Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

English Language and Literature

Committee Member

Ann M. Blakeslee, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Nancy Allen, Ph.D.


Using genre theory along with the hierarchy of scientific statement types of Latour and Woolgar (1979) and the scientific stases and scientific topoi of Prelli (1989), this thesis analyzes the three Nobel lectures in chemistry from 1996 to discern the characteristics of ceremonial discourse in science and its relation to scientific ethos. Throughout, the Nobel lectures are analyzed in reference to the original research reports published in the scientific literature. The unique social context of the Nobel lectures results in a distinct genre with textual characteristics that include statements with little moderation or hedging, arguments for the long-term significance of the work, recognition of colleagues and coworkers, and, significantly, discussion of the nature of science itself and of proper conceptual approaches and procedures.