Doublday and Connell ask whether scientific writing has to be so dull, and conclude that there is room for improvement. They are quick to argue that sensationalism and inaccuracy are not acceptable, but that it is possible for scientific writing to be both objective and charismatic. However, for the culture of scientific writing to change, “good writing needs to be valued by the reader, the editor, the educator, and, most importantly, the writer”. Further, “As readers we need to collect and savour good writing and learn from it, and as writers we need to believe we can write better.” Yes! Trends Ecol. Evol. 10.1016/j.tree.2017.06.011.