Artikkel

Stakkars historikere

Stakkars historikere

Platon og Aristoteles
Platon og Aristoteles fra Rafaels bilde

Fra tiden til annen skriver jeg om vitenskapshistorie på denne bloggen. Det er lett for naturvitere som meg å tro at fagets historie er enkel å mestre siden vi kan naturvitenskap. Men en av mine største overraskelser fikk jeg faktisk da jeg sluttet å tro på kollegaer som Stephen Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson og andre og heller begynte å lese ordentlige vitenskapshistorikere. Det ble så mye mer spennende!

Følgende historie fra Wall Street Journal illustrerer dette poenget bedre enn jeg klarer og er vel verdt å lese:

There’s a story told about a distinguished cardiac surgeon who, about to retire, decided he’d like to take up the history of medicine. He sought out a historian friend and asked her if she had any tips for him. The historian said she’d be happy to help but first asked the surgeon a reciprocal favor: “As it happens, I’m about to retire too, and I’m thinking of taking up heart surgery. Do you have any tips for me?”” – Steven Shapin in his WSJ review of Steven Weinberg’s “To Explain the World”'

“Mr. Weinberg identifies his account as a personal view, and there’s no reason why people shouldn’t want to know how an eminent modern scientist (and public intellectual) thinks about all sorts of things. What is interesting is that these different stories about the historical development of science persist, with no prospect that professional historians of science will ever own their subject as, say, art historians own the history of art. Science remains almost unique in that respect. It’s modernity’s reality-defining enterprise, a pattern of proper knowledge and of right thinking, in the same way that—though Mr. Weinberg will hate the allusion—Christian religion once defined what the world was like and what proper knowledge should be. The same circumstance that gives science its immense modern cultural prestige also ensures that there will be an audience for its idealization and celebration. “To Explain the World” is for that audience.“ – Steven Shapin in his WSJ review of Steven Weinberg’s “To Explain the World”

Min kilde er en av de vitenskapshistorikerne jeg setter mest pris på, Thony Christie, som både har en egen blogg - The Renaissance Mathematicus og også skriver et ukentlig sammendrag av hendelser innen faget. Det er fra det siste at sitatene kommer. Christies kilde er Steven Shapins bokanmeldelse med den talende tittelen "Why Scientists Shouldn't Write History".

 

Skriv ny kommentar

Verifiser deg (din epost-adresse vil ikke bli vist offentlig)