Science and Capitalism: Entangled Histories

Monday, November 12, 2018  6:15pm The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room

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This Roundtable invites historians Marwa Elshakry, Michael Gordin, Malgosia Mazurek, and Carl Wennerlind to discuss Osiris 33, a special issue on “Science and Capitalism: Entangled Histories,” with the co-editors of the volume, Will Deringer, Eugenia Lean, and Lukas Rieppel.

The issue examines the historical relationship between science and capitalism, which has long stood as a central question in science studies, at least since its foundations in the 1930s. Taking inspiration from the recent surge of scholarly interest in the “history of capitalism,” as well as from renewed attention to political economy by historians of science and technology, this Osiris volume revisits this classic quandary, foregrounding the entanglements between these two powerful and unruly historical forces and tracing the diverse ways they mutually shaped each other. Key attention is paid to the practices of knowledge work that enable both scientific and capitalistic action and to the diversity of global sites and circuits in which science/capitalism have been performed. The assembled papers excavate an array of tangled nodes at the science/capitalism nexus, spanning from the seventeenth century to the twenty-first, from Nevada to Central Asia to Japan, from microbiology to industrial psychology to public health.

The issue will be available on-line as an e-journal in late October. The roundtable will focus on the introduction in particular, but also include discussion on the volume as a whole.

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