This chapter recognises the need for a lingua franca in scientific research, in order to enable collaborative working and the circulation of knowledge. However, it challenges the monolingual assumptions that the acceptance of such a lingua franca often implies. The contemporary cultural dominance of English as a lingua franca often eclipses any awareness of the diversity of languages on which the development of science has historically depended. It disguises the ways in which the development of knowledge depends on complex processes of translation—of concepts, terms and ideas—which reveal the inherently multilingual nature of scientific research. The chapter considers the interdependency of science and languages, underlining the extent to which scientific research as a fundamentally human endeavour relies on, and is enhanced by, a recognition of linguistic diversity.
- Johnson. (2017, February 2). The Giant Shoulders of English. The Economist. Available at http://www.economist.com.