Texts, arguments, authorship
This course explores how scientific findings are communicated. The emphasis will be on communication within the scientific community. We combine philosophical, historical, and sociological approaches to this topic. For instance, we discuss the ways in which lab research is cast into the form of scientific arguments. We compare genres of scientific texts for different audiences (the textbook, the review article, the grant proposal, the peer-reviewed research article, the lab paper), consider whether the genre and expectations about audiences modify the ways in which arguments are presented, and whether these modifications are epistemologically significant. We trace how specific genres and modes of communication, such as scientific correspondence and the scientific article, have changed since the 17th century and consider the implications of these changes. We also analyze the epistemological, legal, and ethical problems of authorship, especially with a view to large-scale collaborative research.