Accommodating science the rhetorical life of scientific facts
“‘The brute facts’ themselves mean nothing; only statements have meaning, and of the truth of statements we must be persuaded” (363).
The relevance of newly found scientific data or “discovery” is wholly dependent on its meaning as an idea or theory.
“Give Me Technology” by Mark Sena PDF In order for scientific breakthroughs to directly impact the general public, abstract ideas, theories and discoveries must be effectively transformed into real technologies which, when applied, benefit everyday life.
Similarly, scientific literature uses the conventions of rhetoric to translate sheer unintelligible data into a wide understanding of its meanings and implications.
At one end lie the scientists who are responsible for developing experiments, collecting data, interpreting it, and then formulating conjectures and conclusions from their research.
Only the interpretation and credible presentation of these elements encourages a reader to accept them as truth.Acceptance is the first step in making scientific innovation useful.Thus, if an invention or discovery is not presented clearly, then it has no chance at serving a purpose in the future.Whether through the organization and presentation of experimental data, or by the powerful emphasis of the effect of technology on the world, both scientists and journalists seek to convince their audience of the importance of a specific discovery, idea, or conjecture.In his article “Rhetorical Analysis” Alan Gross describes the dependence of scientific texts on rhetoric: We live in an intellectual climate in which the reality of quarks or gravitational lenses is arguably a matter of persuasion; such a climate is a natural environment for the revival of a rhetoric that has as its field of analysis the claims to knowledge that science makes.