Date of Award

5-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Professional Communication

Advisor

Katz, Steven B

Committee Member

Walters , Shannon

Committee Member

Temesvari , Lesly

Abstract

Scientists have strong motivations to communicate with the public, yet this communication is often ineffective. As Ann Penrose and Steven Katz explain in Writing in the Sciences, there are three major reasons why scientists communicate with the public: moral, economic, and political (177). Despite these reasons for scientists to communicate with the public, it is not always easy for this communication to take place, due to divisions of audience and discourse community, as well as the scientists’ biases against communicating with the public. Scientific accommodation helps to bridge this gap.
In some fields, like forensic anthropology, scientists write their own accommodation. This analysis, unlike others, will include these accommodations and seeks to determine the role the author plays in accommodation. If the scientist is the accommodator, does the text still undergo the same changes? With a combination of Fahnestock's analysis of scientific communication, Latour and Woolgar’s Statement Types, and Toulmin et al.’s method of diagramming scientific arguments, this analysis examines the discourse of forensic anthropology to determine what effect the author and the accommodator (or author/accommodator), have on the text and how these changes relate to forensic anthropology as a discipline.

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