It doesn’t seem to matter much these days which country an important scientist comes from when discovering new scientific knowledge as the report will almost always be written in English. This could be anything from devising a new scientific term to coming up with some new scientific discovery. The language of science has increasingly been dominated by English
The Nobel Prize awarded for both physiology and medicine ended up in the hands of a Norwegian twosome called May-Britt and Edvard Moser. The whole of their research efforts ended up being both written and published in the English language in science.
Points about the language of science
- It seems that recent revelations have indicated that back in the 1900s, according to Gordin, a history of science professor at Princeton, the most dominant language in use in science was in fact German.
- Some may really think that Latin was likely to dominate science. This was certainly the case in Western Europe from the medieval era to the middle of the 17th century and then it started to disintegrate.
- Galileo wrote his scientific work in Italian which was later translated into Latin with the hope that it would make it more available for scientists to read and understand.
- Following World War One, French, Belgian and British scientists arranged a boycott of German and Austrian scientists. This disallowed them from attending conferences and publishing in the language of science in any of Western Europe’s journals.
The 2nd effect of World War One occurred across the Atlantic in the U.S. and began in 1917 after the US had entered the war. There was at that time a wave that hit the country of anti-German hysteria. Despite the presence of many Germans in states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Minnesota German faced criminalization in 23 states.
The rules were
- No speaking German in public
- No speaking of German on the radio. ,
- No teaching German to Under 10, years old.
It wasn’t until 1923 that these antiquated laws were repealed but this had an effect on language learning throughout the country. Before this time, Americans were learning and teaching English in Science as much as any other European country.