University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Wastelands and Wilderness: A presentation by Peter Galison, January 23, 2009

Peter Galison is the Joseph Pellegrino University Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University. Among other works, he is the author of How Experiments End (Chicago University Press, 1987), Image and Logic: a Material Culture of Microphysics (Chicago University Press, 1997), with C.A. Jones, Picturing Science, Producing Art (Routledge, 1998), and, with Lorraine Daston, Objectivity (Zone Books, 2007).

Cosponsored by the Theorizing Early Modern Studies Collaborative, and the Minnesota Center for the Philosophy of Science.

This talk is also available as an audio download (.mp3 – 77.5 MB).

The central component of Peter Galison’s work involves the exploration of twentieth century microphysics (atomic, nuclear, and particle physics). In particular, he examines physics as a closely interconnected set of scientific subcultures: experimenters, instrument makers, and theorists. In this talk he discusses the strange and often hidden connections between land too pure to be used, and land so defiled with nuclear waste that it must be forbidden, legally, from human use for 10,000 years. What does this form of self-exclusion say about who we think we are and how we relate to nature?

Question and Answer Session



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