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September 2017 Vol. 55 No. 1

University Press of Colorado

The following review appeared in the September 2017 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email

Science & Technology

Emerson, Lisa. The forgotten tribe: scientists as writers. WAC Clearinghouse/University Press of Colorado, 2017. 243p ISBN 9781607326434 pbk, $29.95; ISBN 9781607326441 ebook, contact publisher for price.

In an environment where publishing quantity can override publishing quality, Emerson’s The Forgotten Tribe offers refreshing insight into the necessity of compelling science writing in a functional, how-to format. The text is an engaging first-person narrative, which explores the writing process from several different perspectives—from the development of ideas to what it means to be a self-actualized science writer. One of the strongest attributes of this work is the acknowledgement of the humanities influence running throughout strong, persuasive science writing. Emerson (Massey Univ., New Zealand) spends a significant portion of her narrative weaving in technologies, writing processes, and the importance of collaborating with others to say (in a variety of ways) that respectable science writing is essentially a connection between the author and reader, just as in all other forms of communication. There is a strong focus on science writing at a higher level (i.e., graduate level and beyond), where the audience can be the most insular; thus, there is the most opportunity for transformation. This work is a most welcome addition to collections in journalism, mass media and communications, science education, and curricula, where communicating science is a high priority.

--J. Clemons, University at Buffalo

Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; faculty and professionals.