The Importance of Language in Science Essay

The Importance of Language in Science Essay

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Language is the tool that humans have used since the beginning of time. It is constantly changing as new words are made up for a dynamic society. Words can identify objects and ideas; however, as time progressed languages have become gendered to place things either as masculine or feminine. This gendering of words can be stigmatizing to the topic of discussion and altering the perception of it. Language is an important part of society and its (improper) use can be a determining factor in the way it is received by others both inside and outside the scientific community.
In Anne Fausto-Sterling’s “Science Matters, Culture Matters”, she explains how scientists are in the citadel and everyone else is part of the rhizomes (Fausto-sterling, 2003). The image depicted is one where there is a walled city surrounded by rhizomes or root like structures. The walled city is for the scientists who are kept inside and away from culture. While the outside, the rhizomes or roots, is where the normal everyday life happens, where the culture is shaped constantly. People like to believe that the rhizomes stay in their place and that the citadel is protected from the outside troubles, however as Fausto-Sterling puts it, “rhizomes can and do also burrow right under the walls of the citadel, bringing ideas born in culture into the realm of scientific theory” (2003). This is important for language because it shows how as much as scientists like to believe the citadel is “pure and objective” the rhizomes can easily corrupt it by their culture (Fausto-Sterling, 2003). Therefore, scientific information can be altered to reflect culture ideas, instead of being wholly accurate.
This inaccurate reflection can be seen, for example, with sexual reproduction...

... middle of paper ...

... paths that society takes. Therefore, science, culture, and language have a constant relationship that continues to be molded by the changing views of the people of society, those inside and outside the citadel.

Works Cited

Knights, J. (2002, January 1). Sexual Stereotypes . Nature, 415, 254-256.
Latin Grammar. (2011, January 1). . Retrieved May 20, 2014, from
Metaphors. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved May 20, 2014, from website:
Fausto-Sterling, A. (2012). Sex/gender: biology in a social world. New York: Routledge.
Fausto-Sterling, A. Science Matters, Culture Matters. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 109-124.
Richardson, S. S. (2013). Sex itself: the search for male and female in the human genome. Chicago : The University of Chicago Press.

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