My colleague Michael Anft alerted me to this send-up of science writing on the Interwebs from The Guardian. Written by Guardian blogger Martin Robbins, it could not be more savage, or funnier, or more discomfort inducing. I read it simultaneously laughing aloud and silently ticking off how many of these sins I’ve committed in print. A few choice bits:
In this paragraph I will state the main claim that the research makes, making appropriate use of “scare quotes” to ensure that it’s clear that I have no opinion about this research whatsoever.
In this paragraph I will briefly (because no paragraph should be more than one line) state which existing scientific ideas this new research “challenges.”
If the research is about a potential cure, or a solution to a problem, this paragraph will describe how it will raise hopes for a group of sufferers or victims.
I’ve included a PDF below because I don’t know how long the Guardian‘s link might stay live. (Be sure to click on the links at the end of Robbins’ screed.) Read it and laugh. Read it and weep.