Haven’t posted anything for a while. Busy. But I thought I’d at least throw up a link to my old friend Allen Downey’s post in which he offers a bounty for anyone who can find a scientific journal whose style guide explicitly requires or recommends the passive voice.

As I mentioned once, I think that the blanket advice to avoid the passive voice is often overstated. But the idea that you’re always supposed to use the passive in scientific writing is incredibly silly. If the active voice is better at clearly and concisely indicating who did what to whom (as it often is), use the active voice. If a journal editor tells you you can’t, well, at least you can collect $100 from Allen.

Published by

Ted Bunn

I am chair of the physics department at the University of Richmond. In addition to teaching a variety of undergraduate physics courses, I work on a variety of research projects in cosmology, the study of the origin, structure, and evolution of the Universe. University of Richmond undergraduates are involved in all aspects of this research. If you want to know more about my research, ask me!

2 thoughts on “”

  1. Now that you have posted something, I know that you are there and not inaccessible over Easter. 🙂 Look for an email from me in a few hours and please reply quickly! (If you know you will be inaccessible, send me an email now.) Feel free to delete this comment after it has served its purpose.

Comments are closed.