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Revista Brasileira de Linguística Aplicada

On-line version ISSN 1984-6398

Abstract

NASCIMENTO, Fábio Santiago. Between facts and hypothesis: critical discourse analysis of news about science popularization. Rev. bras. linguist. apl. [online]. 2013, vol.13, n.1, pp. 219-244.  Epub Nov 06, 2012. ISSN 1984-6398.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1984-63982012005000012.

This article presents a critical discourse analysis (FAIRCLOUGH, 1992) of science popularization (SP) news, focusing on the degrees of assertiveness and authority of represented social actors in their task of reporting and discussing scientific discoveries. The analysis was comprised of thirty SP news from the BBC News and Scientific American websites. The results confirm the position of "discursive insecurity" (MOIRAND, 2003) held by the journalist who uses different discourse strategies to maintain the apparent objectivity of journalistic discourse. In contrast, the researcher-author of the study (and his colleagues) occupies a privileged role in the news, providing "coherent" explanations and pointing out limitations in the reported studies. Hence science in the media is an epistemic authority which reaffirms a traditional logic of knowledge production based on a continuous (re)construction of hypotheses and theories.

Keywords : science popularization; news; modality; systemic-functional linguistics.

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