What's in a Word? Unpacking the Communicative Implications of Knowledge Translation as a Term

  • Christine Rose Ackerley

Abstract

Knowledge translation is one of many terms used to describe the process of moving academic research into practical application to achieve positive impacts. Attention to knowledge translation has grown significantly in the contemporary Canadian research landscape, supported by major federal research funders. This article explores the term in depth, highlighting the interdisciplinary links between the burgeoning area of knowledge translation and more established areas of communication studies and translation studies. Focusing on a Canadian health research setting, the concepts of "perfect communication" and "loss in translation" are examined in relation to knowledge translation. This analysis explores contradictions and tensions within current assumptions and rhetoric around knowledge translation, highlighting misalignments with traditional thinking about communication. These issues can affect how knowledge translation work is perceived and practiced. Critical attention to the tensions emerging from the term knowledge translation is important for the field to continue to develop.

Published
2017-09-11
How to Cite
Ackerley, C. (2017). What’s in a Word? Unpacking the Communicative Implications of Knowledge Translation as a Term. Stream: Interdisciplinary Journal of Communication, 9(2), 26-44. Retrieved from https://journals.sfu.ca/stream/index.php/stream/article/view/237
Section
Research in Brief (Peer-Reviewed)