Interdisciplines and indiscipline

Speaker: Prof Simon Schaffer # University of Cambridge

24th Feb 2014

15:30 - 17:00

Conference Room, David Hume Tower

Abstract

Interdisciplinarity is now a key term both in plans for the reorganisation of knowledge and for the understanding of its histories. But the term is beset with many difficulties. Amongst these troubles, historical problems seem entangled with current challenges of administration. All disciplines were once interdisciplines, and claims about the novelty of interdisciplinary forms seem oddly to reinforce the fantasy of some past world in which disciplines were rigid and unchallenged. This talk explores some of the issues raised by these strange histories of disciplinarity, especially in cases of colonial sciences and their fate.

 

Speaker Biography

Simon Schaffer is Professor of History of Science at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of the British Academy. He is principal investigator on a AHRC project on the eighteenth century Board of Longitude and co-editor of 'The Brokered World' (Science History Publications).