Debating evolutions in science, technology and society: Ethical and ideological perspectives. An introduction


This article introduces the theme of the Special Issue on “Debating evolutions in science, technology and society: Ethical and ideological perspectives.” Its starts from the idea that new advances in science and in technology, new evolutions in society, politics and culture bring with them the need to update linguistic resources at different levels in order to be able to talk about them and accommodate new concepts. Thus they inevitably result in an impact on language and discourse that goes well beyond vocabulary and terminology. They change patterns of thinking, reasoning and conceptualizing, leading to new representations and new discourses. In particular, representation of evolutions in texts addressed to the general public involves the transfer of domain-specific knowledge to various non-specialist audiences and its recontextualization and transformation to be made accessible to the non-specialist. That is why it can never be neutral, even when the writer has the best intentions in terms of accuracy and honesty. The focus of this introductory article is in particular on the notion of discursive frame, frames being cognitive perceptual structures that either subconsciously or strategically influence participants on how to “hear or how to say” something. It shows that framing, selecting and perspectivising are inevitable in knowledge dissemination and transmission, and argues that since they are so effective, discourse frames are a powerful ideological instrument, capable of influencing the public perception of the most crucial issues in society.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v34p5


Bartel L. 2010, Discursive frame, in Mills A.J., Durepos G. and Wiebe E. (eds.), Encyclopedia of case study research. Vol 1, Sage, Thousand Oak, CA/London, pp. 310-312.

Edelman M.J. 1993, Contestable categories and public opinion, in “Political Communication” 10 [3], pp. 231-242.

Entman R. 1993, Framing: Toward clarification of a fractured paradigm, in “Journal of Communication” 43 [4], pp. 51-58.

Goffman E. 1974, Frame analysis. An essay on the organization of experience, Northeastern University Press, Boston.

Silverstein M. and Urban G. 1996, The natural history of discourse, in Silverstein M. and Urban G. (eds), Natural Histories of Discourse, Chicago University Press, Chicago, pp. 1-17.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.