NBA History of Science Seminar – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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NBA History of Science Seminar

Steven Shapin, Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University

Science and the Modern World

Do we live in a scientific world? At least since Max Weber in 1918
announced the "disenchantment" of the world, social and cultural
commentators have insisted, or assumed, that we do. This lecture will
assess some very substantial senses in which science is now the defining
and most authoritative form of knowledge, and has been since perhaps the
late nineteenth century. And it will point to a series of considerations
which argue that we do not now, and never have, inhabited a scientific
culture. Connections will be pointed out between this problematic state
of affairs and the changing identity of the scientist in the twentieth
and twenty-first centuries.