9.401 | Fall 2022 | Graduate

Tools for Robust Science

Week 8 Challenge: Scientific Papers Are Obsolete

The Challenge

The modern scientific paper has not changed in the past two hundred years. New technologies such as high-speed internet allow for embedding dynamic interfaces, audio, video, and other graphics into our scientific communication. And the increasing complexity of scientific protocols and analyses might be best communicated with all these extra modalities. Yet the way we communicate research findings is based on a system created when most people typed manuscripts on a typewriter and mailed physical copies of their manuscripts to editors and reviewers. This has resulted in science communication that relies on written text that is full of jargon and acronyms and is constrained by word, figure, and space limits. The scientific content in journal articles is accessible only to experts, if to them. How can we make science more accessible to a broader public, including non-expert readers from neighboring disciplines, students, and the public with varying levels of expertise? What is the role of graphic design, visual communication, and other ’non-traditional’ modes of scientific communication in our work?


Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2022
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments