Science is not fun

Opinions personals de membres del CEHIC i alumnes de postgrau

Archive for novembre, 2008

nov. 25 2008

“Science is not fun”. Un nou títol per al blog?

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El títol del blog no li escau del tot: és massa general i poc atractiu. Quan el vam triar amb la Matiana, era justament això el que preteníem, però ara que hi haurà un accés directe al blog des de la home del CEHIC, junt amb el del Màster, sembla que hi ha massa “Ciències, històries i societat” per polzada quadrada.

Proposo un nou títol: “Science is not fun”. Així, en anglès. La idea és clara: davant un discurs popularitzador cada cop més prevalent basat en l’entreteniment i la distracció, que abusa de l’anècdota, que banalitza i trivialitza ad nauseam l’activitat científica i la seva dimensió social, proposem un discurs crític i no necessàriament avorrit sobre la ciència, més sensible a la seva variabilitat històrica i a la complexitat dels seus encaixos socials. Si algú troba això avorrit, és que troba la realitat avorrida, i el problema aleshores no el tenim nosaltres.

A mi m’agrada entretenir-me, però no que només m’entretinguin.

Ho he comentat amb alguns de vosaltres i és clar que el lema es podria matisar: “Science is not (just) fun”, “Science is serious stuff”, etc. Però els títols sempre són simplificadors, i jo opto pel títol curt: ja ens explicarem a través de les entrades del blog.

Comments welcome! Hem de decidir-nos per un nom perquè els dissenyadors de la web del CEHIC inclouran un enllaç directe al blog, i serà ben visible des de la portada.

Xavier Roqué


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nov. 24 2008

Talking about (science) communication

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This week there is a huge conference on communication in Barcelona, called ECREA. Sounds very general, is very general. But there is stuff about science communication in it as well that might interest us. See the programme. For example on Friday morning I will go to Continue Reading »


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nov. 22 2008

Spanish Science during Francoism

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Late this week, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra held a workshop on “Science, Scientists and Totalitarian Systems”. A pretty important “delegation” of CEHIC members attended the meeting and engaged in very exciting discussions. Among the topics addressed, there were the relationships between scientists and power in Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Francoist Spain or the shaping of science policies (and also public perception of science and technology) in authoritarian regimes. The same notion of totalitarian regimes was analysed, and I found specially touching Mark Walker’s revision of individual stories of scientists under Nazism. As part of our own recent history, this is a topic I am conviced that Spanish historians of science must urgently engage with.

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nov. 20 2008

A buzz in the water

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My book on the history of radioactivity in Spain “est arrivé”: Néstor Herran (2008). Aguas, Semillas y Radiaciones. El Laboratorio de Radiactividad de la Universidad de Madrid, 1904-1929. Madrid: CSIC. There is plenty of interesting stuff: radioactive spas and waters, radioactive-grown giant corn plants, tricky instruments and a lot of science politics. In brief, an entertaining and informative approach to science in early 20th century Spain. Enjoy it.
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nov. 11 2008

Paleoanthropology and the construction of national identities

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At first glance these book titles seem odd, somehow old-fashioned. In 2006 Chris Stringer, an eminent British paleoanthropologist, published Homo britannicus. In 2008, Emiliano Aguirre, the doyen of Spanish paleoanthropology published Homo hispanico. They both cover the settlement of “their countries” from the first traces of hominid activities: Up to 700.000 years in the “British” case, and well over one million years in the “Spanish” case.
Yes, we will need a lot of quotation marks here. What was “British” or “Hispanic” about the Boxgrove tibia or the Atapuerca mandible, two of the oldest and most famous fossils? Continue Reading »


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nov. 05 2008

Benvinguts al blog del CEHIC

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Acabem de crear el blog “Ciència, història i societat” del CEHIC, en període de proves. Podeu participar-hi inscrivint-vos a http://blogs.uab.cat


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