Spaces and Places of ScienceHumanities

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Professor Keir Waddington discusses the importance of making the distinction between spaces and places in the ScienceHumanities  

The ‘spatial turn’ has highlighted the mutability of space and its social production, and in doing so has drawn attention to how we need to think about what we mean by space and place. In Putting science in its place (2003) Livingstone importantly reminds us of how scientific knowledge is inherently geographical in terms of how it was produced, transmitted, and consumed, but why might we still need to separate out the spaces and places of sciences?

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Sublimity and the ScienceHumanities

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Dr James Castell—one of the co-ordinators of the ScienceHumanities initiative at Cardiff University—visited the Centre Pompidou in Metz to explore how the exhibition Sublime: Les tremblements du Monde might inform or converse with the project.

Walking into the exhibition space in the Centre Pompidou Metz, visitors are immediately immersed in a sense of sublimity. Darkness and obscurity are important points of discussion in Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (1757). The first room of this exhibition is both dark and obscure.

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What Might the ScienceHumanities Look Like?

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Martin Willis
Professor of English
Cardiff University
ScienceHumanities Initiative Principal Investigator
Chair of the British Society for Literature and Science
Editor of the Journal of Literature and Science

In various disciplines we have come close to using the term ScienceHumanities in recent years.

There is, firstly, the long-standing Medical Humanities, which would reasonably claim to be an interdiscipline of its own. However, the medical humanities have been notoriously difficult to define, and have very bifurcated groups. Secondly, in eco-critical studies the phrase environmental humanities is, if not commonplace, then recognisably in use. In that arena it is a useful shorthand for the variety of disciplines that might combine and interact to focus attention on environmental challenges.

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