Science, technology, language and information: Implications for language and language-in-education planning

W. Grabe, R. B. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


There is an important relationship between scientific information and language. Scientific information is cumulative, storable and retrievable. In the past 40 years, English has become the dominant language of science information because the USA was the only major industrialized nation to come out of World War II with its industrial and educational infrastructures intact, because a great deal of scientific research was undertaken in the English-speaking world, because undertaking research requires access to information, and because all of these phenomena coincide with the historical point at which computer use became established in information storage. It is observable that the greatest users of information are also the greatest contributors to the pool of information and that those who most frequently use the information pool come to control the information systems. International accords have established the concept that information in the global networks must be written in or abstracted in English, French, German or Russian; it is clear that the dominant language is English. Access to information is central to national development and modernization; consequently, the science information/language relationship has important implications for Human Resource Development Planning and modernization. The actions of the Japanese government in the period since the end of World War II are examined as a case study. The situation in the People's Republic of China is also examined in order to suggest what China must do to achieve modernization with respect to information development, information storage, and information management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-120
Number of pages22
JournalSocial Science Information Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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