Mathew Reeve officially opened Klimasnakk yesterday at the Bjerknes Getaway in Geilo, Norway. Klimasnakk is a climate blog with aspirations of improving the scientific writing skills of the young and early career climate scientists who take the leap and become authors.
Good scientific writing is a lot easier if you have good writing skills.
Scientific writing is like a language. To become fluent and state your mind, you will firstly need to overcome a certain amount of fear. You need to be willing to make a fool out of yourself, or at least be open to it happening. You need to repeat the words and techniques you have learnt over and over again so that your skills improve. Finally, you need to continue to talk this new language so that you do not forget your new skills. After a while, you will become fluent. Your scientific articles will have a clear story, structure, and flow. Above all, they will be interesting to read.
But there are few avenues open to us to practice this language outside the sphere of peer review. In climate science, we often have to jump straight in, write and submit scientific articles. This becomes an extremely lengthy process and we are extremely hurt and depressed if we receive a dreaded rejection.
It can be quite daunting to either apply to one of the hundreds of existing climate blogs or start your own. Klimasnakk offers a ready-made platform with absolutely no expectations of your writing skills. Klimasnakk’s main aim is to offer climate scientists a way to practice and improve their skills and more effectively apply them to their scientific writing. We will try to promote constructive criticism of your short articles so that you can get ideas about flow, structure and language-use in your writing. We also feel that this process will be more fun and effective if we have regular discussion group meetings. We will meet, discuss ideas, read through our articles and give feedback before publishing online.
Ultimately we will improve our writing together through practice, repetition and cooperation.
Camilla Aadland, the Head of Communications at the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, said that ‘Klimasnakk is a great initiative, that the Bjerknes Centre fully supports. We will actively promote Klimasnakk articles so that authors not only improve their writing but also increase their exposure in the research community and beyond.’
The Norwegian Research School in Climate Dynamics (Resclim) is also supporting this venture, and Mathew will also be presenting Klimasnakk and recruiting new authors at the Resclim writing workshop in Oslo next week. If you want to improve your writing skills and join the Klimasnakk community, write an email to email@example.com. Remember you can write in English or Norwegian.