The final seminar of the 2012 series of Applied Linguistics seminars at Macquarie University will be held on Tuesday, October 30:
Academic criticism: the myth of impersonality
When: Tue 30/10, 1:00-2:00pm; Where: W5C 221
Presenter: Esmat Babaii, Kharazmi University and Macquarie University
Abstract: Scientific discourse in general and hard science discourse in particular is expected to be impersonal and objective. This seminar examines this notion by looking at how academics criticize the work of their peers. Analysis of a corpus of book reviews in three leading physics journals will serve to question the commonly-held view that ‘scientists think but the public feels’ (Cook, et al., 2004). The differential treatment of similar problems in negative versus positive reviews points to the fact that academics do not necessarily adhere to universal, stable criteria when judging the quality of others’ publications. The findings cast doubt on the uniformity of scientific/academic discourse and call for a genre-specific, context-dependent treatment of this concept.
Cook, Guy, Pieri, Elisa, Robbins, Peter. 2004. ‘The Scientists Think and the Public Feels’: Expert Perceptions of the Discourse of GM Food. Discourse & Society 15, 433-449.
About the presenter
Esmat Babaii (PhD, 2003, Shiraz University) is an assistant professor in the Department of Foreign Languages, Kharazmi University, Iran, where she teaches research methods, language testing and discourse analysis. Currently, she is a visiting scholar in the Linguistics Department of Macquarie University.