While doing a PhD and reading tons of scientific publication abstracts, it is easy to over estimate the quality of the communication that goes around the academic/scientific community.
Graduate school is an industry that is based on how complex you can make things appear. And complexity goes, in most of the cases, against communication. Communication in the sense of transporting that piece of knowledge to a different and new region. If there are two guys that have been working in the same topic for 15 years, it is very likely that they are going to know pretty well what the hake the are talking about. Is like having sex with your wife in a 25-year anniversary, the meaning of that look with your winked eye is a whole set of instructions.
Anyway, back to the two old guys, don´t get me wrong. They could be the next super discovery. But, if you have the cure to cancer, AIDS, or Zika in the bottom of a vault, is not going to be of any use. Is understandable that scientists can´t spend all their time explaining to the general public what they've found. Explaining every method used or suggested protocol. However, I guess we all agree that the academic/scientific community has a very low standard on delivering its powerful and fascinating knowledge to the general public.
Nevertheless, if you make things look really simple, people will rise they eyebrows when you say you've spent 10 years getting to that conclusion. Academia is an environment where, for the most part, the "value" of the members is rated by the horse powder of their brains. Brains with a lot of horse power are very useful and needed in science, but there is a moment where those engines need to slow down and set their pace to slow motion. Sadly, some people feel the need to show off their powerful brain making the communication of their discoveries very complex and entangled. The truth is that the clearer and simplified the message the easier the receptor will it. And voilà, communication just happened.
That's easy to see when we imagine two regular people talking, but the scenario gets more complicated when the emitter of the message has spent her whole carrier trying to look very very smart to be approved by a collective of people that, at the same time, is trying to look very very smart.
In many cases the logic behind trying to look very very smart is to used even more complex and weird words. And there my friend, is where the smart-ass blooms from the core of science tribe.
The problem with trying to be accepted by a group of people that pretend to know everything is that the words "I. do. not. know." start to feel like a treason to the collective.
Many member of this knowledge tribes already know what is been said here. But part of been in an academic filed mean to respect the borders and paradigms imposed within the community (It would be pretty hard to find a nun actively promoting Pussy Roit merchandise). (However, is hard to believe that, let 's say, the lesbian percentage within the nun collective will be zero) (I know is a graphic example for some of you but it helps to make point.)
Forcing academics to express their work in a simplified manner will be like asking super models to show up in front of the camera just after they woke up, hang-over. It would seemed counter intuitive given that their career is based on their appearance. However, think what will be the effect of that in teenagers suffering from anorexia and other psychological issues based on their appearance and physically based social pressures.
I've personally have felt that purr of my limited horse power brain when I've had the change to lecture or talk in a conference. Is kind of a self induced pleasuring act that inflates the ego of many years of work and effort. But if you think about it for a second, is a very personal action of self stimulation in front of a public. Horse power brain stimulation. You finish thinking that you'r great, the truth is that their is a bubble that separates the speaker from the audience. That bubble is make of all that jargon and fancy words.
They said that guys with big cars are trying to balance out other reduced parts of their body. Some kind of insecurity. Maybe academics are trying to hide their lack of something with all the jargon. It would be interesting to find what is been hidden behind all that argon, complex and fancy words when you pretend to communicate to each other in an academic tribe.