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Science column deserves better writing

Observer Viewpoint | Sunday, September 26, 2004

Professor Kristin Schrader-Frechette has been writing a column in The Observer’s Viewpoint pages titled “Science Watch.” This series of columns has been nearly unreadable because of their dense thicket of accusations combined with bizarre sentence structure and grammatical errors.

I admit I disagree with her assessments of the utility of nuclear power. I believe that if we were to meet, we would disagree on a host of issues. However, I believe the Notre Dame community is served better without repeated references to “toxic chemicals” and “Mobile Chernobyl” without any attempt at context. Pray tell, what are the folks at Honeywell doing with their vats of toluene? Bathing in them? Washing their dogs? Inquiring minds want to know.

As one of the poor saps whose eyes have been drawn to her column because of its title, I have to beg you: at least, please get her to write better. She’s a full professor – how in God’s name does she get to start a sentence with “And”? (6th paragraph, Sept. 24, starting with “On the other hand … ” 3rd paragraph, Aug. 27, starting with “And things … “)

Jim Tung

graduate student

Sept. 24