Thursday, August 16, 2012

Is popular science “simplified”?

Even sophisticated understandings that public discussions are about bringing in different values, political perspectives, lay knowledges, etc., still tend to assume that the “science” is being “simplified” as it moves into public discourse. But if we take seriously the idea that science is “Public Knowledge,” then every instantiation of reliable knowledge about the natural world is different knowledge.

Posted by Bruce Lewenstein on 08/16 at 10:16 PM

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Central Question

I’m interested in how people reinvent the past to justify present-day assumptions or to push an agenda. At the recent 3-Society Meeting in Philadelphia Mike Keas spoke about how certain self-serving myths had made their way into astronomy textbooks from the 19th century. Specifically, how Copernicus’ replacement of the earth-centered cosmos by a sun-centered one demoted us humans from our lofty position at the very center of the cosmos. Well, it sounds convincing—who wouldn’t want to be the center of attention?

Posted by Michal Meyer on 08/11 at 12:19 PM
(2) Comments

Friday, August 03, 2012

Off with their (Whig) Heads

The Renaissance Mathematicus blog has a wonderful rant about one of my pet peeves, Whig history. The post is about how we separate those who have done science in the past into two categories: those whom we now deem as having done “correct” science (e.g. Darwin) and those deluded souls who merely believed they were doing science (e.g. Lamarck). Perhaps this is true among scientists, but I’ve found something quite different in my admittedly few collaborations with people creating popular history of science for use in science courses.

Posted by Michal Meyer on 08/03 at 07:39 PM

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