Thursday, April 15, 2004

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Daily Gazette
Swarthmore College
Thursday, April 15, 2004
Volume 8, Number 124

Write to us!
Photo of the day:
Today’s issue:


1) Faculty panel discusses specifics of science writing

2) World news roundup

3) Campus events


1) Women’s tennis wipes out F&M

2) McDaniel squeaks by men’s lax

3) Men’s rugby falls to Ursinus

4) Endless rain forces postponement of baseball game,
cancellation of golf match

5) Upcoming contests


Today: Partly cloudy and windy. High of 58.

Now that we’ve all suffered through a week of gloomy, rainy weather…

Tonight: Clear. Low of 39.

What happens when parents start to arrive?

Tomorrow: Sunny. High of 63.

That’s right, it’s nice and sunny. Oh, bitter irony.


Lunch: Maryland crabcakes, lattice cut fries, lentil stew, roasted
tofu, baby carrots, cauliflower, club bar, assorted cupcakes

Dinner: Fried chicken, yams with apples, macaroni and cheese, mashed
black beans, stewed tomatoes, green beans, breakfast bar, ice cream bar


1) Faculty panel discusses specifics of science

by Alex Glick

Sports Editor

Members of the Division of Natural Sciences and Engineering came
together yesterday afternoon in a panel to discuss writing in the
sciences.  The panel, which included Sara Hiebert Burch of the
Biology Department, Carr Everbach of Engineering, and David Cohen of
Astronomy, was organized by the Writing Associates Program in order to
address writing for science classes and for publication.  Alison
Landrey ’04, Outreach Coordinator for the Writing Associates Program,
served as the moderator for the panel session.

The faculty first addressed how writing in the sciences compares to
writing in other disciplines.  The three panelists agreed that
science writing has a lot in common with writing in the humanities and
social sciences in that it must be clear and logical, have a strong
argument, and have solid evidence and examples as support. 
Professor Everbach noted that one of the main areas in which science
writing is different is that it must give readers the ability to
reproduce the experiments written about in the text.

The panel then discussed the ever-familiar guidelines and checklists
that are often associated with lab reports and other science
writing.  Professor Hiebert Burch pointed out that check lists are
often necessary to help the reader find what he or she is looking for
and that using them is merely a starting point in writing.  The
faculty members also emphasized that all scientific journals have
specific requirements, which can differ from each other in many ways.

Professor Cohen noted that having a clear structure helps to present
content more easily.  In addition, he stated that having to
conform to a specific format can make scientific writers be even more
careful about the way in which information is conveyed, and being more
careful can help overall writing improve.

Even within this structure, there is still room for a good amount of
individuality in scientific writing according to Professor Hiebert
Burch. The types of questions asked, the experiments performed, the
different ways of analyzing data, and the decision of how to go forward
after an experiment are only some examples of how scientific writing
can be creative.

The faculty panelists also discussed the use of the first person and
active voice in writing.  The use of active voice and first person
is often discipline specific; for example, even within the area of
biology, many studying more molecular aspects write in the passive
voice, while the active voice is often encouraged by those working with
organismal or population biology.  The panelists generally agreed
that there are some cases where using the active voice can make text
more clear and that in most cases, students are first discouraged from
using first person and active voice in high school.

The panelists all had many pieces of advice that students could use for
writing in the natural sciences and in general.  Professor Cohen
emphasized that one way to improve writing technique is to spend time
reading over other discipline-specific writing.  He also noted
that it is important to make sure that it is clear why experiments and
specific parts of experiments are performed.

Professor Everbach added that it is important to watch pronoun usage as
meaning can get confused when writers are not careful with this. 
He also said that, both in regard to writing and giving presentations,
that trying to anticipate questions that the audience might come up
with can also improve how information is conveyed.  Professor
Hiebert Burch emphasized that it is important to be precise with
writing and that clear language and thought can reinforce each
other.  All three faculty members agreed that students should
usually be writing for a generally knowledgeable audience, not just
their professors.

The Writing Associates Program has two more events planned for this
year. On Tuesday, April 20, speechwriter Josh Gottheimer, who worked
with President Clinton and General Wesley Clark, will address the
Swarthmore community on writing in the field of politics at 4:30
p.m.  On Friday, April 23, Peter Friedman, a writer who also
teaches fiction and non-fiction workshops, will come to Swarthmore to
discuss publishing academic papers at 2:00 p.m.  Both events will
be held in the Scheuer Room in Kohlberg Hall.


2) World news roundup

* An independent commission investigating the September 11 terrorist
attacks has found the CIA culpable in ignoring pertinent memos
concerning terrorist activities.  The Commission cited a memo
entitled “Islamic Extremists Learn to Fly” as an instance where the CIA
failed to act on information it had prior to the attacks.  In the
public hearing on Wednesday, it criticized the CIA’s actions under the
leadership of George J. Tenet and his deputies, as Mr. Tenet admitted
he had little contact with President Bush during a period of high
terrorist threat.  Mr. Tenet defended his actions by saying,
“Warning was well understood, even if the timing and method of attacks
was not.”

