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ERIC Number: ED198561
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Scientific Language: Wherein Its Mystique?
Randall, Alice Fracker
In recent years both scientists and laypeople have viewed with dismay the notion that science seems mysteriously different from other areas of human concern. Scientific language is part of the mystique. Yet scientific language is human language before it is science. The mystique that people ascribe to scientific language is of their own making, for physical, cognitive, and emotional phenomena are not so different that language cannot serve them all in similar fashion. Laypeople who must make decisions affected by scientific research--and that is everyone--may take heart: they can deal with scientific language with the same benign skepticism and keen analysis that they apply to the language of other disciplines. Recognizing the shared features and fundamental linguistic characteristics that scientific language shares with other language--historians' language, psychologists' language, black English, phatic language--could be the means of establishing mutual confidence between scientists and humanists. Once students have been effectively disabused of the notion that scientific language is "different," teachers and students can approach rational use of the information transmitted by the scientists in textbooks, newspapers, and scientific journals. (RL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A