Edited By Maurizio Gotti, Stefania Maria Maci and Michele Sala
In this volume, medical communication is analyzed from various viewpoints: not only from a merely linguistic angle, with a focus on the description of the genres used in medical and healthcare contexts, but also from a social and cultural standpoint, with an emphasis both on the doctor-patient relationship and on the social relevance of the other types of communicative links existing between the many communities involved in this type of interaction.
The study of some of the main fields typical of medical communication has highlighted a considerable variety of themes, data and research methods which are clearly representative of the eclectic interest in this specific domain and of the wide range of approaches developed for its investigation.
As the various chapters show, linguistic analysis proves to be highly applicable to textualizations involving multiple interactions and practices, and several kinds of participants, including different healthcare professionals, trainees and patients.
Knowledge Dissemination in Genetics Blogs
Linguistic phenomena related to processes of knowledge dissemination (KD) and popularization have been increasingly attracting the interest of researchers in recent years. While at the beginning researchers focussed their attention on discourse pertaining to the hard sciences (Calsamiglia/Van Dijk 2004; Ciapuscio 2003; Moirand 2003), more recent studies have widened the span of the research to include also topics more closely related to humanities, such as legal discourse (Anesa 2012; Preite 2012) and applied linguistics (Giannoni 2012). Therefore, an interesting and detailed mapping of the different ways in which strategies of specialized knowledge simplification act as a communicative interface in the relationship between experts in a specific field or discipline and laypeople has thus begun to be drafted.
Interestingly, the concept of science popularization began to be associated with the idea of ‘bringing science to the people’ (O’Connor 2009: 333) as early as the 19th century, in a context in which the leading modes of science communication were largely elitarian and addressed specific discourse communities – e.g. lectures, personal correspondence, scientific treatises, transactions of learned societies (Topham 2013) – thus bringing about a wealth of genres aimed at the dissemination of knowledge, such as reviews, abstracts, synopses, etc.
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