Topics in Science Studies: Science as Representation

From cabinets of curiosity to the charts and graphs that are central to scientific publications, science goes about the work of representation. Beginning with objects and models, two familiar forms of representation in science, this course will unpack science’s multifaceted relationship with representation. In “Modes of Representation: Visualization and Quantification,” we will consider the images of Fa-ti Fan’s Chinese visual artists’ representations of plants and birds for British naturalists and Theodore Porter’s examination of quantification to take account of the ways scientists persuade one another using representations different types of representation. In “Places of Representation,” we will analyze how representation takes place in laboratories and museums through demonstrations and publications. To conclude the course, we will take a look at those who are represented as the recipients of scientific knowledge—the public—and consider the citizen’s role in the production and use of scientific knowledge.

Hannah Rogers

PDF: ScienceasRepresentation.Draper.pdf

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