Being precise

In many fields we can get away with using a wide range of words that are semantically close to each other, we rely on others getting ‘the vibe of the thing’ as we communicate. In professional science however, words need to mean the exact thing that they describe. As a result in scientific communication at every level we are required to be precise with our language.

On a simple level we see precision supported when valuable space in a paper or presentation time is taken to explain an acronym, initialism, abbreviation or vague label (think ‘molecular dynamics’).

However this simple precision only comes from an advanced appreciation for the field. We can only be precise if we spend the time to understand our science to such a level that we see the vast differences between semantically close words and use precision accordingly.