Review by Matt Miller, senior science writer
Look over the shoulder of a great field scientist and what will you find? Copious notes, of course.
Here’s an engaging essay collection on the science (and art) of recording observations in the field. Twelve accomplished researchers – including wildlife conservationist George Schaller, old-school naturalist Bernd Heinrich and anthropologist Anna Behrensmeyer – share pages from their notebooks as well as their varied approaches for recording observations.
The essays include tips on recording data, the appropriate use of technology, the value of sketching and how to organize massive amounts of information.
There are several chapters on how note taking can help scientists with popular writing – of particular value to scientists looking to publish books or blogs. Even the most desk-bound modeler can find something of interest within these pages.
Follow the advice here and you’ll emerge a better observer and better writer—and by extension a better scientist.