My science-for-the-common-wo(man) journalistic future is now secure. I’ve found the exact sure-fire formula, offered by The Lay Scientist / Martin Robbins / guardian.co.uk. I sort of intuited that this Cosmic Pattern existed Out There somewhere, but to have it before me is, well, the Rosetta Stone to future form of screeds, rants and whining here at Fragments from Floyd! And I will let Mr. Robbins enlighten…
In this paragraph I will state the main claim that the research makes, making appropriate use of “scare quotes” to ensure that it’s clear that I have no opinion about this research whatsoever.
In this paragraph I will briefly (because no paragraph should be more than one line) state which existing scientific ideas this new research “challenges”.
If the research is about a potential cure, or a solution to a problem, this paragraph will describe how it will raise hopes for a group of sufferers or victims.
This paragraph elaborates on the claim, adding weasel-words like “the scientists say” to shift responsibility for establishing the likely truth or accuracy of the research findings on to absolutely anybody else but me, the journalist. [Read more…]
[There is, of course, much more to Mr. Robbin’s science-essay template, as a certain quantity of verbiage must be generated to establish credibility and expertise, with the knowledge that the typical web or newsprint reader will give it up after the first four terse paragraphs, so everything beyond that can be some permutation of the poem Jabberwocky and nobody will notice or care.]