Jessica Coon was among the winners of this year’s LSA Awards, to be presented at the LSA Annual Meeting in January. She received the Language, Linguistics, and the Public Award for her public outreach work in connection with the 2016 film Arrival.
First presented in 1997, the Linguistics, Language, and the Public Award honors an individual or group for work that effectively increases public awareness and understanding of linguistics and language. This award is bestowed for work with the crew, actors and director of Arrival—featuring a linguist whose task is to communicate with an alien species that has arrived on earth—and for tirelessly promoting the field of Linguistics through dozens of related print and on-camera interviews and invited lectures. Prof. Coon helped make the portrayal of a linguist realistic, and importantly, she seized this opportunity to talk to the public about the scientific study of language and the importance of linguistic diversity. Through her many interviews and appearances she has helped bring Linguistics to a new audience in an authentic and accessible way.