Concept: Peter Galison, Cambridge/Mass.; Susan Neiman, Potsdam
Participants: Lorraine Daston, Berlin; Wendy Doniger, Chicago; Rivka Feldhay, Tel Aviv; Michael Gordin, Princeton; Anthony Grafton, Princeton; Caroline Jones, Cambridge/Mass.; Philip Kitcher, New York; Glenn Most, Pisa; Katharine Park, Cambridge/Mass.; Nimrod Reitman, Caputh
Views of science differ widely even among relatively similar cultures – just consider the many differences between Humanities and Geisteswissenschaften. But since the early 20th century, there has been general agreement about the priority of the natural sciences – in truth-value, in independence from ideology, and in funding. At the same time, the rise of the history of science as a discipline has cast doubt on most of the myths that make natural science a priority. Recent studies have called into question hard distinctions between reason and nature, while enriching our notions of objectivity, observation, and rationality itself. Leading historians of science, as well as other historians, philosophers and critics will discuss the extent to which the imperialism of the natural sciences can be justified.