Spreading Science Wycliffe-Style?
The Wycliffe Bible Translators, for those unfamiliar, make it a central matter to translate the Bible into as many languages possible, so that the entirety of the globe may have access to god's word. Thus far, they have translated the Bible into roughly 2,900 languages.
Now, I was thinking to myself the other day, wouldn't it be great if there was an organization like this, but one who's central matter was to translate different philosophical of scientific books into as many languages as possible, so that the entirety of the globe may have access to (Sagan's or Hawking's or Feynman's or Hume's or etc...) word?
As far as I know, the Bible has the most translations, with the other books up in the top ten or twenty most translated being either religious works or (non-religious) fiction works (Qur'an ~ 112 translations, Little Prince ~ 190, The Alchemist; Harry Potter ~ 67) Why do books like The Universe in a Nutshell or On the Origin of Species or Meditations on First Philosophy have fewer than 20 translations?
These thoughts are motivated further by an article I read the other day about three Tibetan monks taking college science courses in Atlanta. They are taking these courses in English, with which they still struggle at higher levels. The Emory-Tibet Partnership, which helps this education happen, published a science textbook in Tibetan three years ago, and professors from Emory travel to Dharamsala to teach the monks and nuns science. This is good thing, I think, but it is too be both surprising and understandable when an Emory professor notes how mush work this has taken and that the program has gotten this far. But this is about science teachings making way to Tibetan, while the Bible currently makes its way to hundreds of cultures around the world. Now, as I write this, I realize that there must countries using languages beyond the 20 or so Origins of Species exists in that have good basic science programs, and so my deeper desire is to see basic science teachings and perhaps snippets of easily-read (written for laypersons) science spread to as many countries as the bible and in at least as many languages.
So my question is, then, how worthy and workable is this goal? How 'in need' might developing countries or indigenous groups be for some science? How many developed countries could use a more accessible translation of any given science book? Is there anything like this being done already? Can the same be said for more abstract topics, like philosophy or economics? Or am I completely off my rocker?
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth - Henry David Thoreau