buckworks - 6:50 pm on Nov 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
If writing for academia, a higher score is probably best.
As a former academic, I disagree with that. A readability grade level score over 12 is suboptimal writing, no matter what the topic. There's no reason to inflict grade 15 fog on any audience, anywhere.
If your target audience is academia or industry, you'll sometimes need to use specialised vocabulary which tends to push up the reading level score. That's no excuse for lapsing into pompous verbosity across the board, though.