Duke University Scientific Writing Resource

Science Writing vs. Scientific Writing

What is scientific writing? What is science writing? Are they synonyms?

Scientific writing is technical writing by a scientist, with an audience of peers -- other scientists. For example, journals like Nature and Science publish what I would call scientific writing.

Science writing is writing about science for the popular media. The audience is much more general -- anyone with an interest in science. Science writing is published in Scientific American or Discover Magazine, or even National Geographic.

This is my distinction of the two. It's easy to mix these two ideas up, though, since they are very similar...however, the actual way you go about publishing depends very much on whether you are a science writer or a scientific writer. The course material I present here is geared toward the latter -- scientists who are publishing technical writing on focused research fields.

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