What Drives the Mind of a Science Writer?

The design of a book is the pattern of reality controlled and shaped by the mind of the writer. This is completely understood about poetry or fiction, but it is too seldom realized about books of fact. And yet the impulse which drives a man to poetry will send a man into the tide pools and force him to report what he finds there. Why is an expedition to Tibet undertaken, or a sea bottom dredged? Why do men, sitting at the microscope, examine the calcareous plates of a sea cucumber and give the new species a name, and write about it possessively? It would be good to know the impulse truly, not to be confused by the “services to science” platitudes or the other little mazes into which we entice our minds so that they will not know what we are doing.


We understand that fictional books are crafted to present a worldview, but we forget the same is true of nonfiction.

Folksonomies: literature fiction nonfiction

tide pools (0.910558 (positive:0.546856)), calcareous plates (0.908673 (neutral:0.000000)), Tibet undertaken (0.896527 (neutral:0.000000)), fictional books (0.896106 (positive:0.273489)), Science Writer (0.869584 (neutral:0.000000)), little mazes (0.866547 (negative:-0.656149)), sea cucumber (0.840785 (neutral:0.000000)), new species (0.823790 (neutral:0.000000)), impulse (0.605275 (positive:0.482958)), mind (0.536596 (positive:0.247867)), man (0.487074 (positive:0.546856)), worldview (0.463343 (positive:0.273489)), nonfiction (0.446485 (positive:0.369425)), microscope (0.429103 (negative:-0.226155)), minds (0.427039 (negative:-0.656149)), expedition (0.423192 (neutral:0.000000)), reality (0.419843 (positive:0.247867)), pattern (0.419712 (positive:0.247867)), design (0.411027 (positive:0.247867)), fact (0.408410 (negative:-0.421254)), services (0.401214 (negative:-0.201582)), platitudes (0.400961 (negative:-0.656149))

Reality (0.958337): dbpedia | freebase
Cognition (0.899728): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Perception (0.854940): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Mind (0.715875): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Cognitive science (0.681923): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Thought (0.676879): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Ontology (0.653330): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
MIND (0.614000): geo

 Sea of Cortez: a Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Steinbeck , John and Ricketts , Edward F. (2009-07-08), Sea of Cortez: a Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research, Penguin Books, Retrieved on 2012-06-23
  • Source Material [books.google.com]
  • Folksonomies: nature