Experts dive into the challenges of translation and interpretation of science in webinar

On Thursday, February 4th, we heard from three experts on their experience and work in interpreting and translating science on the individual, organizational, and global levels. This webinar was possible through the partnership of the Diplomacy and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committees of the National Science Policy Network (NSPN). 

The panel featured Julia LaVilla-Nossova, Michelle Montelongo, and Valeria Ramirez-Castañeda. Ramírez-Castañeda, a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley, shared the challenges of being a non-native English speaker in the sciences and the loss to the scientific community by excluding non-English speakers. As an American Sign Language interpreter, Montelongo emphasized the individual nature of sign language interpretation and the challenges for deaf/hard-of-hearing students studying science.  Lastly, LaVilla-Nossova, a Russian language interpreter in the U.S. States Department,  shared the technical workings of language interpretation at international diplomatic meetings.

The discussion was solution-focused and illuminated the resources available to students and professionals for interpretation and translation services. Panelists emphasized taking the burden off students to supply their own interpretation resources and the need to expand the active languages of science. 

“Research and science diplomacy are such international fields that only using English limits the possibilities of what we can achieve,” said DEI Committee member Rebecca Glaser, who organized the webinar. “ The resources and experiences shared in this webinar can hopefully spur students and science diplomats to be more intentional about language inclusivity in their work.”


You can view the recording of this webinar on NSPN’s YouTube channel, SciPolNetwork Media. For more web content, we have an ongoing Diversi(tea) series hosted by the DEI Committee and additional science policy webinars from NSPN.

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