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首页 Ideas.Into.Words.Mastering.The.Craft.Of.Science…

Ideas.Into.Words.Mastering.The.Craft.Of.Science.Writing.pdf

Ideas.Into.Words.Mastering.The.…

上传者: mayaoguangtc 2010-03-25 评分 0 0 0 0 0 0 暂无简介 简介 举报

简介:本文档为《Ideas.Into.Words.Mastering.The.Craft.Of.Science.Writingpdf》,可适用于考试题库领域,主题内容包含IdeasintoWordsToddMasteringtheCraftofScienceWritingintowordsideasEliseHanc符等。

IdeasintoWordsToddMasteringtheCraftofScienceWritingintowordsideasEliseHancockForewordbyRobertKanigelTHEJOHNSHOPKINSUNIVERSITYPRESSBaltimoreLondonFormyfather,whowouldhavebeensoproudToddContentsForeword,byRobertKanigelixAcknowledgmentsxviiAMatterofAttitudeFindingStoriesFindingOut:ResearchandtheInterviewWriting:GettingStartedandtheStructureWriting:TheNittyGrittyRefiningYourDraftWhenYou’reFeelingStuckAfterwordIndexTheJohnsHopkinsUniversityPressForewordRobertKanigelAllrightsreservedPublishedPrintedintheUnitedStatesofAmericaonacidfreepaperTheJohnsHopkinsUniversityPressNorthCharlesStreetBaltimore,MarylandwwwpressjhueduLibraryofCongressCataloginginPublicationDataHancock,EliseIdeasintowords:masteringthecraftofsciencewritingEliseHancockpcmISBNISBNTechnicalwritingITitleTH′dcAcatalogrecordforthisbookisavailablefromtheBritishLibraryToddAsIsteppedintoheroffice,IfoundEliseinherdeskchair,bentoverapageofmanuscriptrolledupintohertypewriterShedidn’tlookupSheneverlookedupJustayearortwoearlier,thatwouldstillhaveinfuriatedmeSocialgraces,EliseRememberthoseButbynowIwaslongpastthepointwhereIpaiditanymindSoIsatandwaitedwhileshefinishedFinally,shepulledoutthepage,gatheredittogetherwithoneortwoothersand,stillnotlookingup,passedthemtomeItwasashortessayfortheJohnsHopkinsMagazine,whichsheedited,butthiswasoneofthelittlepiecesshewroteherselfWhat,shewantedtoknow,didIthinkofitOh,itwasfine,Itooquicklysaidafterreadingit,thenpausedIwasafreelancewriter,oftheperpetuallystrugglingsort,haddonesomeassignmentsforElise,andsoughtothersElisewasjustafewyearsintoherthirties,butenougholderthanmetoseemmoreseasonedandmatureShewasunusuallytall,andalittleforbiddingActually,alotforbidding:Genuinesmilescameeasilyenoughtoher,butroutine,socialsmilesthekindthatleaveeveryoneinaroomfeelingrelaxedandhappydidnotOnthissternfacedwomanandheropinionofmywork,mylivelihooddependedAndnowshewantedmyopinionofsomethingshe’dwrittenUmm,maybe,Iventured,therewasjustalittletroublewiththistransitionAndthisword,here,perhapsitwasn’texactlywhatshemeantElisetookbackthemanuscriptandlookedatit,hard,thewayshealwaysdidnoknittedbrows,justtheblankscreenofherface,theoutsideworldabsentForamoment,theroomlaystillUntil,abruptly:“Oh,yes,Forewordcertainly”Andsayingthis,shepouncedonthemanuscript,pounced,usingherwholebody,armsandshoulders,notjustherhands,toscribbleinthewordsthatmadeitjusttheslightestbitbetterOnlythendidshelookupandacknowledgemeIdidn’trealizeitrightaway,butthateager,egoless,unguarded“Oh,yes,certainly”stuckwithme:Thankyou,EliseFromadistanceoftwentyfiveyears,IwritenowofatrickylittleprofessionalsituationButforher,Iamcertain,itdidn’texistForhertherewasnoeditororwriter,noseniororjunior,nomanorwoman,novanity,nopettiness,nopersonalitiesTherewereonlythewords,andtheideastheyexpressed,thatwereourjob,together,togetrightNothingelsematteredAndeverythingthatmatteredwasonthatpageIwriteofatimeduringthelatesandswhenIandafewotheryoungwritersfreelancers,interns,officeassistants,kidsjuststartingoutworkedwithEliseatthemagazineMostofwhatIknowtodayaboutwriting,especiallywritingaboutscience,medicine,andotherdifficultsubjects,IlearnedthenOthersdid,tooThosewhocametoseetheceaselessflowofredinkasthegiftthatitwaswentontogreatthingsTheywroteforTimeandDiscoverandLifeTheyeditedthemagazinesofeliteuniversitiesTheywrotebooks,wonawardsandfellowships,madenamesforthemselvesAndtheirwritinglivesmostlystartedinthatlittleofficeinWhiteheadHallthatElise,withhermadcapcreativityandbreathtakingintelligenceyou’llseeampleevidenceforbothinthepagesthatfollowmadeentirelyhersElisehadbecomeeditoracoupleofyearsbeforeandhadsetaboutmakingherlittlebimonthlyintosomethingfarmorethanamerealumnimagazinewhattheNewYorkerwastotheurbaneliteraryandculturallifeofNewYorkCity,theJohnsHopkinsMagazinewouldbetothescientific,scholarly,andcreativeworldofJohnsHopkinsUniversity,withlong,thoughtfularticlesandclear,gracefulproseAnanthropologistatworkCervicalcancerRocketsshotintotheskyAnissuefollowingmedicalstudentsthroughtheirfouryearsCharminglittleChristmaspresentstoherreaders,likepuppetsofchimericalcreaturesEachyear,sheandherstaffwouldwalkoffwithawardsforfinewriting,andtwiceduringhertenure,JohnsHopkinsMagazinewasnamedbestuniversitymagazineinthecountryForewordxMeI’dbeenafreelancewriterforafewyears,hadprematurelytriedtowriteabook,andnow,aftersometimeaway,hadreturnedtoBaltimore,whereIwasmanagingtherentonatinyapartmentbutnotmuchmoreAboutayearearlier,combingforfreelanceassignmentsamonglocalnewspaperandmagazineeditors,I’dmadeanappointmenttomeetMsHancockItwastheperfecttimeItwasandElisewashungryTheuniversitywascelebratingthehundredyearssinceitsfounding,andnumerouscentennialeventsseminars,conferences,andcelebrationswerebeingheldTheuniversitymagazine,withitstwopersonstaff,wassupposedtocoverasmanyofthemaspossibleandneededfreelancerstohelpfillcentennialfatissuesEliseassignedmetoattendoneoftheseevents,asymposiumondecisionmaking,andwriteaboutitIdidsocapablyenoughthatincomingmonthsshegavememoreworkCapablyenoughThatdidn’tmeanyouwerethenextTomWolfeorJohnMcPheeJustthatyouhadsomeslightfeelforlanguageandseemedtounderstandwhatyouwerewritingaboutElisewasalwaysrelievedwhenoneofhernewwritersprovedascuriousasshewas,gotthefactsrightandthestorystraightYoucouldhaveallthewordmagicintheworld,sheusedtosay,butifyouweregoingtomisquotedistinguishedscholars,andskatesuperficiallyoverthelife’sworkofworldclassscientists,andthinkyouweregoingtogetawaywithspinningprettyverbalwebsaroundwhatyoucouldn’tbebotheredtounderstand,thenhowcouldsheworkwithyouElisewasinterestedinscienceandideas,andshewasimpatientwithwriterswhoweren’tSo,whileIhadn’tthesheerverbalfacilityofsomewhocamethroughherdoor,IhadenoughofthisotherqualitytokeeplandingassignmentsAconferenceonwargamingApeculiarmovingwalkwayengineeringprojectThen,longerpiecesonrecombinantDNA,evolution,theecologyoftheChesapeakeBay,particlephysics,lasersurgeryOverthenexttenyearsorso,Ididaboutthreedozenpiecesforher,mostofthemlongandambitiousAndalwaysatleastatthebeginning,beforewordprocessors,whenIstillusedmyoldSmithCoronaportablethetimewouldcomewhenwe’dsitdownwiththemanuscriptThisisthepartthatusuallygetsfreightedwithnostalgia,withsepiavisionsofcrispwhitepapersmackedbythoseForewordxigreatoldtypewriterkeys,ofinksmudgesandrededitorialsquigglesandslashesgarlandingthepage,andgreatXXXssmooshingthroughwholeparagraphsButdoyouknowwhatthosesquigglesandslashesandXXXsdoTheychangeyourwordsandideas,developthem,reorderthem,dismemberthem,turntheminsideout,orobliteratethemaltogetherTheysignify,atsomelevel,thatyourliteraryexpressionistediousorcrude,yourideassilly,boring,wrong,oroffthepointOrthatyou’veleftathoughtundevelopedormuddled,asceneorstoryvague,flat,orinsipidTogether,theyimplythatwhatyou’vedonewon’tdo,andthatwhattheeditorhasdone,throughhermarks,scrawls,andpennedinchanges,ismuch,muchbetterBetter,thatis,inheropinionButwhatifyou,theauthor,beggedtodisagreeWell,IdiddisagreeAlotElise’semendations,afterall,weren’tchemicalformulae,rightorwrong,butexpressionsofjudgmentandtasteAndIwastooyoung,sure,andstubborntoaccepthersforthewisdomtheyembodiedSoshe’dsay,Thisistoomuch,RobAndI’dsay,No,it’snotShe’dsay,Youneedtorethinkthis,RobAndI’dsay,No,it’sfinethewayitisRob,doyouthinkthereaderwantstoknowallthisRob,whatisit,really,thatyouwanttosayMostofthetime,ofcourse,Elisewasright,andI’dlatercometoseeasmuchButnotwithoutafightAfterall,theseweremywordsmyideas,mine,meEverywordbecameabattle,andpoorElisewaslefttoexplainwhyshesawthingsasshedidMostly,shedidsopatientlySometimes,though,hernormallycomposedfeatureswouldtightenintoannoyanceandhercriticismscouldbeharshButonewayortheother,sittingbesideheratherdesk,themanuscriptontheslidingdesktraybetweenus,IlearnedIcanattesttothewisdomofthewriterlyinjunctionsyou’llfindinthesepagesbecauseattimesI’veignoredthemallForexample,DonotconfuseatopicwithastoryideaThat’sjustwhatIdidoncewithalongpieceaboutmemoryWhataboutmemoryWell,everythingaboutmemoryElisehelpedmesaveit,almostIwoundupsayingthatanunderstandingofmemorystilleludedresearchers,andthatitwasamultifacetedphenomenon,duhButthepiecewasneverasgoodasitshouldhavebeenbecausemytopic,oneofElise’sdreadednounideas,neverfounditsproperfocusItwasallovertheplaceLiterallyso:ThepiecewaslitteredwithenoughsideForewordxiibarstotellanysavvyreaderthatitsauthordidn’tknowwhathisstorywasaboutBeforefirstmeetingElise,I’dwrittenamercifullyunpublishedbookabouturbanlifewithagoodtitle,CitySunrise,butlittleelseofmeritAfterwe’dbeguntoworktogether,IletElisereaditAtthetime,shewastactful,evengentleButlater,wheneverIwrotesomethingthatpleasedher,anycomplimentsshedispensedwouldtaketheformofhow,yes,IhadcertainlymadeprogresssinceCitySunriseEvenaftermyworkbegantoenjoyherfavor,she’dfreelypokefunatitsinfelicitiesMyprose,shesaid,remindedherofanoisy,congestedcitystreet,cabswhizzing,pedestriansdarting,hornshonking,allcallingattentiontothemselvestomaddeningeffectBynow,ofcourse,thisimageisacidetchedonmybraintissue,helpingtopullmebackfrommyworstexcessesAndthroughahundredsuchvividimagesandsterndirectives,EliseremainsbesidemetodayShedoesn’talwayswinthebattleagainstmywritingdemons,butshe’salwaysthere,atmyelbow,fightingthegoodfightagainstpoorformandsloppythinkingThis,then,isthehappypayoffformypigheadednessallthoseyearsago,oneIcouldscarcelythenhaveimagined:EachtimeEliseansweredmyobjectionsordemolishedmyliteraryconceits,she’ddrawmeintotherareandsplendidprecinctsofhermindAndindoingso,she’dbestowjustthesortsofinsightsyou’llfindinthepagesofthisbookIspeaknownotofsuchmattersofcommonsenseandgoodprofessionalpracticeasdoublecheckingnames,thoughthesecount,tooButratherofarichsensibilityofrespectForlanguageForideasForpeopleForthesurprisingandthedeliciouslyweirdinusallAndmostofall,respectfortheworld,theendlesslyenthralling“real”worldoutsideusEliseisthesupremenonfictionistyouwon’tfindthatwordinthedictionary,butIknowshewouldapproveManywriters,unconsciouslyornot,subscribetoahierarchythatmakesfictionthegoaltowhichanyrealwriteraspires,nonfictionasadsecondbestbitterlytheytoilinnonfictionvineyards,dreamingofnovelsandstoriestheywillwritesomedayNotsoEliseShereadfiction,gobsofit,ofeverykind,fromJaneAustenondown,eventheoccasionalromancenovelherimaginationwasvigorousandplayful,enrichedbyfictionalworldsYetIneversensedinheranyreForewordxiiigretatbeingsadlystuckinaworkadayworldofrealpeoplediscoveringdrearilyrealthingsabouttheimmunesystem,estuarineecology,orgluonsRather,Ilearnedfromherthattherewaswonderintheworldandthatawriter’sgreatestpleasurewastotellofitTellofit,mindyou,nottothealreadyexpertbuttoeveryoneelseTechnicalreportsfortechniciansScholarlyarticlesforscholarsThesehadnoplaceinElise’smagazineWhenherwriterstookonstoriesinanthropology,oncology,orcosmology,theywrotenottospecialistsorotherscientistsbuttoElise’s“educatedcurious”thismadeit“sciencewriting,”not“scientificwriting”or“technicalwriting”Sciencewritingissohardtodowellbecauseitdaresaimintellectuallyformidablematerialatjustthosereaderspresumedtohavelittlebackground,education,orinterestinitSciencewritersandeditorsneedn’tstartoffknowingmuchscienceSomeofthebestofthemdo,butsomeofthebestofthemdon’tTheymust,though,beabletolearnscience,beeagertowadeintoitscomplexities,askintelligentquestions,andshakeoffthehighintimidationquotientofadense,jargonladenarticleintheProceedingsoftheNationalAcademyofSciencesElisewasamemberofthisbreedshewasanEnglishmajorincollegeandtookonlyahandfulofsciencecoursesYetinsendinghermagazineouttojoustwithscience,medicine,andtechnology,shewasfearlessOnce,longagobeforethegenomeproject,beforetheriseofthebigbiotechcompaniestwoJohnsHopkinsresearchersfiguredouthowtosnipDNA,themoleculethatembodieslife’sgeneticheritage,atparticularpointsPrettysoon,scientistsweretakingpiecesofDNAfrombacteriaandslippingthemintootherorganismsSomepeoplebegantoworryaboutthedangersandcalledameetingattheAsilomarconferencecenterinCaliforniatodiscussthemThiswasabigsciencestoryand,sinceHopkinsresearchershadplayedsocrucialarole,abigHopkinsstoryEliseresolvedthatJohnsHopkinsMagazinewouldcoveritmoreparticularly,thatIwouldcoveritWhatateam!ShehadnogroundinginmolecularbiologyIhadnevertakensomuchasanundergraduatebiologycourseButsowhatWecoulddoitAndwedidTheresultwas“Pandora’sBox,ChapterXI:SplicingtheDoubleHelix”ItreadsabitbreathlesslytodayBut,thenagain,thatwastheatmosphereofthetime,evenamongsomenormallycircumspectscientistsAndourreadForewordxiversbecameconversantwithissuesthat,innewforms,lingerwithustodayIlearnedalittlebiologyButmore,muchmore,Ilearnedtoswimoutfromshoreandintotheroughseasofhardscience,andnotworrytoomuchthatIwoulddrownOvertheyears,I’vekeptajournalofwritingadvicethatIsharewithmystudentsorotherwisedrawfromI’dthoughtofthisasaltogetherfresh,reflectingmyownexperiencesasawriter,myownparticulartakeonthingsSoitwaschasteningtoreadElise’sbookandseethatmanyideasandinsightsI’dthoughtweredistinctivelyminewere,infact,distinctivelyhersOh,attimesIfoundmyselfthinking,No,that’snothowI’ddoitElisesaystouseataperecorder,thatalljournalistsdoWell,mostjournalistsdo,butnotallIdon’tElisesaysthatafterimmersingyourselfinyourmaterialyoushouldholdoffwriting,thinkthingsthroughfirstbeginwritingonly“whenyou’reclearenoughthatyouwon’tgowrong”InevergetthatclearIusetheactofwritingitselftofindthatelusiveclarity,sloggingthroughswampsofnonsenseandincoherencetogetthereButfarmoretypically,theretheyareinblackandwhiteinsights,ideas,strategies,andpreoccupationsI’didentifiedasmineplainlyculledfromEliseoverouryearstogetherForexample,herhighlighted,boldfacedkernelofpureElisewisdom:LISTEN,reallylistenAndmundanethings:How,beforeaninterview,youcarefullysetoutwrittenquestionsthen,duringtheinterview,mostlyignorethemHow,beforeyouwrite,youcomposeaheadlineortitle:I’dalwaysbeenpleasedwithmyselfforabandoningthemorecommonadvicethatatitlecamelast,afterthehardworkofwritingYethereEliserevealsitfortheprofoundcompositionaltrickitreallyisWritingaheadline,shewrites,“willforceyoutogetpreciseaboutbothtopicandapproach”ReadingElise’sbooktodayremindsmethatwisdomandgoodsensecangetpasseddown,thatsometimeswetrulycanlearnfromoneanotherIamsoproudtobeElise’sstudentReadthisbookandIsuspectyouwillbe,tooRobertKanigelForewordxvToddManythankstoJohnMarcham,formereditoroftheCornellAlumniNews,whotrainedmetoEBWhiteandWillStrunkJr,whoweremymentorsthroughtheirclassicbooktoRobKanigelandJackieWehmueller,whoeggedmeontoJackGoellner,KatherineHancock,andMaryRuthYoe,whoshowedthemanuscriptnomercytothemanypatientscientistswhocoachedmeontheirworktomyfriendsandcolleaguesatotheruniversitymagazines,whowerealwaysjustaphonecallawaytothedozensofwriterswithwhomIsatonthefloorandarguedovermanuscriptsuntilwegotitrightandtothereadersofthisbook,whoIhopewillcarryonthegoodworkwiththecareandintegrityIhavevaluedinallthesepeopleAcknowledgmentsToddIdeasintoWordsToddoneTowritenonfiction,whether“sciencewriting”oranyotherkind,isanactofintimacyYouareinvitingthereaderintoyourworldintoyourmind,nolessAsyourclosecompanion,thereaderwillsharethealiencadencesofyourthoughtHewillborrowyourvocabulary,nodoubtofaflavornotquitehisownHewillbeatthemercyofyourskillstosee,tohear,tothinkandfeel,toassesspeopleanddrawthemout,topersistuntilyoureallyknowand,ofcourse,toputwhatyouknowintowordsItrequiresacertaintrust,tobeareaderOncethewordsareinprint,however,it’sthewriterwhohastotrust,becausethereadernowholdsthereinsIfanauthorlosesme,IcanstopreadingOrIcanskipachapter,orthree,orskim,orreadeachparagraphfivetimes,analyzingandunderlininginseveraldifferentcolorsuntilthewordsdroopanddieWhateverthereaderdoes,thewriterhasnorecourseYethowintertwinedweare,readerandwriter,sharingauniverseofwordsReading,IcansitwithLorenEiseleyindolefultwilightandponderaskullIcanhitcharideasthemindofStephenHawkingsoarsthroughalloftimeandspaceDianeAckermangetsmedrunkonthesensualbeautyofplanetEarthanditscreatures,whileSebastianJungerpropelsmeintodanger,forestfiresandstormsatsea,andtellsmehowtheyworkAselfhelpbookmaybringhopeandguidanceasmuchasormorethaninformationForthemoment,reading,IamnotaloneTheseeffectsarenotaccidentalorrandomGoodwritersalwayshavethereaderinmind,notonlyastheywritebutalsointhefindingoutthatcomesbeforeTheydotheirresearchwithintegrity,diggingdeep,andthe

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