This episode of the Office Hour’s podcast interviews Emily Bazelon about the challenges of translating the social sciences:
In this episode we speak to Emily Bazelon. Emily is former senior editor at Slate, a New York Times Magazine staff writer, and the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School. We asked Emily to join us today as she is one of the most visible translators and disseminators of social science research.
Listen to the podcast here. It’s interesting that Bazelon accepts jargon (“it’s a form of short hand”) in academic writing, seeing it as an inevitable feature of the genre. The task of ‘translation’ would likely be approached rather differently if she saw jargon as unnecessary affectation that could be dispensed with if only academics would deign to write properly. She offers lots of other interesting insights about how this translation works: the difficulty of evaluating methodology, the value of finding ‘good explainers’ to act as gatekeepers and the way in which conflicts can help clarify the terms of a complex debate.
See this post is an exploration of translation from a different perspective. What role will the expanding academic blogosophere have in mediating this process of translation? It argues that academics can contribute to success of this translation by participating in the blogosphere and producing writing which mediates between the academic world and the media.
Categories: Committing Sociology