Popular science across cultures: cultural identities in image and text

Tuesday 12th November 2013 (16:15-17:30)
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Speaker: Sofia Malamatidou, University of Birmingham

Venue: Muirhead Tower, Room 121

Recent years have seen a significant increase in the demand for scientific knowledge across the globe particularly by the general public. In order to respond to this demand, popular science editions, such as Scientific American, have started exporting scientific knowledge through the creation of foreign-language editions. However, it is to be expected that adaptation needs to take place when addressing a different cultural group, if the publication is to be successful, as cultural identities are likely to differ. Two of the most important means available to magazine producers for attracting new audiences are magazine covers, both their visual and textual components, and editorials. The understanding of how these means are adapted in order to reflect different cultural identities has significant implications for the way in which science can be promoted at an international level. The presentation will report on a study exploring whether and how Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, with particular reference to collectivism, are encoded in the visual and textual elements of different foreign-language editions of Scientific American.