6 Responses to academics all write badly… another response to a familiar critique

  1. juliamolinari says:

    Tim Harford’s ‘More or Less’ on BBC Radio 4 does quite a good job of explaining numbers: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qshd. Somewhere in the archives there is a programme on the difference between ‘correlation’ and ‘causation’. Ben Goldachre (Bad Science/Pharma) and Simon Singh (Maths and the Simpsons) also do a lot of public academic engagement. As does Marcus de Sautoy (Prof for the Public Understanding of Mathematics) – so, yes, the Brits do make an effort when it comes to explaining complexity!


  2. CelesteRegal says:

    Having been a community news reporter, I know how easy it is to stack the deck to read toward an agenda. I’m a tad surprized at Kristof for writing such a poorly thought out and rendered article. This is generalized rambling. There as many journalists writing goobledegook (there’s a precise descriptive to raise the red flag of carelessness) as academic meaning most write engaging prose if you read in their field. Everyone cannot understand everything. I am envious of UK programs on all levels. There is a seriousness, a wonderful way of presenation, often infused with wit. Accessibility is a joyous thing. I think Kristof has gotten too big for his britches and needs to step down when writing outside his area of expertise.

    I am a fan of Patter and am not a scholar per se but I find your blog useful in writing and thinking on many levels. I appreciate that you held this article up for some of us to comment on. The NYT has been sliding toward disappointing journalism in the last decade. I find myself reading UK and other world news. I am a happy user of the Internet & social media who brings the academic community into my studio regularly. Some can be standoffish but that’s humanity. I’m a better thinker and a happier person because of it.


  3. Pingback: On the challenges of public engagement for marginalized academic voices – Raul Pacheco-Vega, PhD

  4. pennynewell says:

    Dear Pat,

    This was a fascinating read, and I wondered if I might get in touch with you about an event I am co-creating at King’s, to take place in May, entitled, ‘Research with Reach: Valuing ideas beyond the academe’. The project has been devised to look at what I think of as a ‘third space’ between academia and mainstream arts writing – that is, exactly the space you examine here.

    Myself and my co-convenor Ella Parry-Davies have just read your blog, and wondered if you might be interested in joining the events as a speaker? Time commitment would be very minimal: we would ask you to speak for 10-15 minutes on your own experience, as part of a panel, and so there would be no need to prepare anything in advance.

    The conference will be an opportunity for a cohort of some of the brightest emerging arts and humanities thinkers in London to benefit from the perspective and expertise of professionals such as yourself, and I think that your contribution would be hugely valuable.

    I very much hope you’ll give it some thought! And thanks for this fascinating read! You can find links to me through twitter, wordpress etc etc here: http://about.me/penny_en/



  5. Pingback: Engagement with academic research is thriving but more could be done to improve the understanding of quantitative data. | Impact of Social Sciences

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