Communicating science is a critical and growing section of the science-based economy. The ability to read technical information, whether from primary literature or technical manuals and “translate” the important points from that work to a different type of audience is a critical skill in today’s economy. As shown by public polling data, many members of the public are interested in the work performed by scientists but they also feel like they do not understand much of it. In this assignment, you will read a book that, although written for a non-specialist audience, still contains a great deal of field-specific language and jargon that might impede understanding of the material contained within it. Your choice of language in this assignment is very important – remember that you are trying to clarify the concepts described in the book chapter. You should choose language/words that you would expect a high school student to be able to understand (even a high school student with no specific study in science). Books and book reviews (and most other media coverage) usually do not contain inline citations for referencing and I do not expect these as part of this assignment. However, they do often depend on more sources than the paper that you are covering so you may want to find a recent review or internet sources covering background material related to the topic. The entire value of the assignment comes from your ability to explain the main result(s) of the chapter, to put it into language that is understandable to a lay audience and, most importantly, to explain why the information may be relevant or interesting to a particular audience.
The length of this assignment should be no more than 1200-1500 words. The first paragraph of a critical summary should outline the structure of your paper and provide the audience with your main thesis. What themes were covered in the chapter that you intend to discuss? This should not be a laundry list of points – you must be able to defend why you chose these points and be able to expand on each one later in the assignment. Subsequent paragraphs should support the main thesis you have outlined in your introductory paragraph. Once these paragraphs are written, additional paragraphs should expand on the points presented in the work you are reviewing. In general, a concluding paragraph will summarize the points made in the p