* Yesterday, President Bush controversially hailed Prime Minister
Sharon’s plan to withdraw from some Palestinian territory as “historic
and courageous.”  Sharon plans to withdraw completely from the
Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank.  Palestinians were angered
by President Bush’s comments, as The Palestinian prime minister, Ahmed
Qurei, said Mr Bush had given “himself the right to make concessions on
behalf of the Palestinians… we cannot accept this under any
circumstances” and that President Bush’s statement  “kills the
rights of the Palestinian people.”  Mr. Qurei went on to comment,
“He is the first president who has legitimised the settlements in the
Palestinian territories when he said that there will be no return to
the borders of 1967.”

* Vice President Dick Cheney has urged China, an ally of North Korea,
to take a more aggressive stance towards North Korea’s possession of
weapons of mass destruction.  He brought new information that
suggests Pyongyang has three nuclear devices.  To students in
Shanghai, Mr. Cheney also maintained that the U.S. does not support
Taiwan’s independence but does want to continue supplying weapons for
defense.  Mr. Cheney’s main concern during his speech to the
students was the weapons situation in North Korea, a country he fears
could provide technology to al-Qaeda.


3) Campus Events

Lecture by Paulla Ebron: “Listening Communities”

SCI 101, 4:15 p.m.

Conversation with Natasha Trethewey

LPAC 301, 4:15 p.m.

Public Discussion: “Religion and Violence: Abraham to Osama”

Hicks Mural Room 312, 4:15 p.m.

Rediscovering the Lost Soul: Performance Art of Zheng Lianjie

SCI 183, 4:30 p.m.

Poetry Reading: Natasha Trethewey

Scheuer Room, 6:00 p.m.

Summer Housing Lottery

Parrish Parlours, 7:00 p.m.

Genocide Awareness Month Talk: “Reconciliation in the Face of Horror”

Friends Meeting House, 7:30 p.m.



1) Women’s tennis wipes out F&M

The women’s tennis team (10-2, 5-1) earned their eighth consecutive
victory yesterday, defeating Franklin & Marshall 7-2 in conference
play.  Anjani Reddy extended her conference singles win streak to
42 games with a 6-0, 6-4 victory at #1-singles.  Fellow seniors
Caroline Celano and Kristina Pao won at second (6-3, 6-1) and third
(6-1, 6-3) singles respectively.  First years Sonya Reynolds and
Sara Sargent defeated their opponents at fourth (7-5, 6-3) and fifth
(6-3, 6-2) respectively.

In doubles action, Reddy and Reynolds teamed up in the #1 spot to earn
an 8-5 victory over their opponents, while Sargent teamed up with
Waverly Lutz ’07 to win 8-3 at second singles.

The Garnet return to action on Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. match at home
against Dickinson.


2) McDaniel squeaks by men’s lax

The men’s lacrosse team fell to McDaniel 9-8  yesterday in a close
game decided with only 2:58 left on the clock.  Tim Chryssikos ’05
led the Garnet with a career-high four goals.  Jeff Donlea ’05
added three goals.  Steven Isbister ’04 made ten saves in
goal.  The Garnet will host Dickinson on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.


3) Men’s rugby falls to Ursinus

The men’s rugby team lost a hard fought game at home to Ursinus this
past Saturday.  The score was 19-5, and Mike ‘Flip’ DeFillipo ’04
was the only try scorer. Ursinus went up 5-0 in the first half, but
Swat came out strong in the second half to equalize through Flip.
However, Ursinus piled on the pressure, and scored two successive
tries, which they both converted. Swat came close to the Ursinus line
for the majority of the game, but could not convert. Then Zangief ’05
of Ursinus pulled the old ‘pasta pick-up’ move on Swat.  Come see
the Men’s rugby team at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday against Susquehanna,
after the women’s game.

Thanks to Jon Fombonne for providing the results


4) Endless rain forces postponement of baseball game,
cancellation of golf match

The men’s baseball game scheduled for yesterday afternoon was postponed
again due to rain.  The game is rescheduled for today at 3:30 p.m.

The golf match at Holy Family that was scheduled for yesterday was
cancelled because of the weather.


5) Upcoming contests


Softball hosts Washington (double header), 3:00 p.m.

Baseball hosts Washington, 3:30 p.m.

Women’s lacrosse hosts Muhlenberg, 5:00 p.m.


Men’s tennis at Washington, 3:30 p.m.

Baseball at Washington, 3:30 p.m.



“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it
goes on.”

–Robert Frost


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Communications Editor: Megan Mills
Features Editor Alexis Reedy
Living & Arts Editor: Jonathan Ference
News Editor: Greg Leiserson
Sports Editor: Alex Glick
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News Reporters: Anya Carrasco
Lauren Janowitz
Sanggee Kim
Brendan Moriarty
Ken Patton
Maki Sato
Angelina Seah
Victoria Swisher
Siyuan Xie
Sports Writers: Sarah Hilding
Holice Kil
Cara Tigue
Photographers: Kyle Khellaf
Robbie Hart
Nicole Oberfoell
Anthony Orazio
World News Roundup: Victoria Swisher
Campus Sports: Alex Glick
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Greg Leiserson
Weathercaster: Josh Hausman

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