Home > The Seminars > Human-Centered Writing
New Course 2019
From ballroom to lecture hall
Jean-Luc Lebrun has managed research programs while working at Apple Computer in itsAdvanced Technology Research group for over ten years. He subsequently invested his energy in the commercialization of research. He teaches scientific writing at the following A-Star* research Institutes in life sciences and engineering sciences: BII, BSF, BTI, CMM, DSI, GIS, I2R, IBN, ICES, IHPC, IMB, IME, IMRE, NMC, SBIC, SIMTECH, SISC, and SSCC. He also conducts this course at NUS (National University of Singapore) and SMU (Singapore Management University), at medical research Institutes within SGH (Singapore General Hospital), NUHS, NUH. He also teaches worldwide in International Doctoral Schools (France, Finland, and Germany)
*Agency for Science, TechnologyAnd Research. Singapore
A writing style fits a specific purpose, just like a style of clothing. One would not wear a bathing suit to go to work, and one would not wear a suit on the beach. The scientific writing style has strengths when it comes to communicating scientific facts, but it has also great weaknesses that the writer must know to be read and understood by more than a handful of experts. When it comes to reading, readers of scientific works are worlds apart from readers of novels. They do not need to be entertained, yet they need to be convinced in the shortest amount of reading time possible. Everything is stacked against the writing scientist: the reader’s small attention span when it comes to hard science, and the reader’s diminished understanding when it comes to words or techniques outside his or her current knowledge. This seminar identifies the causes of reading accidents linked to the scientific writing style and reveals how to prevent them. It also lists out and illustrates the many ways a writer can sustain the attention level of a reader, including through fluid writing and expectation driving. Finally, it shows how to maintain authoritativeness and how to convince the reading scientist through the use of powerful and precise sentences and visuals in which key information is strategically and logically placed. The course is accompanied by the book "Human-Centered Writing".
Good scientific writing goes beyond writing correct English. Keeping the reader interested and convinced of the value of the scientific contribution is equally important. Scientists need to convince sponsors and peers. Better funded research and better research partnerships depend on how convinced the reader is. Efficient writing bears witness to the quality of a researcher; it influences career promotion.
Graduates & postgraduates writing a thesis, dissertation, scientific paper, or grant proposal. Students and engineers writing scientific reports or project proposals. Researchers wishing to improve the efficiency of their scientific writing.
Introduction: The Scientific Writing Style - its characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses.
Module 1: Reading Accidents: causes and remedies
Module 2: Writing to get Attention while never overwhelming a reader's memory, or demanding excessive knowledge
Module 3: Using Grammar and effective figures to Persuade the Reader
Module 4: Writing Fluidly to Engage the Reader
Mode of assessment
Participants bring their own writing sample. At the end of the seminar, after analysis, reasons for any dullness or lack of authority in the text are clearly understood.