The journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution does an annual “Horizon Scan of Emerging Issues for Global Conservation and Biological Diversity”. I can only see the abstract so here is the one sentence describing the trends:
The issues highlighted span a wide range of fields and include thiamine deficiency in wild animals, the geographic expansion of chronic wasting disease, genetic control of invasive mammal populations and the effect of culturomics on conservation science, policy and action.
I was new to the term culturomics, and thought it might have something to do with synthesizing new compounds in giant vats of yogurt. But no, according to Wikipedia it is not that kind of culture, but relates to search and synthesis algorithms for scientific articles, which does indeed seem to be a recurring theme on this blog lately.
Culturomics is a form of computational lexicology that studies human behavior and cultural trends through the quantitative analysis of digitized texts. Researchers data mine large digital archives to investigate cultural phenomena reflected in language and word usage. The term is an American neologism first described in a 2010 Science article called Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books, co-authored by Harvard researchers Jean-Baptiste Michel and Erez Lieberman Aiden.
At that point, I just needed to figure out what a neologism was, so I looked it up in Webster’s 1913 which some people say is the most artfully written dictionary:
Ne*ol”o*gism (?), n. [Cf. F. néologisme.]
1. The introduction of new words, or the use of old words in a new sense. Mrs. Browning.
2. A new word, phrase, or expression.
3. A new doctrine; specifically, rationalism.
Mrs. Browning? Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote a long poem called Aurora Leigh which contains the word. And no, I wouldn’t have learned that if I had looked up neologism in the New Oxford American Dictionary.
I learnt my complement of classic French
(Kept pure of Balzac and neologism,)
And German also, since she liked a range
Of liberal education,–tongues, not books.
I learnt a little algebra, a little
Of the mathematics,–brushed with extreme flounce
The circle of the sciences, because
She misliked women who are frivolous.
It goes on like that. Forever.
Oh okay, one more, here is the definition of flounce in Webster’s 1913:
Flounce, v. t. To deck with a flounce or flounces; as, to flounce a petticoat or a frock.
Flounce, n. [Cf. G. flaus, flausch, a tuft of wool or hair; akin to vliess, E.fleece; or perh. corrupted fr. rounce.] An ornamental appendage to the skirt of a woman’s dress, consisting of a strip gathered and sewed on by its upper edge around the skirt, and left hanging.
Flounce (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p.Flounced (flounst); p. pr. & vb. n.Flouncing(?).] [Cf. OSw. flunsa to immerge.] To throw the limbs and body one way and the other; to spring, turn, or twist with sudden effort or violence; to struggle, as a horse in mire; to flounder; to throw one’s self with a jerk or spasm, often as in displeasure.
To flutter and flounce will do nothing but batter and bruise us.
With his broad fins and forky tail he laves
The rising sirge, and flounces in the waves.
“Sirge” I think is an old-timey spelling of “surge”. And if you look up “surge” in this dictionary, its usage is quite interesting and you want to go on. But that’s it for me.