Being an academic, I regularly attend seminars on topics that may not be interesting to anyone else on the planet. Prior to the talk, an abstract is sent out by the speaker to give us an insight into what he/she will be discussing. A good abstract should be no more than an essential summary of what the speaker will discuss; it is usually no more than a paragraph in length, and is often tersely worded. The rare exceptions to this length requirement usually aren’t the best at conveying the essential information. For a seminar I attended recently, the abstract violated this "rule" by weighing in at a whopping four paragraphs. However, even considering this excessiveness, the opening sentence is what really drove me over the edge. The abstract began with the phrase, "One presents a critical analysis…" (Emphasis added).
In the normal course of scientific writing, it is expected there will be a sense of detachment between the experiment and the experimenter. The data is king. After the manner of collection has been accepted as a valid method of demonstrating what is intended, the data drives any and all interpretation – period. The experimenter is expected to be a dispassionate, passive observer, and this shows up in scientific writing as an excessive use of the third person. However, by using "one" as a pronoun indicating himself, this speaker has completely detached himself from even his own presentation!
As I mentioned, I understand the necessity of detaching yourself from your results. The experiment must be able to stand on its own merit, and should not have to be propped up by the personalities of the experimenters. (Cold fusion comes to mind.) In my own writing, I tend to use the pronoun "we," as it provides a sense of detachment. However, I still identify it as my own work without compromising its independence. So, referring to yourself as "one" seems disingenuous and completely out of place, especially in the context of a presentation abstract.
Years ago, while I was still an undergrad, I heard about a movement in the scientific community to improve the mechanics of scientific writing. One of the suggestions was to eliminate many of the bizarre contortions using the third person imposes upon the authors. I am firmly in this camp. While authors must be somewhat dispassionate in their writings, there is no need to completely separate ourselves from our own work in such an egregious manner.
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