Understanding the Language of Science


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Understanding the Language of Science Author: Format: Paperback / softback First Published: Published By: University of Texas Press Pages: 262 Illustrations and other contents: 22 figures, 4 tables Language: English ISBN: 9780292716186 Category:

Winner, A Choice Outstanding Academic Book, 2004 From astronomy to zoology, the practice of science proceeds from scientific ways of thinking. These patterns of thought, such as defining and classifying, hypothesizing and experimenting, form the building blocks of all scientific endeavor. Understanding how they work is therefore an essential foundation for everyone involved in scientific study or teaching, from elementary school students to classroom teachers and professional scientists. In this book, Steven Darian examines the language of science in order to analyze the patterns of thinking that underlie scientific endeavor. He draws examples from university science textbooks in a variety of disciplines, since these offer a common, even canonical, language for scientific expression. Darian identifies and focuses in depth on nine patterns-defining, classifying, using figurative language, determining cause and effect, hypothesizing, experimenting, visualizing, quantifying, and comparing-and shows how they interact in practice. He also traces how these thought modes developed historically from Pythagoras through Newton.

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"To my knowledge, there has never [before] been a volume that analyzes, in one place, the actual language of science--those elements of thinking that are acknowledged to be the basis of scientific thought... [Thus] this is a very important book, contributing to several fields: science, education, rhetoric, medicine, and perhaps even philosophy... Darian's erudition is truly astonishing." Celest A. Martin, Associate Professor, College Writing Program, University of Rhode Island

Author Biography

Steven Darian is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Education at Rutgers University. He has also been a Fulbright Visiting Professor in India (1992), Uzbekistan (1997), and Ukraine (2001).