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Natura: A Working Group in History of Science and Epistemology
Conference Website: sites.google.com/site/scientificrevolutions/
Typically, narratives of the Scientific Revolution suggest that modern science (and modern society) emerged with new institutions, dedicated to empirical observation of the natural world. But this model insufficiently accounts for the cultural, material, and political factors that developed over the centuries prior to this revolution. After more than 50 years since Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolution and 25 since the publication of Latour’s Science in Action, Natura’s third annual conference will address the ways that our conception of science, culture, and society has changed.
In the light of the theories of science developed by Kuhn, Latour, and others, the Scientific Revolution begins to look more like an evolution—a gradual development of ideas in a social environment. We welcome papers that approach the related topics of revolutions and evolutions in science through a variety of disciplines and methodologies: from the Whiggish narratives of progress, to Marxist dialectic, to Kuhn’s paradigm shifts, and beyond.
How has our historiography of science changed beyond “great men of history” narratives? How can we better account for the minute economic, material, and social conditions that shape scientific practice? What kinds of development or evolution have influenced the ways we think about technological change? In what ways was the Scientific Revolution an evolutionary process? How can we best describe the relationship between scientific theory and practice? What if any role does literature and arts have in instigating technological change and interpreting its impacts?
Topics may include (but are not limited to):
*praxis and theoria
Interested faculty or post-doctoral researchers are welcome to contact us about potential roles as panel moderators or respondents.