Scientists communicate their new findings and ideas about evolution through the primary literature – peer-reviewed journal articles that allow other scientists to scrutinize the research and build upon it. Reading and interpreting these articles can provide college students and others with a deeper understanding of key concepts in evolution, new directions in evolution research, and the nature and process of science.
Do you have an open access article you would like translated? Contact Rebecca Tarvin.
Students in the UC Berkeley Integrative Biology program have been translating papers in ecology and evolutionary biology through the Breaking Language Barriers in Ecology and Evolution Seminar (IB 84) taught by Professor Rebecca Tarvin to increase access to the primary literature. In this course, students read and discuss primary literature, translation studies, and their intersection from the perspective of multilingual STEM scholars. New translations are expected to be added on an annual basis.
In the spirit of breaking access barriers, this project uses open access articles or articles for which journals waive copyright fees, so the materials and their translations can be made freely available. You can learn more about incorporating the primary literature into the classroom and find more articles through our Journal Club Toolkit.
Biodiversity loss threatens human well-being: Diaz, S., Fargione, J., Chapin III, F. S., and D. Tilman (2006). PLoS Biology. 4(8): e277.
- Spanish. Translated by Monzerrath Martinez (undergraduate), Ilse Rojo (undergraduate), Betsabe Castro Escobar (graduate student), and Valeria Ramírez Castañeda (graduate student).
- Simplified Chinese. Translated by Xinyi Liu (undergraduate) and Hongru Wang (postdoctoral researcher).
Science is a universal enterprise, yet there are many barriers to effectively communicating and understanding science. One major hurdle is the ubiquity of English as a central language for publishing and communicating science. This is an issue both for aspiring young scientists who must learn English as a second language while mastering complex scientific topics as well as for members of our communities who would benefit from scientific information that is currently unavailable in their primary language. This course combines readings and discussion of classic papers in the fields of Evolution and Ecology with an active goal to break down language barriers in science. During the semester, students each translate one paper into a second language or into another creative format that communicates the science to a broad audience. Students present their translated works and their experiences creating them in a final presentation at the end of the semester. Translations resulting from this seminar are made available online for students from around the world. Bilingual and multilingual students are especially encouraged to take this seminar to help break down language barriers.
See also the preprint titled Overcoming language barriers in academia: machine translation tools and a vision for a multilingual future which has links to more multilingual resources as well as tools to help academics think about how to include translation into their workflow.