News

Since September Tatsuya has been busy presenting the outcome of the translatE project at five seminar series/conferences. These were amazing opportunities and thanks so much for the invitations and productive discussions!

  • 22nd Sept: Language barriers in conservation and science. (2021) Lab seminar. The Invasion Science & Wildlife Ecology Group, University of Adelaide.
  • 20th Oct: Why language matters in ecology and conservation. (2021) iDiv seminar, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv).
  • 3rd Nov: Overcoming language barriers in science. (2021) Keynote presentation at the Bioconductor Virtual Conference Asia 2021. Watch the presentation here.
  • 30th Nov: Sharing and using evidence on conservation in a multilingual world. (2021) Major Topics in International Bird Conservation Webinar Series. The Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute and Taiwan Wild Bird Federation.
  • 3rd Dec: Why language matters in conservation. (2021) The 29th Philippine Biodiversity Symposium Virtual Meeting. The Biodiversity Conservation Society of the Philippines.

 

Our new opinion piece “A solution for breaking the language barrier” has been published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution.

This is collaboration led by Dr. Rassim Khelifa at the University of British Columbia. As a potential solution to overcoming language barriers in science, we proposed facilitating the exchange of language skills among researchers on a system possiblly implemented in a preprint platform.

Read the article here.

Our latest paper based on a big global collaboration “Tapping into non-English-language science for the conservation of global biodiversity” has just been published in PLOS Biology.

By screening over 400 thousand peer-reviewed papers in 326 journals published in 16 languages, we showed the untapped, enormous potentials of science written in languages other than English in the conservation of global biodiversity.

This collaboration started in late 2017, so it was amazing to see this finally published after four years of intensive collaboration. We can’t say thank you enough to the 62 collaborators (who are native speakers of collectively 17 languages) for their huge contribution!

Read the article here.

Also see our piece at The Conversation.

A big warm welcome to our two new members – Henry Arenas-Castro and Kelsey Hannah!

Henry is a Senior Research Technician, assessing the commitment of journals in organismal biology to overcoming language barriers in academic publishing.

Kelsey is a new PhD student, focusing on understanding how language barriers can negatively impact the application of science in decision making as well as assessing the importance of non-english conservation science.

Very much looking forward to the development of these sub-projects!

We successfully organised a workshop on language barriers to academic publishing on 7th July.

The workshop had two major objectives. In the first half, Editors-in-Chief from three journals (Evolution, Biotropica, and Ornitología Neotropical) discussed how their journals try to address language barriers to publishing and how non-native English speakers can improve publication processes. In the second half, we discussed how we can measure journals’ commitment to addressing language barriers and what might explain differences among journals. Based on the discussion we are now developing a collaborative project to collect more information from journals and write a paper.

Thanks very much everyone who attended the workshop, especially the three Editors-in-Chief, Prof. Tracey Chapman, Prof. Jennifer Powers, and Dr. Paulo Pulgarín-R for their very inspiring talks!

The recording of the firstpart of the workshop is now available here.

Our new opinion piece “Ten tips for overcoming language barriers in science” has just been published in Nature Human Behaviour.

Based on collaboration with scientists working in diverse disciplines (we met at eLife #ECRWednesday Webinar back in 2020), we have listed ten tips to help everyone in science, technology, engineering and mathematics start tackling and solving the issue of language barriers in science and beyond.

Read the article here.

We are happy to announce that we will be organising a workshop on language barriers to academic publishing at 9:00 – 11:00 am AEST on Wednesday the 7th July 2021.

Please find more details in the flyer below and register (https://forms.gle/xNTXGCdAaeRrtbKY8; limited to 100 people max.) to obtain the zoom link.

In the second half of the workshop, we will have a discussion session on how we can measure the level of journals’ commitment to addressing language barriers and what might explain differences among journals. From this discussion, we will develop a collaborative project to collect relevant information from as many journals in organismal biology as possible and write a paper. Anyone who is willing to join this collaboration needs to register beforehand (https://forms.gle/9K6oscf4nsRwJ48N9; limited to 50 people max.).

The workshop is open to anyone; participation of both non-native and native English speakers in both sections are strongly encouraged, as the issue of language barriers would not be solved without concerted efforts by the entire scientific community. Look forward to discussing this important issue with many people!

The workshop Tatsuya organised for the AERLive with the Applied Ecology Resources is now available on YouTube.

Why language matters in conservation and what you can do
Language barriers in science – difficulties faced when conducting and communicating science in situations involving multiple languages – have attracted little attention in conservation. However, increasingly, it has become apparent that overcoming language barriers is key to understanding the biodiversity crisis and successfully delivering conservation outcomes. In this workshop, Dr Tatsuya Amano (University of Queensland) discusses why it is important to address language barriers in conservation and how we can start tackling this issue today.