Rhetoric of Science: Achievements and Prospects

←2017. – Vol.11

Kramar N.

Postgraduate student

Research and Educational Center of Foreign Languages, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine



The article provides an overview of the development of rhetoric of science as a new interdisciplinary field since the 1970’s to the present. The philosophical foundations of rhetoric of science, in particular its relation to postpositivism and relativism, are being analysed. The main methodological vectors in this field are considered, such as analysis of rhetorical figures and schemes; identification of stases and topoi; delineation of rhetorical steps and moves; analysis of logos, ethos and pathos in scientific texts. The article emphasizes the importance of the conception of rhetorical figures’ cognitive basis for ongoing development of rhetoric of science. The importance of the use of rhetorical means in scientific discourse has been demonstrated via comparison of the style of two scientific works (by J. Watson & Fr. Creek and O. Avery et al.), which laid the foundations of molecular biology, but had a considerably different level of acclaim in the scientific community due to the difference in their writing styles. The main points of the critique of rhetoric of science by D. Gaonkar and other scholars are considered. The relevance and significance of applying rhetorical theory to the analysis of scientific discourse is substantiated, with the purpose of identification of cognitive and evaluative presuppositions that determine the course of scientific research of individual scholars or entire fields. It is argued that the rhetoric of science has practical significance for the translation of special texts, the popularization of science, and the training of would-be scientists in academic writing.

Keyw ords: rhetoric of science, scientific discourse, rhetorical figures, style, scientific communication.


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