Another good science story.

I have been a bit harsh with science writers on a few occasions, though this has often been in good fun. I actually have a lot of respect for (good) science writers, and I think their job is a very important one — which is why I think it is critical that they do it well. If they were irrelevant, they would garner no attention from scientist-commentators like me.

A few times, I have pointed out stories that I think are very good, and have given credit where it is due. I single out JR Minkel, Aria Pearson, Heather Kowalski, and of course Carl Zimmer as excellent examples.

I will continue to point out both good and bad science writing, and to contribute where I am needed in the form of interviews or commentary. Today I want to link to another good story, this time a press release from the University of Bristol as posted by ScienceDaily.

How The Discovery Of Geologic Time Changed Our View Of The World

This piece does the opposite of my guide to writing a bad science story. It provides some historical context. It shows how knowledge has accrued through the efforts of many researchers. It highlights the difficulty of getting a new idea recognized and how even “revolutionary” propositions do not become accepted overnight. Plus, it’s always useful to know some history of science and to give credit to those giants upon whose shoulders we stand.



4 comments to Another good science story.

  • Jonathan Badger

    Well, I’m all for the history of science, but I’m unclear what exactly the Bristol press release is about. What work is being reported on? Is it a novel interpretation of the history of geological time? A new book on the subject? The background is great, but I’m not seeing the foreground.

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  • TR Gregory

    I could not figure that out either. But since I read it on ScienceDaily as a “story” and only noticed that it was a “press release” at the end, I didn’t complain. But true, what are they announcing other than some interesting background? :-)

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  • Jonathan Badger

    I was curious enough to track down the original release, which is here. The original announcement was for a lecture by Cherry Lewis, who has written a book on the history of the dating of the earth. For some reason, both the book and lecture announcement were edited out of the ScienceDaily version.

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  • TR Gregory

    Good science writing by luck, I suppose. Too bad they didn’t mention the book — looks like something I might want to pick up. Thanks for doing some detective work. :)

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