English Lingua straniera Studio Università

Languages in science

Are you a scientists? Would you like to be part of the scientific world? English is the language used in science. Publications, conferences, application for grants founding require the usage of the English. What about the other languages? Languages in science: an interview to Dr. Timothy E.L. Douglas, researcher and polyglot.

English as “bridge” between people?

Science is based on collaboration between people from different cultures. Due that, it is really important that scientists can communicate trough a common language.

Today the usage of English as “lingua franca” seems to be obvious and not questionable. But was English always used a bridge between scientists? History teaches us that in science the usage of a language instead of another is strongly related to social-political events.

Before the 17th century Latin was the languages of the scientists, followed by German, French and English before the second world war. In 1903 the mathematician Giuseppe Peano created and promoted the usage of a language for international exchange: the “Latino sine Flexione” (a simplified version of latin). Although the idea of the Latino sine Flexione was welcomed along scientists, its usage followed the dead of his author.

After many decades of the exclusive use of English, scientists are now starting to promoting the concept of multilingualism.

We discuss today this amazing concept together with our guest Timothy E.L. Douglas, coordinator of the conference “Languages in science” (11.2021).

Get to know the guest of today!

Timothy E.L. Douglas studied Chemical Engineering at Imperial College, London, UK, and Biomedical Engineering at Technische Universität München, Germany. After his PhD at Technische Universität Dresden, Germany, he was a postdoc at Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and Ghent University, Belgium, before coming to Lancaster University in 2017, where he conducts research into biomaterials for biomedical applications.

He is also the Study Abroad Advisor for the Engineering Department. He is a member of the International Association of Hyperpolyglots (HYPIA), a body representing the growing number of people conversant in 8 or more languages which fosters and encourages linguistic diversity.

Language in science: let’s talk about it!

We divided the interview in to two parts:

Part 1: Impact of language learning on research career

Part 2: How overcome difficulties during language learning. We decided to do this second part in several languages. Our idea behind is to inspire and encourage you: do not be afraid of mistakes! If we have done, you can do it as well! 🙂

Part 1

Part 2

Interested about the topic?

Check all the other talks done by Tim!

We hope you fund in this interview some useful information! 🙂

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