Lost in Translation I

Konferenz, Roma

Entrance: via Liguria 20




Entrance: via Liguria 20

The Art of Communicating Science

The act of translating fundamentally belongs to the human experience. Whether it is from one language to the other, from one medium to the other, or from one culture to the other, translation is key to understanding and communicating across linguistic and cultural boundaries, facilitates the dissemination of ideas and knowledge, and quite generally mediates between parties that otherwise would not be able to interact with one another. It requires the ability to listen and understand, to pause and reflect, and ultimately to find a response to a particular situation. In its essence, translation is imperfect. It describes no straightforward process but comes with a lot of difficulties, trial and error, and potential to conflict. Even if done adequately, there always remains the possibility of misunderstanding, potentially creating confusion and insecurity about that which should have been conveyed. People may literally feel lost in translation if confronted with more complex situations.

For a first encounter, Istituto Svizzero invites to a reflection about the subject of translation in science. Scientific knowledge is usually generated by way of complex thought processes and empirical investigation. Within the research community, findings are shared, tested, and depending on the solidity of the argument eventually verified or falsified. This discursive habit heavily relies on a technical language whose specifities are exclusive to an in-group of specialists, which potentially complicates the sharing of results even among individual disciplines. The real difficulty however arises when scientists try to communicate expert knowledge to a broader public that is not necessarily accustomed to their ways of communicating: what language should they use? What modes of presentation are effective? In what ways and how far can complexity be reduced without distorting the intended message? These and many other related questions will be discussed by an expert panel consisting of representatives from the sciences, museology, journalism and literature.

In collaboration with the Bern University of the Arts and the Y Institute (centre for interdisciplinary teaching working across the boundaries of art and science).

The event will be held in English and Italian.


H18:00 Welcome address and introduction

H18:15 Panel presentations

Thomas Strässle (Bern University of the Arts)
Roberto Buizza (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa)
Sonia Filippazzi (RAI I – Giornale Radio)
Alain Gloor (Stapferhaus, Lenzburg), Mediating so it matters: “FAKE. The whole truth” as an example

H19:00 – Break

H19:30 – Moderated discussion with Sonja Riva (Radiotelevisione svizzera -RSI)

H20:30 – Aperitivo

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