Scientists recognise the importance of the communication of science to the general public, and to young people especially, if society is to understand and tackle the challenges that lie ahead, such as climate change, food security, and issues around public health. In my talk I describe a project that used corpus linguistic techniques to examine texts on the topic of climate change from expert genres, such as policy reports and academic articles, and materials for school students. I look at how key concepts are communicated, especially using metaphor, and how these are then reconceptualised in focus groups with young people.
About the Speaker:
Alice Deignan is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Leeds. She works with corpora to investigate lexical meaning, especially focussing on metaphor and metonymy. She is author of Metaphor and Corpus Linguistics (2005, John Benjamins) and co-author of Figurative Language, Genre and Register (2013, CUP with Jeannette Littlemore and Elena Semino). She was Principal Investigator on the project Translating Science for Young People, and is currently Principal Investigator on Linguistic Challenges of the Transition from Primary to Secondary School, both funded by the UK Research Institute.