Science in the Archives

Pasts, Presents, Futures

Author: Lorraine Daston

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022643236X

Category: History

Page: 397

View: 8534

"Science in the Archives" reveals affinities and continuities among the sciences of the archives, across many disciplines and centuries, in order to present a better picture of essential archival practices and, thereby, the meaning of science. For in both the natural and human sciences, archives of the most diverse forms make cumulative, collective knowledge possible. Yet in contrast to laboratories, observatories, or the field, archives have yet to be studied across the board as central sites of science. The volume covers episodes in the history of astronomy, geology, genetics, classical philology, climatology, history, medicine, and ancient natural philosophy, as well as fundamental practices such as collecting, retrieval strategies, and data mining. The time frame spans doxology in Greco-Roman antiquity to NSA surveillance techniques and the quantified-self movement. Each chapter explores the practices, politics, economics, and open-ended potential of the sciences of the archives, making this the first book devoted to the role of archives in the natural and human sciences.

Science in the Archives

Pasts, Presents, Futures

Author: Lorraine Daston

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022643253X

Category: Science

Page: 392

View: 4198

Archives bring to mind rooms filled with old papers and dusty artifacts. But for scientists, the detritus of the past can be a treasure trove of material vital to present and future research: fossils collected by geologists; data banks assembled by geneticists; weather diaries trawled by climate scientists; libraries visited by historians. These are the vital collections, assembled and maintained over decades, centuries, and even millennia, which define the sciences of the archives. With Science in the Archives, Lorraine Daston and her co-authors offer the first study of the important role that these archives play in the natural and human sciences. Reaching across disciplines and centuries, contributors cover episodes in the history of astronomy, geology, genetics, philology, climatology, medicine, and more—as well as fundamental practices such as collecting, retrieval, and data mining. Chapters cover topics ranging from doxology in Greco-Roman Antiquity to NSA surveillance techniques of the twenty-first century. Thoroughly exploring the practices, politics, economics, and potential of the sciences of the archives, this volume reveals the essential historical dimension of the sciences, while also adding a much-needed long-term perspective to contemporary debates over the uses of Big Data in science.

Science in the Archives

Pasts, Presents, Futures

Author: Lorraine Daston

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226432229

Category: Science

Page: 392

View: 7926

Archives bring to mind rooms filled with old papers and dusty artifacts. But for scientists, the detritus of the past can be a treasure trove of material vital to present and future research: fossils collected by geologists; data banks assembled by geneticists; weather diaries trawled by climate scientists; libraries visited by historians. These are the vital collections, assembled and maintained over decades, centuries, and even millennia, which define the sciences of the archives. With Science in the Archives, Lorraine Daston and her co-authors offer the first study of the important role that these archives play in the natural and human sciences. Reaching across disciplines and centuries, contributors cover episodes in the history of astronomy, geology, genetics, philology, climatology, medicine, and more—as well as fundamental practices such as collecting, retrieval, and data mining. Chapters cover topics ranging from doxology in Greco-Roman Antiquity to NSA surveillance techniques of the twenty-first century. Thoroughly exploring the practices, politics, economics, and potential of the sciences of the archives, this volume reveals the essential historical dimension of the sciences, while also adding a much-needed long-term perspective to contemporary debates over the uses of Big Data in science.

Biographies of Scientific Objects

Author: Lorraine Daston

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226136721

Category: Philosophy

Page: 307

View: 3234

Looks at how whole domains of phenomena come into being and sometimes pass away as objects of scientific study. With examples from the natural and social sciences, ranging from the 16th to the 20th centuries, this book explores the ways in which scientific objects are both real and historical.

Classical Probability in the Enlightenment

Author: Lorraine Daston

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691006444

Category: History

Page: 423

View: 577

What did it mean to be reasonable in the Age of Reason? Classical probabilists from Jakob Bernouli through Pierre Simon Laplace intended their theory as an answer to this question--as "nothing more at bottom than good sense reduced to a calculus, " in Laplace's words. In terms that can be easily grasped by nonmathematicians, Lorraine Daston demonstrates how this view profoundly shaped the internal development of probability theory and defined its applications.What did it mean to be reasonable in the Age of Reason? Classical probabilists from Jakob Bernouli through Pierre Simon Laplace intended their theory as an answer to this question--as "nothing more at bottom than good sense reduced to a calculus, " in Laplace's words. In terms that can be easily grasped by nonmathematicians, Lorraine Daston demonstrates how this view profoundly shaped the internal development of probability theory and defined its applications.

