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'Trapped in a labyrinth of facts'

15 September 2003

'Science is a broad church full of narrow minds, trained to know ever more about even less. Any technical paper anchors itself within a framework of new data and of evidence from the literature, all double-checked. A letter in Nature may appear opaque and clumsy to most laypeople, but those in the know read it as a work of grace and elegance.

Such a literary apprenticeship is a terrible constraint for scientists who try to escape into the wider world of books. At the keyboard I find myself trapped in a labyrinth of facts, each sentence with its own nugget of information. I write like the Human Genome Project.'

Scientist Steve Jones, author of The Descent of Man in the Guardian