This is a huge problem in the academic field. Papers are written in academese, not because it's a particularly good way of distributing information, but because it's expected. I absolutely agree that less formal language is both good for the discipline, the technical non-academic audience, and for the lay audience.
Steven Pinker recently wrote a book called "The Sense of Style" which talks about academese and writing well about complex subjects (something which he, indeed, has a lot of experience in!). I haven't read it yet, but I've heard it's quite good.