"English is considered the language of international science. But our new
research reveals how important scientific knowledge in other languages is going
untapped. This oversight squanders opportunities to help improve the plight of
the one million species facing extinction.
We reviewed almost 420,000 peer-reviewed papers on biodiversity conservation,
published in 16 languages other than English. Many non-English-language papers
provided evidence on the effectiveness of conservation measures, but they are
often not disseminated to the wider scientific community.
History shows many valuable scientific breakthroughs were originally published
in a language other than English. The structure of a Nobel Prize–winning
antimalarial drug was first published in 1977 in simplified Chinese, as were
many of the earliest papers on COVID-19.
Evidence-based conservation is crucial for tackling the Earth’s biodiversity
crisis. Our research shows more effort is needed to transcend language barriers
in science, maximising scientific contributions to conservation and helping
save life on this planet."
I strongly suspect this applies far more broadly outside just the field of
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics