The Benefits of Science!

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Posted on 22 Mar 2013 03:01


A band of musicians gather at a grand meeting discussing ways to improve their play styles in concerts/different professional settings (i.e. Carnegie Hall, Avery Fischer Center, and others). What kind of meeting would you call this? A random gathering among musicians? A musical community? A more specialized type of community is categorized into different categories? Well, replied by many English scholars/linguists and widely known in today’s world, this would be generalized as a discourse community. A general context of it is groups of specialized people that may or may not have been raised in that specific area have a purpose to achieve within. Hence, for my proposal, my study of the science research community would follow on the same contexts/principles. Since it has been so widely known throughout society, it would be interesting to notice its specific use in society and its development in the years.

Description of the current situation:

To understand this concept of a discourse community, much research/data have been studied. By exploring these various propositions, I have learned the various aspects that have gone into this concept. One such aspect can be shown through John Swales, a linguistic professor; he explains the six main objectives that discourse communities should set out to achieve. These include: a set of common goals, mechanisms of communication with one another, utilization of mechanisms to provide feedback for others, multiple usage of genres, specialized lexis, and an adequate amount of members. Such perspectives fit in well with my usage of this scientific discourse community. However, in particular, Anna M. Johns, an English scholar, proposed an elaborate study of student’s participation in the rigor standards of academic discourse communities. The amount of dedication has to be done suffice for the members in order to be fully part of the community resulting a bit of threat to the readers to be aware of the difficulty of actually becoming a full member. Therefore, not only does she promote awareness within a specific type of discourse community but also through the guidelines outlined by Swales, the reader is able to get a better sense of their reason for their existence!

Description of the project plan:

In order for me to approach my study of this science research community, I would study/scrutinize the learning environment of the online/physical science research communities in classrooms (such as my own High school) along with laboratory research undergraduates in CCNY. In particular, analyzing the lexis common to these people would allow for me to see a trend among these communities. Also, the mechanisms in providing/exchanging information can be conveyed through their talk styles/communication forms with one another such as: seminars, conferences, email, and/or general meetings. Such kind of analysis and examinations allows for a thorough study of this discourse community especially in its diversity around society!

Review of Qualifications

In all reality, this project does seem feasible to complete especially since I have experience with research in my entire life (since my mom introduced me into her microbiology laboratory). My experiences with working with professional scientists in different laboratories and in science-research classrooms benefited me into a great new level. The communications and laboratory interactions that I have had with these Ph.D. level scientists conveyed a strong learning environment. Some of them are easily accessible through email, office number, and even in my local high school. All of these available people including all of the science research engines (i.e. Google scholars and/or science direct) would allow me to facilitate my study of this science research discourse community.

Discussion of costs/challenges

In this research, there may be some minor “technical” difficulties that would hinder me from attaining full information. Some of them include being able to attain relatively quick responses from these professors since some of them can fluctuate in responding back to emails and they, sometimes, don’t go to their respective teaching campus due to research conference trips, etc. One other includes finding a common goal among this community since it is such a grandeur society and can be difficult to establish one specific objective that they all want to achieve. For example, maybe some of them just do this for the stipend that they receive or they are just sliding by this to fulfill certain Ph.D. requirements. Hence, for this particular criterion of a discourse community, it may be very difficult to fulfill. Though these problems exist, alternatives do exist for them and can be managed to achieve a successful analysis of this community as a whole.

Benefits and Conclusions

After completion of all this research, much benefit/value will be presented to the class or general society. One reason is that since many of them are willing to become Engineers, they will see how to prepare themselves for this academic discourse community. Also, research is a very important component for many of these majors because it shows a strong willingness you have in your major/field that you wish to achieve in the near future. In addition, one discovery that I might make in my research is that this community can be very unique and specialized to the person. In fact, it can be so important to them that it may be considered a “safe house” from all of the dangers/misfortunes that face them in their lives. Hence, research upon such a community would incite many novel ideas that will benefit the society and me.

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