The Craft of Scientific Communication (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing Series)

Hardcover (Print)
Not Available on


The ability to communicate in print and person is essential to the life of a successful scientist. But since writing is often secondary in scientific education and teaching, there remains a significant need for guides that teach scientists how best to convey their research to general and professional audiences. The Craft of Scientific Communication will teach science students and scientists alike how to improve the clarity, cogency, and communicative power of their words and images.

In this remarkable guide, Joseph E. Harmon and Alan G. Gross have combined their many years of experience in the art of science writing to analyze published examples of how the best scientists communicate. Organized topically with information on the structural elements and the style of scientific communications, each chapter draws on models of past successes and failures to show students and practitioners how best to negotiate the world of print, online publication, and oral presentation.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Patrick Logan

"It would be impossible to constrain my appreciation for this book, which will find eager reception wherever the need for teaching scientific writing is addressed. The Craft of Scientific Communication continues in the scholarly tradition of the authors and promises to add a refreshing wealth of pragmatic advice and illustration to any bookshelf dedicated to effective contemporary scientific writing."
Carol Reeves

The Craft of Scientific Communication demonstrates quite powerfully that no scientist can survive professionally without writing well. Writing well, according to Gross and Harmon, is less a matter of following formulas and templates than it is a creative process of strategic decision-making based on the writer’s purpose and intended audience. This book enters a crowded room of ‘how to’ books for scientific authors but emerges as a unique contribution due to the authors’ extensive research of scientific communication that provides the intellectual history and social functions of the very features of good writing that scientific authors must master.”
Bruce V. Lewenstein

“Harmon and Gross distill key lessons of scientific composition from exemplar articles. By parsing both overall structures and individual sentences, they show us the relationship between scientific rhetoric and scientific thinking. Exercises allow the reader to try out those lessons and internalize the ideas. Harmon and Gross’s clear guidelines and checklists will help scientists focus on the key concepts they need to build their own arguments. The suggestions they give will help scientific authors achieve their scientific goals.”
Quarterly Review of Biology

“This work would be an important manual for any scientist who wishes to publish articles that generate significant impact. Because scientific communication improves through practice, this volume would also be a useful tool to introduce science writing to students or for principal investigators to guide budding scientists.”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Joseph E. Harmon is a senior editor/writer at Argonne National Laboratory. Alan G. Gross is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota. They are coauthors of The Scientific Literature: A Guided Tour, alsopublished by the University of Chicago Press.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

What This Book Does

Part I: The Scientific Article

1          Introducing Your Problem

2          Distilling Your Research

3          Entitling Your Research

4          Turning Your Evidence into Arguments: Results and Discussion

5          Drawing Your Conclusions

6          Framing Your Methods

7          Distributing Credit

8          Arranging Matters

9          Varying Matters

Part II: Beyond the Scientific Article

10        Proposing New Research

11        Going Public

12        Presenting PowerPoint Science

13        Organizing PowerPoint Slides

Part III: Writing Style

14        Composing Scientific English

15        Improving Scientific English



Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)