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Does Science Need a Global Language?: English and the Future of Research Hardcover – May 6, 2013
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Scott Montgomery's book is a fine illustration of the way [new studies of global English] are emerging. In is the scientific story, told by a scientist--by a scientist who has taken the trouble to understand current linguistic thinking on the global use of English...As Montgomery writes..."What has happened to modern science is remarkable, revolutionary." From a linguistic point of view, I already knew it was remarkable...But I had not fully taken on board just how revolutionary the consequences of this development have been.
In [this book], Montgomery investigates the role of English as the global language of science...The book focuses clearly on natural sciences, yet it is also highly relevant for social sciences, including business and management, as well as for the humanities...This is not a naive or triumphant book about English as a global force. It is a book written by a modernist, a believer in science as a joint, progressive human project. For this purpose as well as for its sheer learnedness and elegance of expression, it is well worth a read. --Susanne Tietze, Sheffield Hallam University
...the book is an excellent treatment of topics very important to scientific research, communication, and education in general. Highly recommended. Chemical Information Bulletin, American Chemical Society
Because both educators and researchers at all levels encounter increasing levels of globalization, this book is recommended for all. Journal of Chemical Education
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Top Customer Reviews
I confess that I've read several of Scott Montgomery's books and have enjoyed them all, especially his last one on global energy. I always come away from these reading experiences enormously more informed than when I began. The same is true here. I learned a great deal about language and its realities in the world today. I liked this book even more than the others I've read by this author. It's short, very well written, with Montgomery's special kind of ironic humor and humane sensibility. But it also revealed a world I didn't really know existed - a world that is also new and rapidly evolving before our eyes. This kind of revelation, it seems to me, is what good non-fiction is supposed to do.
The book is provocative. Some readers will find its main thesis--that a global tongue is indeed a good thing for science--upsetting, even offensive. But this would be a mistake. Montgomery, I say, is no advocate for the English language. His real advocacy is for science to be accessible to all scientists, everywhere, especially developing nations. A shared language is crucial for this, just as it has been true in the past. He points out that fears about a global tongue are often re-directed fears of English as the agent of American hegemony, imperialism, etc. Would Russian be a better choice? Chinese? Hindi? How about all of these, perhaps with Spanish and Portuguese thrown in?Read more ›
This is a scholarly book that is not aimed at casual readers. Persons who might be interested in the book could include professionals in science and technology fields, educators in science and technology fields, linguists, government officials dealing with science and technology issues, and persons interested in the history and sociology of science. Teachers and instructors in courses and programs dealing with English for Academic Purposes (EAP) also might find the book useful.