Linguistics and the Human Sciences, Vol 2, No 3 (2006)

Referring to Others in the Scientific Journal Article. A brief history

David Banks
Issued Date: 24 Jun 2008


Study of a corpus of 30 articles taken from the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, and covering the period 1700-1980, shows that their writing contains features which betray the relationships that prevailed within the scientific community of their time. Some features, such as mention of the Ancients, die out quickly, while others, like giving the provenance of specimens, continue throughout the period. Praising others is common in the early articles but disappears as time goes on. There is some evidence of the epistolary form from which the scientific article developed. Critical remarks, particularly in the early years are accompanied by attempts to explain the supposed error. There is also evidence of the way the gentleman scientist, or virtuoso, gradually gives way to the professional.

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DOI: 10.1558/lhs.v2i3.329


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