Scientific Babel: The language of science from the fall of Latin to the rise of English (Paperback)
  • Scientific Babel: The language of science from the fall of Latin to the rise of English (Paperback)
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Scientific Babel: The language of science from the fall of Latin to the rise of English (Paperback)

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Paperback 432 Pages / Published: 16/03/2017
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Today, the language of science is English. But the dominance of this particular language is a relatively recent phenomenon - and far from a foregone conclusion. In a sweeping history that takes us from antiquity to the modern day, Michael D. Gordin untangles the web of politics, money, personality and international conflict that created the monoglot world of science we now inhabit. Beginning with the rise of Latin, Gordin reveals how we went on to use (and then lose) Dutch, Italian, Swedish and many other languages on the way, and sheds light on just how significant language is in the nationalistic realm of science - just one word mistranslated into German from Russian triggered an inflammatory face-off between the two countries for the credit of having discovered the periodic table. Intelligent, revealing and full of compelling stories, Scientific Babel shows how the world has shaped science just as much as science has transformed the world.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781781251157
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 358 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 26 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS
Insightful, engaging and based on superb scholarship, lightly worn -- Mark Viney * New Scientist *
Erudite and engaging * Nature *
He has hit on a marvellous idea and executed it with panache and laconic humour. -- John Gallagher * Guardian *
It is hard to imagine that anyone with even the slightest interest in science or language will fail to find this book a treat * Prospect *
Perceptive ... insightfully and engagingly written, a masterful mix of intelligence and style. He illuminates an important side of science with academic rigor, but without a trace of academic obfuscation. * Science News *

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“The lingua franca is science is not what you think it is. ”

The current all-encompassing presence of English as the lingua franca of science makes it hard to conceive that there ever was a different linguistic balance in academia. However, since the sciences became a fixture... More

Hardback edition
5th June 2015
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