Deutsch in der Wissenschaft. Alemão na Ciência.

Segue abaixo, na íntegra, o texto que foi publicado pelo Goethe Institut para divulgação do resultado do seu concurso cultural Deutsch schafft Wissen. Embora eu não tenha ganhado os prêmios em dinheiro concedidos aos três primeiros lugares, fiquei entre os 10 finalistas. Agora o meu cartaz e outros nove serão utilizados para disseminação da língua alemã na Ciência mundo afora. Detalhe para o último parágrafo do texto!

“Deutsch in the Sciences”: Have a Plan D Just in Case

News from the nation of poets, but also of thinkers: We dug up previously unpublished words by Immanuel Kant from the year 2030. They were presented at an international conference in Essen advocating more German in the Sciences. And look at that: Roentgen’s rays!

“Bremsstrahlung is not a last name” says one poster, another one demands, “Have the Mut to use deinen own Verstand,” a fictional quote by Immanuel Kant from the year 2030. They are two of over 2,000 posters created by media designers, scientists, students and people interested in German from over 50 countries who took part in the creative competition Deutsch schafft Wissen (German Generates Knowledge).

This summer, the Goethe-Institut and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) asked that people advocate academic German with advertising slogans, drawings or photos. 27-year old copywriter Jennifer Bohn and 30-year old designer Johannes Hein won the race with their poster series of baby photos of great German inventors uttering their first words.

The winners, who met at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, surmised that Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen’s first word may have been “Look!” The native language has an impact on the way a scientist thinks. An early “Look!” by Röntgen may have been followed exactly 50 years later by his discovery of x-rays.

Last week, Bohn and Hein accepted their first prize of 3,000 euros at the Zeche Zollverein in Essen. The award ceremony kicked off the three-day international conference German in the Sciences, held by the Goethe-Institut, the DAAD and the Mannheim Institute for the German Language.

For centuries, the German language played a central role in the sciences, but with the growing international networking of universities and research institutes, it – like many other languages – has fallen behind English. This was the reason that the three organizers asked notable scientists and language experts to a conference aimed at stimulating an awareness process: what significance do languages have in academic work? How is German-language academia perceived internationally? How can academic multilingualism be realized?

The nearly forty academics who debated in five forums and a podium were, however, not all that worried about the German language. “German as an academic language is in great shape,” said Peter Eisenberg, Professor of Modern German at the University of Potsdam. “It is a universal language that can still be used for everything.”

The champions of German in the sciences do not want to change the fact that English is the “lingua franca” in academics. Instead, they ask that the advantages of multilingualism be made more visible. There were plenty of ideas for this at the conference ranging from the creation of a European citation index to advertising campaigns similar to the poster competition.

Because, as Leopoldo Clemente Baratto advertises on his poster: There is still room for scientists in Germany.

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