The Rise of English in Science

The Rise of English-Speaking Science 1

Mark Shaver for The Chronicle

As a writer and translator of scientific texts, Scott L. Montgomery has had a front-row seat to an extraordinary development: the rapid ascent of English as the lingua franca of science.

As recently as the 1960s, about 40 percent of scientific research was still published in languages other than English, chiefly German, French, and Russian. By 2000, English's share of the literature had risen to about 85 percent, and today, 90 percent.