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Dhruv Raina - Rewriting the History of Science and Philosophy in Late Colonial India
November 03, 2014 10:34 PM PST

October 2, 2014
Dhruv Raina, Professor at the Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
University of King’s College, Halifax, NS

How did Indian intellectuals receive and respond to Western notions of the histories of philosophy and science in the late 19th and early 20th centuries? How did Indian intellectuals attempt to reconstruct the history of their own tradition? This talk will explore how the works of key thinkers William Whewell and J.S. Mill were taken up by Indian philosophers and historians in Calcutta at the end of the nineteenth century, and how these influenced the interpretation of the history of Indian philosophy and science. The Indian response will be gleaned from a detailed discussion of the works of the Indian philosopher B.N. Seal and the sociologist Benoy Kumar Sarkar.

Sanjay Subrahmanyam - Beyond the Civilization Paradigm: Reflections on the Indian Ocean (and Elsewhere), 1400-1800
November 03, 2014 09:36 PM PST

Sanjay Subrahmanyam, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), USA
August 21, 2014
National University of Singapore
Keynote presentation for the Globalizing History and Philosophy of Science: Problems and Prospects workshop Aug 21-22 2014 at National University of Singapore

CHAIR: Prasenjit Duara, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

Ronald Numbers - The Maritimes Birth of Creation Science
November 02, 2014 11:50 PM PST

Ronald Numbers, University of Wisconsin, Madison
October 21, 2014
University of King's College, Halifax, NS

Despite Charles Darwin’s announced effort to overthrow “the dogma of separate creations,” organized opposition to his revolution did not appear until the early twentieth century and, even then, most antievolutionists accepted the antiquity of life on Earth. At the time only a small minority, led by the Maritimes school teacher George McCready Price, insisted on the recent appearance of life and attributed the fossil record to Noah’s flood. This lecture focuses on the growing dominance of Price’s “flood geology” (renamed “scientific creationism” or “creation science” about 1970), which in the last quarter of the twentieth century emerged as the dominant form of antievolutionism around the world.


Stathis Psillos - From the 'Bankruptcy of Science' to the 'Death of Evidence': Science and its Value
May 12, 2014 05:58 AM PDT

April 10, 2014
Stathis Psillos, Western University
University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario

The 'war on science' is nothing new. The first 'bankruptcy of science' debate took place in France at the turn of the 20th century, was fuelled mostly by conservative public intellectuals, and brought evidence up for debate. History is repeating itself now in Canada. The trend raises important questions: What were and are the key external and internal criticisms of science and evidence in particular?


Scott Findlay - Governing in the Dark: Evidence, Accountability and the Future of Canadian Science
March 24, 2014 06:48 PM PDT

March 5, 2014
Dr. Scott Findlay, University of Ottawa
Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia

This is part three of The Lives of Evidence national lecture series.

Scientists are becoming increasingly concerned about the Canadian government's attitude towards science. They are concerned about declining federal investment in public interest science; a shift away from federal funding of basic research to business-oriented research; policies that restrict the communication of scientific information among government scientists and to the public; and -- despite assurances to the contrary from federal ministers -- an increasingly cavalier attitude towards science-informed decision-making. Are these symptoms of an ongoing erosion of basic democratic principles? What are some possible therapeutic and preventative interventions?


Gordon McOuat - Orientalism in Science Studies? Why Should We Worry?
June 06, 2012 10:42 AM PDT

December 13, 2011
Dr. Gordon McOuat, University of King's College
MIT Seminar Hall, Manipal University, Manipal, India

Orientalism will forever be associated with Edward Said’s provocative 1978 book. Simultaneously catalyzing the field of post-colonial studies and polarising a generation, the project’s aim was to critically examine the encounter between so-called “Western” scholarship and “Eastern” thought, by focusing on the former in order to liberate the latter from its procrustean squeeze. Ironically, though, in its attempt to overcome binaries, Orientalism excessively fetishised them, blinding us to nuanced encounters and exchanges across those binaries. We’ve now rightly come to appreciate the porousness of “East/West” and perhaps even suspect the very idea of such a continental divide. But what about science? This paper will follow up on recent encounter literature regarding the circulation of science, focusing on two main natural philosophers/scientists who stand as bookends of the colonial and post-colonial project. James Dinwiddie (1746-1815), first professor of natural philosophy at the College of Fort William, Calcutta brought instruments and itinerant experimental philosophy to the burgeoning early 19th Century colonial enterprise in India. J.B.S Haldane (1892-1964), maverick geneticist and mathematician, embraced the newly independent India in the 20th Century as a place to fully realise a liberated biopolitical project. This paper will introduce these bookends of the colonial and post-colonial project, and offer some suggestions regarding our own narratives of nature and science, East and West.


Preston Manning, Darin Barney - Public debate: A debate on science policy in Canada
June 06, 2012 10:42 AM PDT

Nov 12, 2009
Preston Manning, Darin Barney
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

This conversation event is in collaboration with the SSHRC Strategic Knowledge Cluster, "Situating Science: humanist and social studies of science"


Owen Flanagan - The Bodhisattva's Brain: Buddhism Naturalized
May 20, 2012 08:39 PM PDT

April 26, 2012
University of King's College, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Dr. Owen Flanagan, Duke University

This event was co-sponsored by Novel Tech Ethics and Situating Science.

Buddhism claims to be science friendly and, among the classical wisdom traditions, most likely to produce true and lasting happiness. Is this true? Can Buddhism be (re)conceptualized in a way that is congenial to philosophical naturalism and that provides a plausible solution to finding meaning in a material world?


Sundar Sarukkai - Nature of Knowledge in Indian Intellectual Traditions
April 15, 2012 07:42 PM PDT

Dr. Sundar Sarukkai, Manipal University
July 22, 2010
Alumni Hall, University of King's College, 6350 Coburg Rd. Halifax, NS

This lecture was the keynote lecture for the "Circulating Knowledge, East and West" workshop, July 21-23, 2010.