“Mapping genetic interactions is old hat, but now scientists are mapping science itself, and looked to see how it’s been changing.” This according to Jef Akst with in a Jan. 28 posting on TheScientist.com. In a report published online in PloS ONE, scientists at Umeå University in Sweden and the University of Washington have developed a mathematical model to track more than biodivergence: they have assessed how life science has changed in terms of divisions using citation information. Over ten years, with 35 million citations and 7000 scientific journals, they discovered that neuroscience had emerged from interdisciplinary study to become an autonomous field in itself: a conclusion is based on scientific literature as the guideline for defining trends and fields.
Science is still a field where “the journal publication” is still the basic currency of success. In this study, the flow of information, particularly in written form, between researchers and their readership is quantified by journal clusters (i.e. how a journal defines its primary focus). This serves as a reminder that science and writing are mutually determinative. Not only must one understand the thoughts behind the science, but clear expression is important for announcing discovery, and in this case, defining fields of research. Even basic scientific writing for the mainstream requires the analytic background to explain the most complex of processes with clarity.
Effective healthcare communications essentially blends a deep understanding of science and medicine with the well written word.