A communication model of conceptual innovation in science

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Abstract

This essay exploring the nature of scientific communication begins with the premise that conceptual innovation is both a fundamental scientific activity and essentially a communication phenomenon. Conceptual innovation is fundamental as a scientific practice in that science as an institution is predicated on the development of new knowledge. It is essentially communicative in that it is the public character of science that relies on the consensual and communal evaluation of knowledge claims that determines the fate of new ideas. Science comprises a number of overlapping discursive formations whose nature is determined by the positions of (and relationships among) actors and ideas within communication and ideational networks, and which are characterized by a particular situational logic. The nature of these situational logics is such as to give rise to some of the characteristic communication dynamics of science, including consensus, problemshift, branching, and demarcation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-314
Number of pages25
JournalCommunication Theory
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2001

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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