Science is Culture

So

It’s summer and Seed’s running a few classic articles online. This weekend, read about “So”

The language of science, with its specialized vocabulary and clipped rhythm, has a distinctive architecture.

The functional elegance of this rarefied speak is uniquely captured in one of its most inconspicuous words: “so.” This isn’t “so” the intensifier (“so expensive”); it’s not the “so” that joins two clauses. This is the “so” that introduces a sentence, as in “So as we can see, modified Newtonian dynamics cannot account for the rotation of any of the three observed galaxies.”

This “so” is key to a basic unit of scientific talk: the explanation.

Comments

  1. #1 Ed Darrell
    July 20, 2010

    I’m confused: Most Seed Media Group bloggers complain of a lack of important communication from SciBlogs — you, that is. Ardvarachaeology notes you’ve sent him four e-mails in the last couple of weeks, but none apparently dealing with communication to bloggers.

    If you’ve decided to make all your bloggers free agents, would you let us know? We may be able to cut deals before the court orders an auction.

    At a minimum, could you pick up the phone and give P. Z. Myers a call?

  2. #2 Prometheus
    July 20, 2010

    Hey cowpoke.

    Are you even going to react to your #1 property joining the picket line?

    I understand silent indifference to the loss of the cat lady demographic but if you lose the 18-25 year old white male social misfits you just lost the internet.

  3. #3 MANISH VERMA
    November 19, 2010

    WASH I PAST? WHO WASH GIRLFRIENDS 2009?