The Biographizing Trend in Popular Science Writing

By Peter McAllister and Olav Titus Muurlink.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 13, 2015 Free Download

Biography’s enduring popularity as a non-fiction form appears to have triggered a trend in science writing toward the “biography of the object” rather than the “subject.” The trend gives rise to a number of questions. Are these texts really biographies or simply conventional non-fiction texts that borrow the luster of the biography “brand,” occasionally co-opting elements of biographical techniques? Does their success correspond to the degree to which they successfully mimic conventional biographies of human subjects? Finally, does the biographizing trend in popular science writing imperil the science? In responding to the research questions, this study examines evidence, both in case study and quantitative form, that biographizing of objects is a new trend and takes a case study approach to two popular examples of the “new” genre.

Keywords: Science Writing, Biography, Narrative

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 13, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 13, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 560.666KB)).

Dr. Peter McAllister

Lecturer, School of Humanities, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Dr. Olav Titus Muurlink

Senior Research Fellow, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


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