Rhetoric of Science: Enriching the Discipline

Jeanne Fahnestock. Technical Communication Quarterly. St. Paul: Summer 2005. Vol. 14, Iss. 3; p. 277


Start Date: September 10, 2006
Finished Date: September 10, 2006

Overall, this was an interesting article about the role and purpose of rhetorical scientific analysis. I was moved by two statements that apply to what I am working on:

She argues that rhetoricians, "also study ordinary science...ina addition to controversies, genres, movements, patronage, grant or article writing, popularization, and the impact of science on public policy" (277).

This is precisely the course of action I wish to take. I am not interested in examining the historical rhetoric; I am most interested in studying the Open Source movement in chemistry. As Dr. Murray-Rust discusses in his work, this movement has excellent collaborative potential.

She suggests several avenues for exploration and study with an meaningful outcome being an improvement for "the practice and teaching of scientific and technical writing" (285). This is an important strand for me because teaching technical writers is more than just looking at historical rhetoric. While I see value in that scholarship, I see the most value (for myself, anyway) in disseminating good information for use in current practice.