Alan Bett, A Proposal for Communicating Science
Connotea Imports 2012-07-31
"Here is my proposal. I suggest authors must submit for review, and scientific societies be obliged to publish two versions of every journal. One would be the standard journal in scientific English for their scientific club. The second would be a parallel open-access summary translation into plain English of the relevance and significance of each paper for everyone else. A translation that educated citizens, businesses and law-makers can understand. Remember that they are funding this research, and some really want to understand what is happening to the Earth....We should train ourselves and our students to do this; not introduce another layer of translators....I expect that within a few years, even the scientific articles would become clearer as the concept of broader communication sinks in. We should also move away from the historical but shocking practice of hiding publically-funded research from the public to protect journal copyright. This really impedes communication, not only with the public, but within the science itself...."