Beating the “wrong” out of science writing

Nicolás Ng is a science writer who says he got into the career because of me. He’s probably the only one, but it’s quite an honour to inspire anyone’s career choice. He writes:

I spent a cumulative five hours today just to write 12 sentences in three paragraphs…

Tons of references to review: one more hour. 😬🐼

Science writing is not easy and is tedious if you wanna be “less wrong.”

It takes a lot of time to beat as much wrong as possible out of a piece of science writing. Like getting the dust out of rug, it seems like there’s always a little more to get rid of.

Pilots say, “Anyone can fly, but it takes a pilot to land.” And anyone can pump out worse, but it takes a writer to be concise. All writers know that writing a short piece is hard, but not all of them know that it’s much harder still in technical and scientific writing: harder ideas often require extraordinary effort to even understand well enough to explain at all, they are much trickier to boil down to a good nugget, and there are a lot more ways to screw up.