1st Edition

Popularizing Science in the Digital Era A Multimodal Genre Perspective on TED Talk Videos

By Sichen Xia Copyright 2023
    166 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book offers a comprehensive overview of TED talks as a digital-multimodal video genre, exploring the ways in which myriad rhetorical, structural, digital, and multimodal resources are used to communicate scientific knowledge to lay audiences.

    Drawing on insights from genre analysis, the systemic functional approach to multimodal discourse analysis, and the social semiotic approach to multimodality, the volume examines the communicative contexts in which TED talks are constructed, their rhetorical structure, the deployment of multimodal tools, and diachronic developments. The book reflects on the ways in which TED talks are uniquely positioned to offer new insights into how experts disseminate scientific knowledge for non-specialist audiences, constructed as they are within a community defined by a fluidity and diversity of audiences and speakers. The volume offers strategies for not only making the process of disseminating specialized knowledge more engaging and accessible but also expanding their own semiotic and communicative repertoires, increasingly crucial in our digitally driven era.

    This book will be of interest to students and scholars of English for Specific Purposes, multimodality, discourse analysis, and digital communication.



      1. Introduction
      2. Scientific popularization and TED talks
      3. Digital communication, genre, and multimodality
      4. The communicative context
      5. Generic structure of TED talks
      6. Multimodal strategies in TED talk videos
      7. Diachronic changes in TED talk videos
      8. Beyond TED talks: Towards a model




    Dr. Sichen Xia is Lecturer at the School of Humanities and Social Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen. Her research interests include English for Specific Purposes, genre analysis, multimodality, scientific popularization, and digital literacy.

    "In this highly readable book Xia delivers a multi-faceted analysis of TED Talks, providing an analytical model which can be applied to the study of other digital popularization genres. Bringing together methods of genre analysis and multimodal discourse analysis, this book makes a most valuable contribution to our understanding of how scientific knowledge is disseminated in digital multimodal genres." - María-José Luzón, University of Zaragoza, Spain

    "Bringing together multimodal discourse analysis and ESP genre analysis, this highly readable book offers exciting insights into how ‘distant’ biological knowledge is communicated to an online non-specialist audience through digital-multimodal resources. The framework developed in this book expands the toolkit of multimodal discourse analysis and can be applied to analyzing various digital science genres. I believe researchers, educators, and practitioners in science communication will all benefit from the findings reported in the book." - William Feng, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University