Scientific Disclosure Article – Concept and structure

We explain what a popular science article is and its characteristics. Also, how is its structure and an example.

Scientific popular article
A popular science article is aimed at a general audience.

What is a popular science article?

It is understood by article of scientific dissemination or simply article of dissemination to a short written written to a general audience, non-specialized, whose purpose is to inform and make the understanding of the masses a series of concepts and knowledge of a scientific nature.

It is not, therefore, an academic or technical publication, quite the opposite: a text written in simple terms and accessible to the average reader, that does not require too much previous knowledge or higher studies to understand it or at least get an idea of ​​the subject.

The latter implies friendly writing and an effort to explain the subject in simple terms, with metaphors, comparisons, and without assuming any prior specialized knowledge.

In this way, the writing of popular science articles usually falls into the hands of either scientists endowed with knowledge and with the passion and possibilities of transmitting it to the general public, or specialized journalists who are capable of synthesizing and “translating” the case.

This type of articles, nowadays mostly available on the webThey fulfill the role of promoting general knowledge and instructing the interested masses, fostering interest in scientific advances and in the world of organized knowledge.

Often, however, they can be great transmitters of misunderstandings, or pseudoscientific theories, when they are not in the hands of the appropriate drafter.

Characteristics of a popular science article

Scientific popular article
A popular article should be written in plain language, free of technicalities.

A popular science article must be written in simple language, free of technicalities (or in any case explaining them if they are unavoidable), and should be guided by simple logic, linear, that goes from the most general of the introduction to the most specific of the developed topic, allowing the reader a continuous advance.

In general, visibility is given to data that is especially relevant, important or key to the article, either in bullets, illustrations or text boxes. In the same way, the content is usually divided into titled lines, differentiated, that allow the reader to know what is being talked about at all times and from what perspective.

Structure of a popular science article

Popular science articles are usually thought from a simple structure, not always in the same specific order:

  • Introduction. In this section, the reader should be offered all the initial information to be able to approach the subject, since starting at once with the data and information could discourage him. An introduction is a gradual approach to the subject, generally going from the most general to the most specific.
  • Background. A review of who developed the topic and what were the problems in the scientific field in question, so that the reader can understand how important the new advance or newly developed theory is.
  • Exposition. The recount of the new information, with its explanations, graphs and support that make the reading more interesting, at the same time informed and complete.
  • Conclusions. A closing that rounds off the article and perhaps takes up some of the topics offered in the introduction or the background, so that the reader can get a general impression of what he has just read.
  • References. An addition of bibliographic references or Web pages in which the interested reader can continue on their own to find out about the subject, or can check where the information they have just read came from.

Example of a popular science article


What seemed like a fantasy a few years ago, such as the possibility of living on another planet, today is offered as a reality that is not far off. The stories of the American writer Ray Bradbury about the colonization of the planet Mars, or the studies that the German scientist Otto Von Braun left about a possible trip to the red planet, seem to have inspired the scientists of Space X, the company founded by the entrepreneur and space enthusiast Elon Musk in 2002.

In order to make space travel commercially profitable, Musk and his Space X have developed a series of astronautical projects that went from buying old rockets from Russia to developing their own, in search of developing the necessary technology so that they can take off. and land on your feet.

Lowering costs

This, which might seem eccentric, is key in the eventual colonization of Mars, since the rockets must be able to be reused if the objective is to go to and from there at a constant rate. You can’t lose billions of dollars in material with every release. And apparently Space X has some achievements in the matter, given that its reusable Falcon 9 model is the cheapest on the market, costing just $ 56.6 million per launch into low Earth orbit.

To this must be added the cost of fuel, of the implements to establish a colony there and, of course, keep the crew alive during the 39 days of the journey, assuming that it can fly at about 58,000 kmph (the speed of the New Horizons probe). NASA, the fastest of all).

A close dream

All this may, however, be closer than thought. “I would like to die on Mars,” Elon Musk told the press, “but not on landing.” We will have to wait yet a few years to see if he will truly achieve his dream.