The volume is an English language text featuring topics chosen from the general science university curriculum. It aims at supplying the academically oriented ESP readers with an adequate and varied selection of texts in order to help them develop the skills necessary for effective participation in any university science course. It is mainly addressed to Italian speakers. Topics have been selected both from the general science academic curriculum and from a wide variety of up-to-date materials. The selection of the material, articles, essays, papers, literature, has followed the thread underlying the mutual fertile interchange between science and literature, the so-called two cultures. Several are the pieces by literate-scientists and scientist-literates. A central chapter, entitled “The Language of Science”, offers examples of the English language used as a language for science in the 17th century, when the Royal society brought about a radical reform in the use of the language, with the specific purpose of rendering it simpler and clearer. The stylistic and lexical characteristics of contemporary scientific English can be traced back to that process of revision of the language in which scientists as Hooke, Boyle and Newton were involved. Excerpts from their works are proposed and students are guided to comment on and analyze their linguistic and stylistic aspects. A special section is devoted to the Italian scientists Galileo and Alessandro Volta who, together with the English scientists, take part in a scientific revolution which develops beside a revolution of the scientific language implying mutual influences between Italian and English. The chapter also contains a detailed guide on how to write a good scientific paper. The stylistic instructions here contained are also widely applicable to any academic paper. The section contains an essay on Alberto Gigli Berzolari’s research on Alessandro Volta (pp. 84-89). It analyses the importance of Volta in developing scientific language and focuses on some choices in the translation from Italian into English while highlighting the difficulty in finding suitable English equivalents for words newly coined by Volta. The final part of the essay is devoted to the spread of some genres of scientific literature such as the ‘mémoire’ and the ‘letter’ at Volta's time in Europe.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine368
ISBN (stampa)978-88-6184-013-3
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2010


  • English
  • Letteratura
  • Science
  • Scienze

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