The Moral Authority of Nature

Author: Lorraine Daston,Fernando Vidal

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226136820

Category: Science

Page: 526

View: 3624

For thousands of years, people have used nature to justify their political, moral, and social judgments. Such appeals to the moral authority of nature are still very much with us today, as heated debates over genetically modified organisms and human cloning testify. The Moral Authority of Nature offers a wide-ranging account of how people have used nature to think about what counts as good, beautiful, just, or valuable. The eighteen essays cover a diverse array of topics, including the connection of cosmic and human orders in ancient Greece, medieval notions of sexual disorder, early modern contexts for categorizing individuals and judging acts as "against nature," race and the origin of humans, ecological economics, and radical feminism. The essays also range widely in time and place, from archaic Greece to early twentieth-century China, medieval Europe to contemporary America. Scholars from a wide variety of fields will welcome The Moral Authority of Nature, which provides the first sustained historical survey of its topic. Contributors: Danielle Allen, Joan Cadden, Lorraine Daston, Fa-ti Fan, Eckhardt Fuchs, Valentin Groebner, Abigail J. Lustig, Gregg Mitman, Michelle Murphy, Katharine Park, Matt Price, Robert N. Proctor, Helmut Puff, Robert J. Richards, Londa Schiebinger, Laura Slatkin, Julia Adeney Thomas, Fernando Vidal

On Historicizing Epistemology

An Essay

Author: Hans-Jörg Rheinberger

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 9780804774208

Category: Philosophy

Page: 128

View: 2706

Epistemology, as generally understood by philosophers of science, is rather remote from the history of science and from historical concerns in general. Rheinberger shows that, from the late nineteenth through the late twentieth century, a parallel, alternative discourse sought to come to terms with the rather fundamental experience of the thoroughgoing scientific changes brought on by the revolution in physics. Philosophers of science and historians of science alike contributed their share to what this essay describes as an ongoing quest to historicize epistemology. Historical epistemology, in this sense, is not so concerned with the knowing subject and its mental capacities. Rather, it envisages science as an ongoing cultural endeavor and tries to assess the conditions under which the sciences in all their diversity take shape and change over time.

Retroactivism in the Lesbian Archives

Composing Pasts and Futures

Author: Jean Bessette

Publisher: SIU Press

ISBN: 0809336243

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 192

View: 8500

Grassroots historiography has been essential in shaping American sexual identities in the twentieth century. Retroactivism in the Lesbian Archives examines how lesbian collectives have employed “retroactivist” rhetorics to propel change in present identification and politics. By appropriating and composing versions of the past, these collectives question, challenge, deconstruct, and reinvent historical discourse itself to negotiate and contest lesbian identity. Bessette considers a diverse array of primary sources, including grassroots newsletters, place-based archives, experimental documentary films, and digital video collections, to investigate how retroactivists have revised and replaced dominant accounts of lesbian deviance. Her analysis reveals inventive rhetorical strategies leveraged by these rhetors to belie the alienating, dispersing effects of discourses that painted women with same-sex desire as diseased and criminal. Focusing on the Daughters of Bilitis, the Lesbian Herstory Archives, and the June L. Mazer Archives, and on historiographic filmmakers such as Barbara Hammer and Cheryl Dunye, Bessette argues that these retroactivists composed versions of a queer past that challenged then-present oppressions, joined together provisional communities, and disrupted static definitions and associations of lesbian identity. Retroactivism in the Lesbian Archives issues a challenge to feminist and queer scholars to acknowledge how historiographic rhetoric functions in defining and contesting identities and the historical forces that shape them.

Science for All

The Popularization of Science in Early Twentieth-Century Britain

Author: Peter J. Bowler

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226068668

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 8569

Recent scholarship has revealed that pioneering Victorian scientists endeavored through voluminous writing to raise public interest in science and its implications. But it has generally been assumed that once science became a profession around the turn of the century, this new generation of scientists turned its collective back on public outreach. Science for All debunks this apocryphal notion. Peter J. Bowler surveys the books, serial works, magazines, and newspapers published between 1900 and the outbreak of World War II to show that practicing scientists were very active in writing about their work for a general readership. Science for All argues that the social environment of early twentieth-century Britain created a substantial market for science books and magazines aimed at those who had benefited from better secondary education but could not access higher learning. Scientists found it easy and profitable to write for this audience, Bowler reveals, and because their work was seen as educational, they faced no hostility from their peers. But when admission to colleges and universities became more accessible in the 1960s, this market diminished and professional scientists began to lose interest in writing at the nonspecialist level. Eagerly anticipated by scholars of scientific engagement throughout the ages, Science for All sheds light on our own era and the continuing tension between science and public understanding.

