11 de noviembre de 2017

CfP for panel on verticality at ESHS 2018 in London

We plan to propose a panel on verticality in science, with the title Science in 3D: On the role of verticality in knowledge production, for the next meeting of the European Society for the History of Science, which will be held in London, on 15-17 September 2018.

In this panel we want to build on a recent observation by Michael Reidy (2017); that the spatial turn in history of science (as in history at large) has focused essentially on the horizontal dimension, and that an apparent bias against the vertical is an historiographical limitation that needs to be overcome. Scientific practices do not just occur in, and construct, two-dimensional space, but take place in three dimensions. The sciences of height, depth and volume are fundamental to the emergence of the three-dimensional, technologically-mediated world which we inhabit, but the specifics of these sciences have been largely absent from recent concerns with the spatiality of scientific knowledge. The adoption of a vertical viewpoint shows much promise in exposing invisible trends and peculiarities in the history of knowledge-production processes. What we want to do is to investigate what happens when we consider science in three dimensions, and explore how traditional perspectives are modified when adding a new dimension to the overall analysis.

We want to ask: what are the particular characteristics of the sciences of height, depth and volume? How have scientists sought to overcome the epistemic, technical and bodily challenges of working at height or at depth? What would it mean to consider the field site as a three-dimensional space? How has scientific knowledge contributed to the production of vertical territory – to the bounding of space and the claiming of ownership, rights and dominion? How have the reference frames of the vertical dimension been structured and understood? In what ways is science different when it analyses heights and depths?

Papers in this session could address these and related questions across field, laboratory and theoretical sciences, as well as regards the scientization of cultural and physical practices taking place in the vertical. We welcome papers addressing any time period.

Please send inquiries and abstracts of around 200 words to Wilko Hardenberg (whardenberg@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de) and Martin Mahony (m.mahony@uea.ac.uk) no later than Monday 27 November.