Two Norwegian scientists have won the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine – for work published in the English language. Historian of science Michael Gordin explains why they wrote in the language of Dickens and Twain rather than Ibsen and Hamsun.
Permafrost, oxygen, hydrogen – it all looks like science to me.
But these terms actually have origins in Russian, Greek and French.
Today, though, if a scientist is going to coin a new term, it’s most likely in English. And if they are going to publish a new discovery, it is most definitely in English.
Look no further than the Nobel Prize awarded for physiology and medicine to Norwegian couple May-Britt and Edvard Moser. Their research was written and published in English.
This was not always so.