ERIC Number: ED373362
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Allies and Competitors as Enscripted Audiences in Scientific Writing.
A set of much examined scientific papers which specifically portray a controversial topic and also manifest ally-peer and competitor-peer enscripted audiences are those written by James Watson and Francis Crick concerning their discovery of the structure of deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA). The theoretical perspective of an ally-peer and competitor-peer audience which scientist-writers enscript within their published works is a natural extension of theories of audience developed by Walter Ong, Adrea Lunsford and Lisa Ede, Jay Gragson and Jack Selzer, Lawrence Prelli and Bruno Latour. Watson and Crick's first publication, "A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid," is a masterpiece of cautious, deferential rhetoric and was published on April 25, 1953 in the journal "Nature." As members of a small international research community or "invisible college," Watson and Crick were asking their ally/competitor peers to evaluate, write about, and discuss their text in hopes such attention would validate their proposed structure. By the time Watson and Crick wrote their second paper, they were more confident than ever about the truth of their claim to the structure of DNA. Deference appeared only through carefully inserted phrases which reflected cautious rhetoric, preventing their audience from picking up on an inappropriate, brash attitude from the lines of their text. Although written to discuss the possibility of a mechanism for self-duplication of DNA, their second paper was also written to enhance their position in the community and to keep their proposed structure in the minds of their audience. (Contains 16 references and 3 notes.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Rhetorical Strategies; Science Writing; Writing Contexts
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (45th, Nashville, TN, March 16-19, 1994).