As a scientist, past editor, member of editorial boards, and occasional published poet, I found the article on scientific writing timely and to the point, although not surprising (K.S. Brown, The Scientist, Jan. 20, 1997, page 16). The chastening of scientists as members of C.P. Snow's "other culture" is a popular pastime, but editors and publishers bear a share of the blame for substandard scientific writing.

I have commented here (E.D. Kilbourne, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 140[3]:338-49, 1996) on embarrassing attempts at levity in the editorial columns in Nature and Science. Copy editing, formerly overzealous and officious, now appears to be virtually absent. (See articles in English by authors whose first language is not English.) Even The Scientist appears to have its problems. (See headline on first page of the issue of Jan. 20, 1997, referring to an "unnecessary redundancy.")


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