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Making the Esoteric Accessible
Scientific and technical communication is not a monolithic entity, but there are some key common elements. As in any type of communication, the primary concerns are:
  • What is the message?
  • Who composes the target audience?
  • What is the purpose?
  • (To learn more about these elements, Click Here.)
Although those aspects are no secret in the world of professional writers (or at least they shouldn't be secret!) they can often be overlooked by scientists and engineers, who are generally so excited by their developments that they can't imagine a world where everyone doesn't share that same fascination.

But many professional writers don't have enough background in science and technology to consider some aspects that are essential — and unique — to scientific and technical communication.

For scientific communication, the key questions are:
  • What do we believe?
  • How did we learn it?
  • Why do we believe it?
  • (To learn more about these aspects, Click Here.)
These questions can be addressed in any order, and the level at which they are addressed depends upon the target audience, but if an article or video purporting to describe a scientific advance has not addressed these questions, it has failed.

Technical communications — that is, media designed to introduce a technological advance — have a fine line to tread. First, they must not (except in specialized cases) get so buried in details that only specialists can understand the material. The key to avoid that is to remain focussed on the needs of the target audience: how will this new development help them reach their goals?

But they also can't go too far in the other direction. That is, communications designed to reach a technical audience must at least address key elements of the technological advance. Without some discussion of the basis for a new capability, a technical audience will remain unmoved, and — even worse — unmotivated to pursue further investigation.

None of this is a magic brew; anyone can learn to effectively communicate complex scientific and technical information to any level of audience, but if you're spending your time doing that, who remains focussed on your research and development?

That's where I come in. Because of my background there's no need for you to generate first drafts; just provide me with copies of your existing documentation, clarify your goals, and let me do the work! You'll save hours, days, even weeks of prepatory effort.

You can also be confident that we'll reach your target audience. I have written hundreds of articles for publication in print magazines, and hundreds more in online outlets. I have five traditionally published books, for general audiences and even for youngsters.

I have written about anti-hydrogen spectroscopy for an audience of PhDs and written about gravitational waves for twelve-year-olds. Does your target audience fall somewhere between those two extremes? Then I can help you.

Some things I can produce for you:

  • whitepapers
  • trade magazine articles
  • formal and informal internal memos
  • shareholder communications
  • press releases
  • catalog entries and marketing material
  • website content
  • video, film, or audio scripts
  • onesheets
  • speeches
  • ...whatever form of content you can imagine!

 

For an abbreviated bibliography, Click Here.
 
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