About the project

The project is concerned with how state-of-the-art scientific knowledge is translated, or, possibly, not translated or mistranslated, in texts accessed by young people aged 11-16.

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The Translating Science for Young People project is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and is being project-managed by Professor Alice Deignan in the School of Education at The University of Leeds. The project started in November 2014 and will run until July 2016.

Dr Shirley Paul, Professor Alice Deignan and Professor Elena Semino (from left to right).

Dr Shirley Paul, Professor Alice Deignan and Professor Elena Semino (from left to right).

The aim of the project is to identify how scientific knowledge relating to the topic of climate change is translated (or possibly mistranslated), across genres, and in texts accessed by young people aged 11-16 in the UK.

It involves a detailed linguistic analysis of three large language data-sets in a 1 million word corpus comprised of 1. Academic and policy texts, 2. Educational materials, and 3. Interviews with young people, all relating to the topic of climate change.

A number of methods will be employed for analysing and comparing the data-sets. We will identify the most frequent word forms in each sub-corpus using corpus software (SketchEngine), and WordSmith Tools to give an indication of the most frequent semantic themes. We will also identify key semantic areas using WMatrix.

The practical implications of this work will be disseminated in the form of journal articles targeted at science education, science communication, and specialised linguistic journals, as well as articles to quality newspapers. We will also be organising engagement and dissemination events for education professionals in the Yorkshire region, as well as a national event for curriculum developers, science journalists and policy-makers in London.


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Monday 27th June, 2016 An engagement and impact event for curriculum developers, policy-makers, teachers, linguists, and science experts, will be...


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