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Gate-keeping and localizing in scientific translation publishing: the case of Richard Taylor and Scientific Memoirs

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 July 2013

MAEVE OLOHAN*
Affiliation:
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. Email: maeve.olohan@manchester.ac.uk.

Abstract

Growing interest in studying translation through a sociological lens and the relative lack of attention by translation scholars to the production of scientific translations provide impetus and rationale for this case study. Richard Taylor's editorial work for the Scientific Memoirs periodical is examined, with a particular focus on his conception of the utility of translation in the service of scientific advancement in Britain. The roles of gate-keeper and localizer of scientific material are attributed to Taylor, roles which he exercised through promotion of scientific translation, selection of texts to publish and editorial interventions in translations. The historical case study sheds light on activities of editing, translating and publishing science in mid-nineteenth-century Britain but is also illustrative of research areas where the interests of translation scholars and historians of science may converge. By centring attention on Taylor's editorial role, some of the material and social contingencies of this publishing activity are highlighted, enabling us to gain a deeper appreciation of scientific translation as sociohistorical practice.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © British Society for the History of Science 2013 

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References

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35 ‘The British Association. Ninth Meeting: Birmingham’, Literary Gazette, London, 7 September 1839, pp. 561–569, 569.

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64 See Olohan, op. cit. (7).

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80 ‘Proofsheet for a Prospectus for New Series of The Scientific Memoirs’, n.d., Taylor and Francis Archive, St Bride Library.

81 The Cambridge Mathematical Journal, contemporaneous with Scientific Memoirs, provides a useful point of comparison: Crilly, op. cit. (42). In the present day, the Greek version of Scientific American, founded in October 2003 but succumbing to financial pressures and collapsing in April 2008, might be considered as an example of a periodical of scientific translation which struggled to acquire capital in its field: ‘Μικρή Αυτοβιογραφία [Short autobiography]’, Scientific American – Greek Edition, n.d., available at www.sciam.gr.