MAKE IT SNAPPY

IN PRAISE OF SHORT PAPERS, SHORT SPEECHES AND, YES, THE SOUND BITE

Ian Wilmut, the king of clone, will have to wait a while to claim his Nobel Prize. But it is not too early to give him the 1997 Brevity Award. His paper in Nature announcing his creation of Dolly runs fewer than three pages. (Technical notes take up part of a fourth.) Most scientific papers--most people--take three pages to clear their throat.

Yet even Wilmut fell short (so to speak) of the standard set in 1953 by Watson and Crick, whose own Nature paper announcing the most important scientific discovery of the half-century--the structure of DNA--ran just over one page.

Concision...

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