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Beyond English as the Language of Science – A Multilingual Biophysics Networking Event

Beyond English as the Language of Science – A Multilingual Biophysics Networking Event

sku Product SKU:  SPLSSN-W23_03_03-2023

There is no debating the fact that the vast majority of scientific discourse is carried out in English. But this was not always the case. From the 15th through the 17th century, the language of choice for professional communication among scientists from across the globe was Latin. As Latin fell out of favor, scientists often opted to write in their own language, with French, English, and German taking on a dominant role. However, by the middle of the 20th century, English emerged as the common language for scientific communication. This has had an enormous impact on how people across the globe talk about scientific ideas, influencing how science education is conducted in countries where English is not the language most often spoken, and placing significant burdens on scientists for whom English is not their native language. While it may, at first glance, seem like having a common language for scientific discourse could help improve communication between scientists from different backgrounds, not making space for people to talk about ideas in their own language can have the effect of excluding certain ways of thinking, and even result in the loss of knowledge from other cultural backgrounds.

The goals of this event are:

  • To create space for biophysicists who prefer to communicate in languages other than spoken English to discuss science in their chosen language
  • To help raise awareness of the unique challenges faced by scientists who are not native English speakers
  • To foster connections between the international community of biophysicists

Moderated breakout rooms focused on the following languages will be available:

  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Spanish
  • Ukrainian
  • Communication for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing scientists (ASL interpreter and captioning will be available)
  • Additional languages may be accommodated on request


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