Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Richard Dawkins on Science Writing: Next Step, A Nobel Prize for Literature?

Novelists may win the plaudits, but they don't have all the good stories...
Richard Dawkins gives advice to entrants to a competition for young science writers.

...Choose science, and you have something important to write about....Not just important but fascinating. Not just fascinating but open-ended: you'll never run out of subjects, where the effort of simplification repays the writer as richly as the reader. Einstein said: "Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler." Any fool can oversimplify. Far from talking down, flatter your reader. Don't apologise for elitism, encourage your reader to join the elite. Don't shrink from choosing the exact word that says it best, even if it drives your reader to the dictionary. A dictionary never harmed anyone, and a word can excite by its very unfamiliarity... [read the full article on Edge]

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