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a nice and sounding vision of global science
A nice and sounding vision of global science :

“A world where science is used for the benefit of all, excellence in science is valued and scientific knowledge is effectively linked to policy-making. In such a world, universal and equitable access to scientific data and information is a reality and all countries have the scientific capacity to use these ….” ICSU

But we live in a vastly unequal world …

a discursive agreement
A discursive agreement :

Urgency of using the achievements of the scientific endeavour to adress human needs, to promote sustainable development and to contribute to the building of knowledge societies

for instance : Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge, World Conference on Science, 1999;

Millenium Development Goals


Science education and PCST are essential for building endogenous scientific capacity and strengthening democracy by means of an active and informed citizenship

(The relationship between science and society will centrally influence the directions and practices of science …)

Are there language issues ?

communicating science in plain language and through diverse languages
Communicating science in plain language (… and through diverse languages)
  • "I believe ­as Galileo did when he wrote his two greatest works as dialogues in Italian rather than didactic treatises in Latin, (…) as Darwin did when he published all his books for general audiences­ that we can still have a genre of scientific books suitable for and accessible alike to professionals and interested lay people. The concepts of science, in all their richness and ambiguity, can be presented without any compromise, without any simplification counting as distortion, in language accessible to all intelligent people."

Quoted from: Wonderful Life: the Burgess Shale and nature of history. N.Y.: Norton, 1989. p. 16.

Index translationum ?

Spanish Spanish Spanish

French French French

Portuguese Portuguese Portuguese

German German German

Japanese Japanese Japanese

Dutch Italian Italian

Polish ČesČes

Slovenian Slovenian Hebrew

Hebrew Swedish Slovenian

Swedish Korean Hungarian

Hungarian Swedish

Basque Estonian


does the english only character of science
Does the English-only character of science …

… widen the Gap between Scientists,

Science Educators and Civil Society ?

… create new barriers to Science Education

and the PCST ?

scientific culture
Scientific culture ?

Massarani, L. et al.Science journalism in Latin America: How the scientific

information from a scientific source is settled when it is transformed into a

journalistic story

Paper presented at the 9th International Conference on PCST, Seoul, 2006

They analyzed all the stories published by the science section of main newspapers

from Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Ecuador and Brazil during April 2004, having as

primary source scientific papers published by the journals Science and Nature.

“5. Mistakes, negligence, and incongruities

We identified some mistakes, negligence,and incongruities in the analyzed stories.

Most of them are related to figures or not accurate translations.”

science education science literacy
Science Education, Science Literacy ?

“Using the national languages—Sinhala and Tamil—as the media of instruction in

schools and universities has mixed blessings. Each language has its own rich

literature and each is amenable to communicating complex ideas and philosophies.

However, when used for scientific and technological communication, they suffer from a

lack of adequate vocabulary. (…) [and] translating the latest scientific and

technological literature and printing it for a small national market is a costly and

cumbersome exercise.

There are very few authors who write books and authoritative papers in the national

languages. In neighbouring India, where Tamil is the mother tongue of a large

population, higher education and research publications are in English.”

C.L.V. Jayatilleke, “Sri Lanka”, in Science education for contemporary society:

problems, issues and dilemas. Final Report of the International Workshop on the

Reform in the Teaching of Science and Technology at Primary and Secondary

Level in Asia : Comparative References to Europe

Beijing, 27–31 March 2000

local and indigenous knowledge systems and languages
Local and indigenous knowledge systems and languages

'Local and indigenous knowledge' refers to the cumulative and complex bodies of knowledge, know-how, practices and representations that are maintained and developed by peoples with extended histories of interactions with the natural environment.

(other terms include: traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) ; ethnoscience / ethonobiology / ethnobotany / ethnozoology, etc)

Vernacular languages are part and parcel of these cognitive

systems. Indigenous languages participate in the

creation, encoding, sustaining, and transmission of cultural

knowledge and patterns of behaviour.

The LINKS project (UNESCO)


"Nā te waka ō tātou tūpuna i hari mai ki konei kia kaua tērā e ngaro i a tātou.Ki te ngaro ana tērā kaupapa i a tātou, tekateka noa iho tātou."- Tohunga Tārai Waka Hekenukumaingaiwi Puhipi

"We must not forget that it was the canoe that brought our ancestors to this land.If we were to lose this part of our culture, we lose our heritage."- Maori master canoe builder Hekenukumai Busby

He shares his knowledge on a variety of subjects including ways to prepare and select the right tree to build a canoe and how the reflection and diffraction of ocean swells allow navigators to detect distant islands

Need of a process of language intellectualisation (corpus planning, status planning), particularly in the sphere of S&T

Kalima (كلمة) project to translate books into Arabic

The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage has funded a project that will to start with, translate 100 seminal works in science, philosophy, and other areas into Arabic. That includes works by Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking, Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Stephen Jay Gould, and James Watson.

The project, called Kalima (“word” in Arabic), is an attempt to address the fact that, although there are more than a quarter of a billion Arabic speakers worldwide, only a few hundred books are translated into Arabic each year.


The Asian Multilingual Thesaurus of Geosciences (AMTG) was created

within the framework of the South-East Asian Networkfor a Geological

Information System (SANGIS) to respond to regional difficulties in using

keywords in English for geological and geophysical information


The AMTG’s 5,867 geoscientific terms in English and French have

Been translated into Khmer, Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean,

Lao, Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese.

what kind of language policy and planning for science that promotes linguistic diversity and multilingualism ?

multilingual (diversity : creativity and innovation) and interlingual (universality and international character of science)

But what kind of interlingualism ?

china is becoming a scientific force to be reckoned with and what about mandaren
China is becoming a scientific force to be reckoned with (…and what about Mandaren ?)

Source : David Graddol. English Next (2007)

a living planned language, neutral and auxiliary
  • a voluntary, non-ethnic, worldwide speech community
  • a movement of language awareness and appreciation for languages
Eoanthropus dawsoni

Eoanthropus dawsoni (portrait 1915)

IUBS Commission for Biological Education

(CBE) & UNESCO Programme on Science

and Technology Education

Bioliteracy through a set of interesting

hands-on activities to learn about the living

world around the children (“observing birds”,

“tree charting”, and so on)

Premises :

  • Biology is for everyone
  • Science needs a context
  • Being a biologist is not necessarily a career, but a life-long learning experience