nose for nonsense

I was talking to myself while reading this that if you were Howard Hughes you would want to hire a writer exactly like the writer that knew his job the way this writer knows and if you were Howard Hughes somebody should tell you there’s a writer you want:

“But. I cannot figure out from the release or from press coverage very much of how the process, identified as potentially useful for batteries with an energy density far higher than anything we have now, works and what’s left after it works or how one would throttle such a thing.

“Science writers, in addition to the nose for nonsense, hype, and scam that any reporter needs if he or she is worth a paycheck, need to work particularly hard at sheer explanation. That’s our added value – ability to boil the technical jargon and concepts of biology or physics or chemistry that terrify most reporters and reduce it to reasonably simple English. Throw in some narrative on the discovery process and its context you have a story.

“If a phenomenon is new to science or merely to the layman, this means taking the reader inside the genomes or stellar cores or combustion chambers or atoms and molecules and widgetry to provide a sense, however shielded in metaphor and simile, of what in tarnation is supposedly going on.

“Sometimes it’s almost impossible. But in this case it seems doable, even on deadline. This did not, it appears, get much pickup in mass media. Where it did, there is heat but little light.

Yo. The story might or might not be important. But p-p-please notice the writer, Charlie Petit, offers no shuck.