The Ohio State University at Marion

Wagner and Patson awarded NSF grant for language science research

Monday, September 24, 2018

Primary Investigator (PI), Ohio State Associate Professor of Psychology, Laura Wagner and Ohio State Marion Associate Professor of Psychology, Nikole Patson were recently awarded a $353,879 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support their research project entitled, "Promoting Science Understanding and Interest through Language Science.”

The grant award, which runs from September 2018 through February 2022, helps fund research work at Ohio State’s Language Lab located inside the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), Columbus, Ohio.

According to Patson, co-PI, the goal of the research is to understand more about COSI visitor’s experience to the language lab.

“What I think is really exciting about this is that language science is not the normal way we think about science. One of the things we are really interested in is how language science might actually promote an interest in science for those not interested,” Patson said.
For example, women tend to be more drawn to English, communications, and similar fields, more than STEM, she explained. Researchers hope to answer the question: does language help create that connection?

“We are also interested in how much and what are people learning about language science and science in general,” explained Patson.

“Our demonstrations have been thoughtfully crafted. We think they will be effective in terms of people learning about science. This will help improve upon activities in the lab that aren’t meeting our goals,” she said.

The grant will assist in paying for student lab personnel to conduct interviews and surveys with museum participants. Opportunities may be available for psychology majors on both the Marion and Columbus campus.

Patson hopes they will be able to hire a full-time position, as well as a number of student research positions each year as a result of the grant.