Have Your Cake and Communicate Better, Too

December 18, 2009 · 0 comments

UPDATE, 1/16/10: Due to a last-minute change, David Schultz will not be able to attend the Annual Meeting and participate in the events discussed in this post. The AMS book launch party will be held as scheduled on Monday.

In the modern world of text messages, Tweets, and, yes, blogs, it’s easy for the craft of writing to be overlooked for the sake of immediacy, shock value, or just plain laziness. Indeed, time for eloquence increasingly seems like a luxury as technology makes communication more convenient and commonplace.

Thankfully, there are still defenders of the art; one of them, the University of Helsinki’s David Schultz, chief editor of Monthly Weather Review, has recently written a book published by AMS, Eloquent Science: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Better Writer, Speaker & Atmospheric Scientist. (You can order a copy here.)book_cover

Schultz will be leading a workshop on “Eloquent Professional Communication: Customer-Oriented Writing and High-Impact Presentations” at the Annual Meeting on Wednesday (10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m., B212), in which he will discuss some key communications issues facing many scientists, such as knowing one’s audience, writing concisely and precisely, using PowerPoint effectively, and creating slides for presentations. He’ll also explore what the East Anglia e-mail controversy can tell us about effective communication. (Some of Dave’s initial thoughts on the subject can be found here and here.)

The workshop will be just one of a number of meeting events involving Schultz that are related to Eloquent Science. At the Student Conference, he will participate in a panel discussion on scientific publishing (Saturday, 1:30–1:50 p.m.) as well as a forum on writing skills for students and scientists (Sunday, 2–4 p.m.). As part of the 19th Symposium on Education, Schultz will give a talk on improving scientific and communications skills (Tuesday, 2:45–3:00 p.m.). Additionally, there will be a book launch (with cake!) at the AMS Resource Center (Exhibit Hall B2) on Monday (5:30–7:30 p.m.), where you can also get your copy of Eloquent Science signed Monday (2:45–4:00 p.m.) and Thursday (9:45–11:00 a.m.).