryson does because I am not an expert in a scientific field. I also would not be writing for an audience of scientists where I would need to write like Fimmle. As of now, writing like Bryson for everyday people is acceptable because I am not a scientist, but I would like to be able to write like Shapin and Shaffer at one point. They did not write as extensively about science as Fimmel, but still had more facts and knowledge than Bryson. Anyone can read Bryson’s writings, but we need to be able to advance, and after understanding the basic concepts of the subject, we need to be able to understand works like Shapin and Shaffer’s and eventually even Fimmle’s writings.

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.

The Science of Writing

Writing about science and technology can be a daunting task given the often complex nature of its subject matter. Before understanding why most metals are thermal and electrical conductors, for example, you must first understand the way in which metal atoms bond, which requires further knowledge of the attraction between ions and electrons, which in itself requires a fundamental knowledge of what electrons, protons, etc are. Because technology and science constantly builds upon itself like this, writing about science and technology can be lengthy if the writer tries to explain everything, or the piece can be specialized, requiring a little to a lot of prior knowledge and expertise in the subject, if the writer seeks to only discuss a particular topic. Beyond simply explaining the significance and mechanics of a scientific find or technical development, details into how something was discovered or created can also be an issue in writing about technology and science, as the procedures that led to the discovery can sometimes seem complicated or arbitrary without the history behind the discovery or the background of the inventor. This leads to the heart of the problem with writing about scientific and technical matters; what is the proper balance between the background or narrative of the discovery and the explanation of the discovery and its significance?

To answer this question, the purpose of the writing and its intended audience must be considered. Unfortunately, extremely technical papers riddled with field specific terminology tend not to be the most thrilling readings, so, if the purpose of the writer’s work is to interest its reader, they should probably avoid using complex terms and explanations and write simplistically about the discovery and its historical context. Dually, if an author seeks to inform its readers, diverging from the significance of a discovery and relaying what the scientist or engineer behind it enjoys doing in their spare time is highly inappropriate. Even when writing for the purpose of explaining, though, the writer must direct their work towards even more specific audiences ranging, for instance, from high school students to accomplished astrophysicists. Students may not understand or appreciate the significance of the cosmic censorship hypothesis in determining the structures of singularities the way an astrophysicist would, and I doubt astrophysicists enjoy reading about topics as basic as the formation of cations and anions. Thus informative papers must distinguish a basis of common knowledge for the audience and build upon that basis according to their subject. Overall, writing, even in regards to science and technology, is not an exact science. There are many ways to write scientific and technological papers, but catering a paper to a desired reader and with a specific intent is standard and must be considered at all times.

The Newest Scientific Discovery: Understandable Scientific Discovery

            Scientific writings are currently designed for the purpose of informing other qualified scientists as to new discoveries that have been made.  This mentality concerning displays of scientific progress is alarmingly harmful to the general community and our ability to understand much of what effects us today.  Science affects us today, from new developments in computer science to discovering the newest genetic engineering of organisms.  How are we supposed to react to the new progressions in these areas, however, when we can’t understand what the discovery is?  Some of the most useful discoveries are ones that have been explained in a simplistic style.  The wheel, for example, has revolutionized society since its prehistoric invention.  What makes it so powerful is our ability to take a well understood discovery and apply it to so many different areas of our lives.  Naturally, the argument that the simplicity of the wheel allows us to apply it so generally will be presented.  So maybe a better example is something such as a battery.  Batteries, although a seemingly complicated method of transferring electrons to create a potential difference, has been explained in such a way that people understand their potential use and function.  For that reason, people have been able to use them for very wide range of applications.  Allowing the general public to recognize potential applications of technological progress is beneficial to all, including the scientific community.

            For this reason, I feel that currently complicated subjects such as a scientific discovery should be written in simple terms that everybody can understand.  Naturally, some more complicated terminology is required in order to keep the paper concise and on topic, but keeping terminology simple enough to be understood by the maximum number of people with the minimum addition of effort cannot hurt.  We all know the theory that if an infinite number of monkeys type randomly, one will eventually type a Shakespeare play.  Applying this theorem to scientific discovery and humans magnifies this effect.  Having millions or billions of people understanding and thinking about a new scientific discovery is bound to lead to even more findings.  Another example as to why scientific papers should be expressed in a sensible fashion is this: If somebody designs a method of creating a time machine, but can’t explain to anyone how to actually do it, the time machine will never be built.  This is why writing in terms that more people can understand is beneficial, and even necessary.  To me, however, this does not equate to writing to the general public.  I encourage researchers to publish their findings with other scientists in mind; after all, the other scientists are the most likely to find progress first off of those results.  Still, even scientists of the highest caliber need to be able to explain their discoveries to somebody to have any effect at all.  The scientific community thrives on everybody publishing their results in an effort to gain credit and allow further discoveries to be made, and we should not assume they should eliminate that method of technological process.  We should assist that process by giving them more minds to think on the topics, not prevent them from doing so by requiring us to be the recipients of all of the knowledge.