Thursday, February 02, 2006

Science and the Public

Acquantainces of BrooklynDodger(s) have admitted not reading these laboriously posted bits of knowledge because of obscurity of the base information, much less the obscurity of interest.

The problem is that mature science is recondite. That is, best characterised by a word no one knows anyway. Back in the day, when Aristotle was writing physics, anyone could understand what he was writing about, if you could read. Now, the Physical Review, or whatever, is impenetrable.

So with many of the abstracts BrooklynDodger(s) post.


The problem is that when science writers express stuff much better than the sceincers who create the stuff, you wonder if the writers understand fully.

\REK-uhn-dyt\, adjective:
1. Difficult to understand; abstruse.
2. Concerned with obscure subject matter.

Recondite is from Latin reconditus, past participle of recondere, "to store back," i.e., "out of the way," hence "to hide"; itself from re-, "back, again" + condere, "to put away, to store." Thus, recondite knowledge is "hidden" (because of obscurity or difficulty) from the understanding of the average person.

No comments: