Book notice: Linguistic Inequality in Scientific Communication Today

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Mon May 19 12:21:37 UTC 2008

 Linguistic Inequality in Scientific Communication Today: What can
future applied linguistics do to mitigate disadvantages for

 AILA Review, Volume 20
Published: 2008
Publisher: John Benjamins

Book URL:

Editor: Augusto Carli
Editor: Ulrich Ammon


This volume is dedicated to the implications and consequences of the almost
exclusive use of English as the language of scientific communication. While
until the end of the Seventies of the last century, scientific
communication was characterized by a high degree of shared multilingualism,
a drastic change towards English monolingualism has taken place from the
beginning of the Eighties, at first in the so-called hard sciences
(natural sciences, medicine, technology, and mathematics) - under the
threat of the 'bibliometric measurement' via the impact factor - and
gradually also, though still to a lesser extent, in the social sciences and
humanities. The choice of English is usually seen as "natural" or at least
"unavoidable", without considering that it could involve problems and be
inequitable. This volume of AILA Review presents and discusses this
phenomenon and its social implications with the support of a number of
internationally known authors who outline its scientific relevance and put
forward various options of language policy.

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