This workshop takes the considerable challenge of writing scientific content suitable for a lay or nontechnical audience: lay summaries of research and clinical evaluations, technical instructions for equipment use, newsletters, web-based articles, instructions, consent forms … and many more.
Writing readable science for a lay audience is a challenge for scientists!
Communicating complex ideas to the public requires us to think even harder about our audience: their level of understanding, vocabulary that they are comfortable with and the messages we wish them to take home. We need a knowledge of the tactics that improve readability: logical presentation of relevant ideas, clear and simple writing style, good organisation of documents, and attractive and helpful formatting – to include appropriate visual aids when appropriate.
Can we measure readability and therefore have quantitative targets against which to benchmark our writing?
Are there tools to help us write more readably?
We’ll consider examples of both readable and problematic text and aim to adopt best practice when writing for a lay audience.