More Science Complaints

As a fun follow-up to my recent post concerning some of the troubles with how people do science, I present to you an otherwise very smart man who would rather try to fix politics than academia.

This article is primarily about The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing and the ill-effects it has on academia as a whole.

Related to that article is a fun example of what he’s talking about:

20 Grad Theses explained in common terms

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4 Responses to More Science Complaints

  1. Ben Shade says:

    The most frustrating part about the site you link too, (20 Grad Theses explained in common terms) is that every time i find it as it is fairly viral, I inevitably read one that I am compelled to try and find the actual thesis for. Some writing may be needlessly complex to most people but for others it is only just barely sufficiently detailed.

    • Stupid browser deleted my response…
      Here’s the hyper-shortened version:

      I think that the widespread utility of academic writing could see improvement from increasing awareness concerning the appropriate level of technicality and specificity in writing. Many papers are more complex than they need to be, and I suspect this is a perverse result of the funding processes for such projects. At the same time, there are papers that need to be complex, due to the specificity of the project and the esoteric nature of the particular issue being resolved. However, those hyper-specific and complex projects often seem to lack immediate returns (both financially and theoretically) which would justify such a project.

      I agree though: I’ve spent the better part of two hours trying to find a couple of the specific theses on the “20 Grad Theses” page. I really do enjoy reading what academic literature I can get my hands on, at least, when it pertains to something I find interesting enough to sift through the terminology.

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