The Language of Science

English, the lingua franca of modern world, has definitely done it's share in improving our knowledge of science. But does it also draw a divide and restrict those who do not have access to it? In this post, I'd like to sum up few interesting things that I've come across, on the topic: numerous POVs, a TED talk, a few scientific letters and a couple of articles, a few lessons in history, but mostly my bit of some loud-mouthed thinking as usual.

At the heart of this chain of thought is actually a trivial conversation in my office, where Andrew - who was peering into his laptop otherwise - made a comment on how easy we have it with most research papers being published in English. Me and Stefania chimed in, in agreement. To my knowledge, this group of casual chit-chatters had a cumulative knowledge of at least seven languages: Hindi, Bengali, French, Spanish, Italian, Sanskrit (at least in principle) and of course, English. (But even though we mutually tease each other's accents time and again) I and Stef were, in no doubt, supportive of Andrew's sense of relief in our being able to read most of the relevant research articles in English.

But why is it indeed, that most (all) of the scientific literature we refer to, are actually in English? Why is it that English has been chosen as the prime language of the free-thinking contemporary world?

Hacking, Paving and Pulling the Plug

I've had a few realizations in the last few weeks (that's two few use of the word few)!

The first realization, is that I have no time to actually sit down and write down things on this blog. And there's also the fact that I almost killed this blog. I downloaded all the data and pulled the plug on it unceremoniously, for a few days. It lost a couple of images (as you'd have noticed already, if you had visited earlier). But anyway, looks like it didn't want to die and just like the most famous zombie of the world, it remained dead for 3 days and woke up to life on the third. It was a Sunday.

Happy Easter, everyone!

The other realization is that my gaming account got hacked. No big deal, just that after slogging in the lab for awhile, I suddenly inferred that I have not been putting the $59.99 game of FIFA'15 to good use. I should be playing on it, trying to up my Ultimate Team, trying to defeat Brazil playing with India, and trying to beat the crap out of Chelsea in the English Premier League by customizing the CPU settings to set the settings for injury frequency and injury severity at their highest. So, Hazard, Diego Costa and Terry were all in the hospital the last time I was playing the game. Manchester United is 7 points clear on top of the table. Taking Terry out was an accident though. He didn't really matter in the whole scheme of Chelsea's now erstwhile plan of European domination.

Anyway, it so happened that I suddenly couldn't log in to my account anymore. The whole security and privacy settings seemed to have been modified and it was rerouting me to some page that required me to enter a security code that was supposedly delivered to my cellphone. Except that, it wasn't. I panicked and called up the customer service guy.