Life on Ice

A History of New Uses for Cold Blood

Author: Joanna Radin

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022641731X

Category: History

Page: 305

View: 7026

Preface: frozen spirits -- Introduction: within cold blood -- The technoscience of life at low temperature -- Latent life in biomedicine's ice age -- Temporalities of salvage -- "As yet unknown": life for the future -- "Before it's too late": life from the past -- Collecting, maintaining, reusing, and returning -- Managing the cold chain: making life mobile -- When futures arrive: lives after time -- Epilogue: thawing spirits

A History of Knowledge

Past, Present, and Future

Author: Charles Lincoln Van Doren

Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc.

ISBN: 0345373162

Category: History

Page: 422

View: 3694

Covers every aspect of knowledge--scientific, intellectual, and historical--from the beginning of the human experience into the twenty-first century and beyond

Articulating Dinosaurs

A Political Anthropology

Author: Brian Noble

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: 144262132X

Category: Social Science

Page: 512

View: 4227

In this remarkable interdisciplinary study, anthropologist Brian Noble traces how dinosaurs and their natural worlds are articulated into being by the action of specimens and humans together. Following the complex exchanges of palaeontologists, museums specialists, film- and media-makers, science fiction writers, and their diverse publics, he witnesses how fossil remains are taken from their partial state and re-composed into astonishingly precise, animated presences within the modern world, with profound political consequences. Articulating Dinosaurs examines the resurrecting of two of the most iconic and gendered of dinosaurs. First Noble traces the emergence of Tyrannosaurus rex (the “king of the tyrant lizards”) in the early twentieth-century scientific, literary, and filmic cross-currents associated with the American Museum of Natural History under the direction of palaeontologist and eugenicist Henry Fairfield Osborn. Then he offers his detailed ethnographic study of the multi-media, model-making, curatorial, and laboratory preparation work behind the Royal Ontario Museum’s ground-breaking 1990s exhibit of Maiasaura (the “good mother lizard”). Setting the exhibits at the AMNH and the ROM against each other, Noble is able to place the political natures of T. rex and Maiasaura into high relief and to raise vital questions about how our choices make a difference in what comes to count as “nature.” An original and illuminating study of science, culture, and museums, Articulating Dinosaurs is a remarkable look at not just how we visualize the prehistoric past, but how we make it palpable in our everyday lives.

The Outward Mind

Materialist Aesthetics in Victorian Science and Literature

Author: Benjamin Morgan

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022645746X

Category: Science

Page: 368

View: 8979

Though underexplored in contemporary scholarship, the Victorian attempts to turn aesthetics into a science remain one of the most fascinating aspects of that era. In The Outward Mind, Benjamin Morgan approaches this period of innovation as an important origin point for current attempts to understand art or beauty using the tools of the sciences. Moving chronologically from natural theology in the early nineteenth century to laboratory psychology in the early twentieth, Morgan draws on little-known archives of Victorian intellectuals such as William Morris, Walter Pater, John Ruskin, and others to argue that scientific studies of mind and emotion transformed the way writers and artists understood the experience of beauty and effectively redescribed aesthetic judgment as a biological adaptation. Looking beyond the Victorian period to humanistic critical theory today, he also shows how the historical relationship between science and aesthetics could be a vital resource for rethinking key concepts in contemporary literary and cultural criticism, such as materialism, empathy, practice, and form. At a moment when the tumultuous relationship between the sciences and the humanities is the subject of ongoing debate, Morgan argues for the importance of understanding the arts and sciences as incontrovertibly intertwined.

An Urchin in the Storm: Essays about Books and Ideas

Author: Stephen Jay Gould

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393340902

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 3993

"What pleasure to see the dishonest, the inept, and the misguided deftly given their due, while praise is lavished on the deserving—for reasons well and truly stated."—Kirkus Reviews Ranging as far as the fox and as deep as the hedgehog (the urchin of his title), Stephen Jay Gould expands on geology, biological determinism, "cardboard Darwinism," and evolutionary theory in this sparkling collection.

