You’ve Got Some Explaining to Do: Advice for Neuroscientists Writing for Lay Readers

March 10, 2014

Ann Whitman
(212) 223-4040 x657

"No one is better at helping one learn to write for the non-professional public, as I can personally testify, than Jane Nevins… A must read and a pleasure to read."
    -Nobel laureate Eric R. Kandel, M.D., Director, Kavli Institute for Brain Science,  Columbia University College of Physicians and Scientists

You’ve Got Some Explaining to Do
Advice for Neuroscientists Writing for Lay Readers 

Publication date: March 10, 2014                                     Cloth • 127 pages • $2.99
978-1932594-58-4                                                                 PDF • Free

This compact book offers the reasons and information that can help scientific writers adopt new habits to be successful and happy writing for a lay audience. Go ahead and write journal-style for science journals and colleagues, says longtime science editor Jane Nevins, but you'll need to try different styles to reach a different audience.

Divided into three parts, readers will learn about perspective and voice, and how to better target an audience; common practices that sharpen writing; and writing and visual style.

Throughout You've Got Some Explaining to Do, Nevins gives concrete, specific examples tied to neuroscience, but the writing principles she details translate across science disciplines. The author, who served as the first editor in chief of the Dana Press, brings more than 20 years of experience in translating neuroscience to lay readers.

As the public’s hunger for relatable science information grows, this reference book will be a handy addition to any scientist looking to broaden the appeal of his or her writing to a non-scientific audience.

Jane Nevins, editor in chief emerita of Dana Press, began her career in Southern California as a newspaper and magazine writer and editor and later moved to the East Coast, where she served as director of Audience Relations for the Voice of America and was a speechwriter for Secretary of Labor Ann McLaughlin and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Jack Kemp. She began working with the Dana Foundation in 1990. She is also the author of Turning 200: A Bicentennial History of the U.S. Constitution (Richardson & Steirman, NY; 1987).