Writing freshwater biology: reading scientific discourse

Ahmed, Soheil (2012) Writing freshwater biology: reading scientific discourse. The International Journal of the Humanities, 9 (10). pp. 163-173.

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Abstract

This is a deconstructive reading of scientific discourse, undertaken through a particular scientific publication titled, "Arthropod 'Rain' into Tropical Streams: the Importance of Intact Riparian Forest and Influences on Fish Diet" (2008, 59, 653-660), which exhibits all the standard features of the genre. One of these features we call, IMRAD, acronym for introduction, methods, results, and discussion. Arguably, IMRAD is a narrative device which inscribes phenomena as a reading.

My paper, therefore, may be described as a theorization of this most iconic of scientific genres, the research article. I demonstrate how scientific writing, notwithstanding its outward imperviousness to notions such as textuality, closure, and différance, is still susceptible to them. This is because, in the end, scientific discourse is still writing, that spatio-temporally differed structure Derrida speaks of. Scientific writing cannot escape the constitutive metaphoricity of writing. One particular trope I examine thematically is scope. I argue further that in the research article what we encounter is not facts but their representations. Writing functions as a phenomenology.

The theoretical tools I mobilize for my reading are organized broadly around Derrida, Knorr-Cetina, Greg Meyers, Latour and Woolgar and so forth.

We have an imperative to understand scientific writing, which is a particular form of that much larger formation, academic writing. Most of our attempts are narrowly pragmatic, not 'literary.' The interdisciplinary nature of the paper embraces a number of key areas of the conference: literature, literary studies; language, linguistics; teaching and learning; science, environment and the humanities.

Item ID: 22867
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: IMRAD, deconstructive, literary reading
ISSN: 1447-9508
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2012 06:17
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2005 Literary Studies > 200526 Stylistics and Textual Analysis @ 40%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2005 Literary Studies > 200525 Literary Theory @ 20%
22 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 2203 Philosophy > 220317 Poststructuralism @ 40%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950299 Communication not elsewhere classified @ 30%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 70%
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