Documenting the World

Film, Photography, and the Scientific Record

Author: Gregg Mitman,Kelley Wilder

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022612925X

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 8244

Imagine the twentieth century without photography and film. Its history would be absent of images that define historical moments and generations: the death camps of Auschwitz, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Apollo lunar landing. It would be a history, in other words, of just artists’ renderings and the spoken and written word. To inhabitants of the twenty-first century, deeply immersed in visual culture, such a history seems insubstantial, imprecise, and even, perhaps, unscientific. Documenting the World is about the material and social life of photographs and film made in the scientific quest to document the world. Drawing on scholars from the fields of art history, visual anthropology, and science and technology studies, the chapters in this book explore how this documentation—from the initial recording of images, to their acquisition and storage, to their circulation—has altered our lives, our ways of knowing, our social and economic relationships, and even our surroundings. Far beyond mere illustration, photography and film have become an integral, transformative part of the world they seek to show us.

Media Archaeologies, Micro-Archives and Storytelling

Re-presencing the Past

Author: Martin Pogačar

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137525800

Category: Social Science

Page: 233

View: 3705

This book argues that today we live in the culture of the past that delimits our world and configures our potentialities. It explores how the past invades our presents and investigates the affective uses of the past in the increasingly elusive present. Remembering and forgetting are part of everyday life, popular culture, politics, ideologies and mythologies. In the time of the ubiquitous digital media, the ways individuals and collectivities re-presence their pasts and how they think about the present and the future have undergone significant changes. The book focuses on affective micro-archives of the memories of the socialist Yugoslavia and investigates their construction as part of the media archaeological practices. The author further argues that these affective practices present a way to reassemble the historical and relegitimize individual biographies which disintegrated along with the country in 1991.

Traces of the Future

An Archaeology of Medical Science in Twenty-First Century Africa

Author: Paul Wenzel Geissler,Guillaume Lachenal,Nomi Tousignant,John Manton

Publisher: Intellect (UK)

ISBN: 9781783207251

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 3732

This book presents a close look at the vestiges of twentieth-century medical work at five key sites in Africa: Senegal, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, and Tanzania. The authors aim to understand the afterlife of scientific institutions and practices and the "aftertime" of scientific modernity and its attendant visions of progress and transformation. Straightforward scholarly work is juxtaposed here with altogether more experimental approaches to fieldwork and analysis, including interview fragments; brief, reflective essays; and a rich photographic archive. The result is an unprecedented view of the lingering traces of medical science from Africa's past.

Retromania

Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past

Author: Simon Reynolds

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 9781429968584

Category: Music

Page: 496

View: 300

One of The Telegraph's Best Music Books 2011 We live in a pop age gone loco for retro and crazy for commemoration. Band re-formations and reunion tours, expanded reissues of classic albums and outtake-crammed box sets, remakes and sequels, tribute albums and mash-ups . . . But what happens when we run out of past? Are we heading toward a sort of culturalecological catastrophe where the archival stream of pop history has been exhausted? Simon Reynolds, one of the finest music writers of his generation, argues that we have indeed reached a tipping point, and that although earlier eras had their own obsessions with antiquity—the Renaissance with its admiration for Roman and Greek classicism, the Gothic movement's invocations of medievalism—never has there been a society so obsessed with the cultural artifacts of its own immediate past. Retromania is the first book to examine the retro industry and ask the question: Is this retromania a death knell for any originality and distinctiveness of our own?

Refiguring the Archive

Author: Carolyn Hamilton,Verne Harris,Michèle Pickover,Graeme Reid,Razia Saleh,Jane Taylor

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9401005702

Category: Social Science

Page: 368

View: 2159

Refiguring the Archive at once expresses cutting-edge debates on `the archive' in South Africa and internationally, and pushes the boundaries of those debates. It brings together prominent thinkers from a range of disciplines, mainly South Africans but a number from other countries. Traditionally archives have been seen as preserving memory and as holding the past. The contributors to this book question this orthodoxy, unfolding the ways in which archives construct, sanctify, and bury pasts. In his contribution, Jacques Derrida (an instantly recognisable name in intellectual discourse worldwide) shows how remembering can never be separated from forgetting, and argues that the archive is about the future rather than the past. Collectively the contributors demonstrate the degree to which thinking about archives is embracing new realities and new possibilities. The book expresses a confidence in claiming for archival discourse previously unentered terrains. It serves as an early manual for a time that has already begun.