In several recent calls for papers for conferences in my area of science I have started noticing people apparently using the term 'academician' synonymously to 'academic'. An example:

The symposium will provide an excellent platform for knowledge exchange between researchers, scientists, academicians and engineers working in the areas listed here:

Looking up the term in Merrian-Webster, this does not seem to correspond quite to what I usually think of as an academic, i.e. someone who works in research and/or teaching at an academic institution - typically a university:

a : a member of an academy for promoting science, art, or literature

It does also list 'academic' as a meaning of the word, so I guess it might be OK. Is it just me that has the impression that the 'academician' term has started popping up a lot recently?

  • 1
    They're normally just called academics. – Lawrence Jan 12 '18 at 10:24
  • I think that as nouns they're synonymous in most cases (OED says the longer form is now chiefly US). But checking NGrams for the plural versions (to screen out adjectival usages of the shorter form), it's pretty obvious the longer form is on the way out. – FumbleFingers Jan 12 '18 at 15:02

Academician is used to mean a member of a specific academy, in a sense almost akin to fellow. Which academy may be implied by the context rather than stated (unlike fellow). It seems particularly common in the former Soviet Union.

You may be seeing a mistranslation, or a misplaced attempt at an honorific, similar to "Dear Professor or Learned Scholar" (which almost always indicates a spam or fake conference, but just occasionally doesn't). Either way I doubt it's from a native speaker.

  • I do not mean to apply too much prejudice here, although I probably am, but I seem to have noticed this in conference invitations from China / South East Asia. – Thomas Arildsen Jan 14 '18 at 16:23

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