Hilary Glasman-Deal and Andrew Northern on STEMM Communications


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Listen to this interview of Hilary Glasman-Deal and Andrew Northern, teachers of STEMM communication at the Centre for Academic English, Imperial College London. We talk about what's so special about scientists: their communication!

Hilary Glasman-Deal : "You know, if I left this work for just one year, it would be the devil-of-a-job to get back in because the communication norms in each field and even the language itself changes so fast that you've got to go like the wind in order to keep up to date. I mean, let's be honest, we're all a little bit lazy. We'd like to have material that we can fall back on, last year's material for this year's course. But because we can't do that, because we are at the mercy of whatever research articles we are faced with by our students and by faculty, there's no escape for us. That graft has to be done. And it's that graft that gives us the credibility for scientists to trust us in the first place. Without that, you just don't have a starting point. You've got to be absolutely on point in terms of understanding what's currently being published in their fields, what the recent changes are — I mean, Andrew and I sit back to back in an office, in a large office, and sometimes he'll shout across and he'll say, 'Look, can you see this journal has started putting a strapline under the title!' And we all crowd around and say, 'Okay, which other journals are doing that? How's that connected to what's inside the research article? Is it a new sentence? Is it a rewrite of a sentence? What sentence are they using?' You start from that. You start from doing that hard work. And then you're, in a sense, entitled to sit down with authors and they'll trust you to work with them on a piece of writing."

Visit the Centre for Academic English here. Find an example of STEMM editing here.

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