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qwallath

Qwallath

Hi, I'm Oscar, a historical linguist from the Netherlands who also likes to write about music, games, and history. Check out my longer blog posts and other writings on Sub Specie.

Currently reading

Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo
Mary Douglas
Signs: an Introduction to Semiotics
Thomas A. Sebeok, Marcel Danesi
Language and Space
Lynn Nadel, Mary A. Peterson, Paul Bloom

science and fiction. Between Nanoworlds and Global Culture

Science + Fiction: Between Nanoworlds and Global Culture (Hardcover) - Stefan Iglhaut, Rudolf Stichweh, Homi K. Bhabha, Lydia Haustein, Christina von Braun, Wolf Singer, Roslynn D. Haynes, Peter Weingart, Thomas Beth, Wilhelm Krull, Helga Nowotny, Lorraine Daston, Barbara Maria Stafford, Horst Bredekamp, Ulrich Beck, Karlheinz Steinm├╝ller, This strange volume, consisting of two square books, one on top of the other in one tall binding, contains lots of interesting pictures and essays that explore thought on the intersection of science, art, history, politics, and fiction.

The top book contains images from the German art exhibition to which this book is related, mostly images from the history of science with accompanying quotes. The bottom half consists of essays and interviews by various scholars about the topics mentioned above. It's possible to read the two books simultaneously, by turning both pages at the same time, or you can randomly combine, reading page 34 at the bottom and 156 at the top, for example. An original, if not entirely practical, design choice.

It's not form over function though, as both halves of 'Science + Fiction' contain loads of interesting material. Some of the more memorable essays include Ulrich Beck on terrorism and the concept of uncontrollable risk, Wolf Singer on the nature of memory, and Roslynn D. Haynes on stereotypes of Scientists in Western literature. At the same time, many of the pictures are inspiring and enlightening, showcasing the artistic potential of scientific images.

This is a very nice book for anyone academically and/or artistically interested in the history and culture of science.