Experience antithesis in Nobel Prize lectures: Enhancing understanding of molecular biology by means of active, spatial antitheses?

University essay from Lunds universitet/Masterprogram: Språk och språkvetenskap

Abstract: This qualitative study explores whether antithesis, as a didactic rhetorical tool, may enhance the likelihood of understanding complex biology-related information. Research shows that students lack the ability of communicating expert knowledge to laymen since they do not understand subject matter well enough themselves due to scientific language. Hence, scientific language use should be studied in order to be altered, upon which students may understand subject matter more efficiently, and consequently become better at popular science communication. Antithesis is studied in Nobel Prize lectures, and it is questioned whether it may be interrelated with understanding in relation to theories on antithesis and partly spatial bodily experience in correlation to understanding. Close textual analysis and comparative stylistic analysis were employed as methods when analyzing antithesis content. Results show that contradictory and contrary oppositions may enhance understanding since they make subject matter easier to relate to by means of clarity and contrast.

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