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Writing and science

Kevin P. O'Connell oconne18 at pilot.msu.edu
Sun Jan 8 11:02:00 EST 1995

In Article <3eo47j$rde at cville-srv.wam.umd.edu> "theoblit at wam.umd.edu (Jason Taylor)" says:
> Re: writing:  Now give the old timers a break.  They do more than
> write proposals, etc.  They think sometimes too.  By the way, just
> because you write, that doesn't make you a writer, which I wouldthink
> means someone who writes fiction or non-fiction books or popular
> articles for a living; I mean, if you are a scientist who changes your
> own oil does that suddenly make you a mechanic too? 
> --
> Jason Taylor | "Doctor, don't cut so deep!  
>              |  That's the third operating table you've ruined this week!"
No, not at all.  However, if they changed oil in order to pay part of 
their salaries and keep their labs afloat, and used car fixing as a medium
for the exchange of ideas, then yup, I'd call them mechanics at least 
part of the time.  I certainly did not wish to demean "the old-timers" in
my comment about writing, and as for thinking, I figured that was just 
part of the package of writing (now don't get cute here!).  Most faculty 
members I know write about the science that is done in their labs and other
labs in their field in order to sustain themselves and their labs.  I am
also believe that science uncommunicated is science undone, which makes
writing every bit as important in my view of science as pipetting.  
(Flame off.)

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