I have been having a few discussions with Kate Rigby and others about the arts and humanities’ relationship to Science (note the capital S). I have mentioned this paper a number of times in these discussions and elsewhere. I think it’s important people at least glance at this paper. I was alerted to it by Etienne Turpin when he spoke at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference in, errr, 2015?
The paper On the annals of the laboratory state by SHIV VISVANATHAN is here online
I put it here too, copied into Word on-the-annals-of-the-laboratory-state
Here are two of many quotable quotes
“In fact, through a strange twist, the modern state exists more and more as a big machine guaranteeing the production and reproduction of science. In fact it is the grammar of science that provides for the everyday fascism of modernity-as-technocracy.”
“We are forced to confront the fact that green-revolution reductionism is no substitute for ecologically-sensitive traditional practices. This insurrection of the local knowledges which demands a return to the sacred is providing the crystal seed around which the challenge to the laboratory states of modernity has begun.”
I am not simply endorsing this as a ‘attack’ on modern Western Science – there is a lot more to be considered. But I think it is a very sobering article coming from a non-Western scholar – and a useful way-maker in this question of the relationship between art and humanities and the Sciences.
Note added 12/01/2017
My dear friend and colleague Professor Kate Rigby has urged me to think somewhat differently about how science is being discussed here. She feels a more creative, inclusive, positive approach is needed, that identifies points of allegiance with science and scientists. I am willing to think on this matter.