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Public Communication of Science and Technology


Contributions of Linguistics for Science Communication

ana fukui  

Science communication is an area which has earned recognition in the last years, much more as a set of actions than, effectively, as a research area. This paper aims to present some theoretical contribution for this debate from a dialog with Linguistics.

In order to make science, we need a theory which allows us to reflect about a certain reality, being this an experiment, an observation or a world cutout. In the case of science communication, which rises from the scientist's necessity of interacting more deeply with the society which is around him/her, contributions of several different subjects - such as Sociology, Psychology and research in Public Communication of Science - come out. Linguistics may contribute to this construction too, once its study object is language.

Linguistics premises allow us, from the beginning, to break with the linear model of communication: transmitter - message - receiver. In the scientific studies of language which start with Bakhtin, one of the fundamental principles is alterity, in which it is necessary that the transmitter perceives him/herself as a receiver too and, only from that, establishes communication. Jointly to this principle, dialogism is also established, which means that all texts are constructed in an otherness relation, in an exchange process, which can be face-to-face or not.

Once the premises are understood, we make use of an alternative model of description of communicational relations, called situation of communication, which can cope with the otherness relation in the interaction process, instead of considering the interlocutor as a simple receiver. Finally, we present an application of this model in a Brazilian scientific popularization magazine, called Ciência Hoje.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.