In today’s neoliberal economy, digital platforms have led to a proliferation in science popularization where scientists package their messages for the wider public. Our study explores how science ideas are disseminated in one of the most widespread digitally mediated genres of science popularisation, the TED talks. We adopt a multimodal discourse analysis approach to explore how the presenter orchestrates her speech, visuals on slides, and hand gestures to achieve the communicative purposes of the TED talk. From the analysis, it is observed that the presenter uses many specific linguistic choices to clarify the ideas and build the speaker’s authority. These language choices are supported by visual choices and gestures. We unpack the presenter’s multimodal semiotic choices and examine how they work together to communicate scientific ideas to the layman and engage with the audience. Our study reveals a deeper understanding on the power of language, visuals, and gestures as communicative tools in presentations, and sheds light on how the three modes are orchestrated to present scientific ideas in an accessible and engaging manner as part of science popularization.
Copyright (c) 2022 JINGXIN JIANG, Fei Victor Lim
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