Active vs Passive Voice – Which Side Are You On?

The American Chemical Society are hosting an interesting webinar tomorrow (the 9th of April) on the difference between passive and active voices in scientific writing, and which may be better.

Their example of the difference between the two is:

“We applied an external magnetic field of 4 T while increasing the pressure to 300 kPa.” or “An external magnetic field of 4 T was applied as the pressure was increased to 300 kPa.” 

Passive may the what you’re used to seeing, as it’s often taught in university undergraduate and postgraduate programs, but what do you think?

The webinar will involve two academic experts, Kristin Sainani from Stanford and Celia Elliott from Illinois, giving us the pros and cons of each and which may be more appropriate to use.

It will make for an interesting discussion, and could open your mind to new ways of writing that you haven’t thought of before.

I personally prefer the passive voice when writing scientifically, but may be I could be swayed!

What do you think?

Details of the webinar can be found here.


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