Dear science communicators

Re: abuse of language

Can I suggest we add the over-use of  the term ‘the public’? Some science communicators use it in the way politicians use it: ‘The public agrees with my position’; this is clearly nonsense. Using the term ‘the public’ indiscriminately flies in the face of what we know: there are many different groups within the general community; to say ‘The public supports/ does not support nanotechnology’ is a gross over-simplification (at best).

Associate Professor Renato Schibeci
School of Education  Murdoch University Murdoch Western Australia 6150
Australia  Phone (08) 9360 2168   Fax (08) 9360 6296
International Phone 61-8-9360 2168   Fax 61-8-9360 6296

On 23/02/13 8:33 AM, "JCribb" <> wrote:

I too confess to being a Grumpy Old Communicator, and to ruthlessly editing the ‘s’ off documents written by scientists and other bureaucrats unfamiliar with the English tongue.
But then Wendy and I are old school chums, so to speak.
I hereby propose we form a seditious group within ASC, known as the GOCs, where we can share pet hates (such as acronyms!). Who knows, it may one day make an amusing guide for those who come after and who, thanks to a crumbling education system, know no better...

Julian Cribb FTSE
Julian Cribb & Associates
ph +61 (0)2 6242 8770 or 0418 639 245
Skype: julian.cribb
If you
EAT, you should follow:!/ComingFamine

From: [] On Behalf Of Jenni Metcalfe
Sent: Saturday, 23 February 2013 10:45 AM
Subject: [ASC-list] Science CommunicationS

Is there anyone except me who gets annoyed by the use of the word “communicationS” – i.e. communication with an S on the end?
As my colleague, Wendy Parsons, pointed out when I was working at CSIRO almost 18 years ago… this use of the word generally relates to cables, wires and similar infrastructure.
Perhaps, I am just getting old and cranky?
Jenni Metcalfe
Director, Econnect Communication <>
phone: 07 3846 7111; 0408 551 866
skype: jenni.metcalfe
PO Box 734 South Brisbane Q 4101
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