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Abstract Title: Use of Scientific Language by University Physics Students Communicating to the Public
Abstract: Communicating to non-expert audiences about advanced physics topics and current research is an essential practice for physicists. Typical language used by physicists speaking to other physicists, however, draws on a wealth of prior knowledge and community norms; using such scientific language with public audiences can be a barrier to effectively communication. Drawing from observations and literature, we present a framework for the assessment of scientific language of physicists communicating scientific meaning to non-expert audiences. We apply this framework to the analysis of videos of university physics students instructed to describe their research to middle school children. We classify the types of scientific language students use, such as physics-specific or general-science jargon, and also identify strategies students employ to mitigate the impact of jargon on the audience, including examples, explanations and analogies.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jordan Seneca
University of Colorado Boulder
440 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
Phone: 303-492-7815
and Co-Presenter(s)
Noah Finkelstein, University of Colorado Boulder
Kathleen Hinko, University of Colorado Boulder

Contributed Paper

Contributed Paper: Download the Contributed Paper