Making Science Accessible: A Semiotics of Scientific Communication [Book Review]

Biosemiotics 1 (2):253-269 (2008)

This article serves as a demonstration of how certain models of literary analysis, used to theorize and analyze fiction and narrative, can also be applied to scientific communication in such a manner as to promote the accessibility of science to the general public and a greater awareness of the methodology used in making scientific discovery. The approach of this article is based on the assumption that the principles of structuralism and semiotics can provide plausible explanations for the divide between the reception of science and literature. We provide a semiotic analysis of a scientific article that has had significant impact in the field of molecular biology with profound medical implications. Furthermore, we show how the structural and semiotic characteristics of literary texts are also evident in the scientific papers, and we address how these characteristics can be applied to scientific prose in order to propose a model of scientific communication that reaches the public. By applying this theoretical framework to the analysis of both scientific and literary communication, we establish parallels between primary scientific texts and literary prose
Keywords Semiotics  Structuralism  Scientific communication  Public understanding of science  Metaphors in science  Scientific discourse  Semiotic square  Gleevec  Philadelphia chromosome
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DOI 10.1007/s12304-008-9017-1
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Modern Movements in European Philosophy.Richard Kearney - 1986 - Manchester University Press.

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