The Up-Goer Five Text Editor

When Randall Monroe released the amazing Up-Goer Five comic, I was inspired to hack together a customised editor so that I could explain my own research in the limited vocabulary of the thousand most common words.

For me the most exciting bit about this was that I got an email from Mr. xkcd himself. It also became a bit of a science-communication craze. A lot of scientists got in on the action (some kind people have made a collection here).

The editor has featured in The Guardian (and again). More recently it’s even been used for conference sessions, which are pretty fantastic. (The 9th talk in that playlist is particularly excellent). It’s also quite popular as a science communication training exercise, although it goes without saying that no-one is suggesting that this is the best way to communicate.