Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Scientific writing and the pronoun I

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Why are scientists so scared of writing their statements in the first person? Open any journal, and look for the word “I”. Chances are, you won’t find it. You’ll see article authors jump through hoops just to avoid this word. As if it were dirty, illegal. For example, instead of a normal, complete sentence like “I found existing methods to be insufficiently accurate,” you’ll find the sentence “Existing methods were found to be insufficiently accurate.” This leaves the most important thing out: who found them insufficiently accurate? Is this a generally known thing? Does the whole world share this opinion? Was it the dog that didn’t like the method? Why do they shy away from the word “I”? Does it make science less objective?