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Public Attitudes Toward Science

Group Discussion
?

1) In what way have science and technology changed the world we live in? Give examples. 2) What is your attitude towards science? In what way is science a good or a bad thing?

A Brief Introduction to the Scientific TV Series
? The Sky at Night: a popular British television

program about the stars and planets, broadcast every month by the BBC since 1957. It is well known for the way in which its presenter, Patrick Moore, gives scientific information in an entertaining way.

Writing Style
? This text is the first piece of expository writing

in our textbook series; therefore it is important to note the features of exposition. ? Features of Exposition: Expository writings usually employ longer paragraphs in which there are longer and more involved sentences. Simply glance over the first page of Text A, Unit 2 and the first page of Text A, Unit 3, and you will see the latter is more closely packed than the former. For the purpose of objectivity, third-person narration is often adopted in exposition. Meanwhile, sentences in the passive voice appear regularly.

Analysis of the text
? A typical piece of expository writing begins

with a statement of opinion, then goes on to give supporting details. ? In this text, an opinion is advanced in Para.3, i.e., the public needs education in science so as to make informed decisions on their own fate. ? In the following paragraphs the author details the ways to educate the public. ? In the last paragraph a conclusion is supplied — human civilization will survive if the public understands science well

A Comparison Between Chinese and English Styles of Expository Writings
? Chinese style: spiral way of writing/inductive ? The writing starts with a brief analysis of the

?

? ?

?

situation without touching upon the topic. The writing then proceeds with a detailed analysis of the topic concerned, meanwhile leaving the reader some suspense. The writing ends with a clear conclusion or the writer’s personal idea. From the second paragraph onward, a Chinese expository writing is usually written in a paratactic way(并列或递近式) The whole writing can deal with several issues in a paralleled manner.(平行)

? Western Style: linear way of writing/deductive
? ?

? ? ?

reasoning The writing starts with a clear topic or a presentation of the writer’s conclusion. The writing then proceeds with an analysis of the topic and cites instances as supporting details. The writing ends with a restatement of the topic or of the conclusion. The writing usually employs the method of comparison and contrast. The differences in writing style are caused by high-context and low-context culture concepts in cross-cultural communication studies. 高语境 与低语境文化

A discussion Activity
? Study the following two versions of the same spoken

discourse presented in a business meeting between a Chinese and an American businessman. Discuss in groups which one might be given by the Chinese and which by the American.

? A: Because most of our production is done in China

now, and it’s not really certain how the situation will be like after the year 2006, and since I think a certain amount of caution in committing to TV advertisements is necessary because of the expense. So, I suggest that we delay making our decision until after the Headquarters makes its decision. ? B: I suggest that we delay making our decision until the Headquarters makes its decision. That’s because I think a certain amount of caution in committing to TV advertisements is necessary because of the expense. In addition to that, most of our production is done in China now, and it’s not really certain how the situation will be like after the year 2006.

? The message of the two versions is the same but the way it is

presented is different. The first speech is done by the Chinese businessman. However, the native English speakers have a feeling that it is not quite clear what the speaker’s main point is. The second speech is done by the American businessman. ? The reason lies in the different discourse patterns. The Deductive pattern (topic-first) 话题优先 is the usual way of speech in the West. The Chinese and other Asians favor the inductive pattern (topic-last)话题滞后. Therefore, we can reach the conclusion that people from English-speaking countries are in the habit of directly expressing their ideas, while Chinese employ an indirect way when presenting their ideas. ? When doing narration, Chinese and English-speaking people have similar thinking pattern starting with the problem and ending with the solution. But when it comes to exposition and argumentation, the Chinese use the pattern “from generalization to conclusion” while people from Englishspeaking countries use the pattern “from conclusion to specification”.

? Expository writing
? Expository writing "exposes" information by

explaining, analyzing, or interpreting its. ? The components of each paragraph in the standard essay :
? Paragraph 1 (introduction)
? Present the topic and define it. ? State some explanations or examples.

? Conclude with a transition sentence that leads

into the next paragraph.

? Paragraph 2, Paragraph 3, and Paragraph

4 (the body of your essay)
? Use a transition at the beginning of each

paragraph. ? In each paragraph you develop one of your arguments, points, or explanations as fully as you can, restating the explanation and then expanding on it with examples or evidence that supports it. ? Each of these paragraphs (as well as the body of the essay) needs an introductory sentence and a concluding sentence.

Paragraph 5 (conclusion)
? Restate your topic in words that are different

from those in paragraph 1. ? Summarize paragraphs 2, 3 and 4. ? Draw a conclusion.
? Home Assignment: Essay Writing
? Based on the discussion, please write an

essay on How Science Changes Our Lives.

Focus on Part II
? If we look closer at Part II of this text,

we will find it to be a mini-exposition, its topic: how to educate the public in science. Afterwards three concrete solutions are proposed. ? They are: science education in schools, replacing equations with words and diagrams, and making use of popular media such as newspapers, magazines and above all TV.


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