In my October column I railed against the artificial (and odious) ranking of technical science writing over popular science writing. I suggested that the latter should be elevated to a more exalted standing of “integrative science,” where good science writing integrates data, theory and narrative into a useful and compelling work. And here I would add that exploring the minutiae of life, especially on the quirky borderlands of science, makes the scientific process more accessible to everyone. Where a narrative of explanation might read something like “the data lead me to conclude...,” a narrative of practice reads more like “Huh, that’s weird...”
Weirdness trumps data in the biography of science.
This article was originally published with the title An Unauthorized Autobiography of Science.