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Annual Lunn Memorial Lecture: Lorraine Daston, "The Strange Modernity of Modern Science"

April 12, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Time: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Location: ARC Ballroom B
Daston writes: “Like earthquakes, transformations come in all sizes, from the barely detectable tremor to the upheaval that changes everything suddenly and irreversibly. At latest by the mid-twentieth century, modernization became the Big Bang of all transformations, and models of transformation fixated on that seismic moment. The discipline of the history of science owes its very existence to this view of European modernization as the first and most momentous episode in the Big Bang transformation. And almost every theory of modernization advanced in other disciplines — sociology, economics, political theory — includes the Scientific Revolution of early modern Europe as an important component and even motor of modernity. But how, exactly? What exactly is the model of transformation that supports the alleged centrality of science in modernity? My aim in this lecture is to explain how and when this narrative about the Scientific Revolution and modernity emerged in the early twentieth century – and why it won’t die, despite the best efforts of the best scholars to bury it with a stake through its heart.”
Lorraine Daston has published on a wide range of topics in the history of science. Recent books include (with Paul Erikson et al.) How Reason Almost Lost Its Mind: The Strange Career of Cold War Rationality and (co-edited with Elizabeth Lunbeck), Histories of Scientific Observation. She is the executive director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, and visiting professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.
This event is sponsored by the Eugene Lunn Memorial Fund and the History Department, with a generous gift from Michael Tennefoss
For more information please contact: mtsaler@ucdavis.edu
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April 12, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

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