Views And Reviews

Words that obscure meaning

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6921.142a (Published 08 January 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:142
  1. B Dixon

    “DBA cells were employed because they possess a higher growth rate than those used previously.” “It seems that our results in the animal model may be applicable to the human organism.”

    “The fertilisation process is different in the mammalian system.”

    Three examples, heard recently, that illustrate one of the commonest - and most commonly overlooked - obstacles in talking or writing about science for non-scientists. They also help to show what is not the real problem for science communicators. None of these sentences contains any off putting figures or abstruse terminology. Indeed, jargon is rarely the main …

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