Scientists and Other Experts

in Science for All

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780226068633
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226068664 | DOI:
Scientists and Other Experts

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For every “big name,” there were dozens of experts who tried their hand at the occasional piece of writing for a popular magazine or for an educational book series. In popular fields such as natural history, a small number of experts devoted a significant amount of time to writing. For those whose scientific career had stagnated, gaining public visibility provided an alternative form of recognition as well as useful extra income. Others wrote only a single book or a handful of articles, perhaps finding the problems of writing for a general readership insurmountable. J. Arthur Thomson's position as the science editor of a major educational book series shows how a scientist who became deeply involved with the publishing industry could serve as a conduit by which others could be drawn in and mentored while they served an informal apprenticeship as a writer. There seems to have been surprisingly little opposition to the practice of popular writing by scientists.

Keywords: experts; scientists; popular writing; science; J. Arthur Thomson; publishing; public visibility

Chapter.  10859 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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