Open Access (free)
William Camden’s Annales

In his Annales of Queen Elizabeth (1615, 1625), William Camden presented Elizabeth's success in managing the nation's commercial and financial interests as a product of her rejection of any selfish goals, and her absolute commitment to the interests and welfare of the Commonwealth. This chapter considers the consequences and significance of such an approach. Chief among these, it is argued, was the development of a narrative that employed conventional classical ideas of virtue, honour and 'exemplary' behaviour to discuss a range of contemporary economic issues and debates.

in Commerce, finance and statecraft

The year 1857 was the last carefree year of the Austrian Empire, geographically the second largest state in Europe after Russia. Austria was an obvious choice to host the third international statistical congress. Under the inspired leadership of Karl von Czoernig, statistics quickly became a valued service in the administrative apparatus of the monarchy. His aim was to position himself internationally as an authoritative statistician with a mission. Financial statistics was a subject that captured the particular attention of the Austrian government. In addition to finance and ethnography, the main topics of the third international statistical congress were education, industry, mortality, hospitals and nursing homes, criminal and civil law, the allocation of land ownership and rates. The third international statistical congress in Vienna continued along the course set by the Paris congress.

in States and statistics in the nineteenth century
An examination of touching moments in dance of court and courtship

This chapter considers what level of contact occurred during the activity of dancing in social situations in early modern England. It examines how the private sensations produced were then recorded and commented upon in different written, visual and theatrical forms. The chapter also considers the importance given to the tactile in developing a communication skill which had to be mastered by those courtiers wanting to excel in courtly dance. 'Unclean handling' is not only occurring in the dance, but by all those involved at the court seen to be sharing the touching moments. To puritan moralists the image of holding hands in dance may have signified illicit fornication, but there are examples where the same dancing image is used as a symbol of chaste concord. The French Basse Dance repertoire comprised different choreographies, each with variable combinations of basic step units, following specific structural metrical rules.

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660

In September 1853 Brussels was for a short time the centre of statistics. This chapter is concerned with the key role of Adolphe Quetelet, who was the Statistical Society's official correspondent. Belgium's pioneering role in the European statistical movement was informed both by its liberal polity and the special status of statistics within it, and by Quetelet's key position as an intellectual. Quetelet and Auguste Visschers launched the proposal at the meeting of the Central Commission for Statistics of 11 July 1851. Given their value to statisticians, it is no wonder that the implementation and refinement of the census and population registers was an important item on the agenda of the international statistical congress in Brussels. In the congress programme that was dispatched in the spring of 1853, the census was high on the list of discussion topics, second only to the organisation of statistics in general.

in States and statistics in the nineteenth century
The case of mitochondrial transfer

This chapter examines the relationship between mitochondrial transfer technologies and scientific freedom. Transfer of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) promises to eliminate mitochondrial disease from affected embryos. This procedure promises to improve future lives significantly; but if it turns out to have undesirable consequences, it could cause several generations of harm. This raises questions about the freedom to pursue potentially harmful techniques. How should we weigh the risks? Moreover, faced with the claim that altering the human genome is eugenic, is the freedom to pursue eugenic technologies a freedom worth defending? We must acknowledge the risks of mtDNA transfer; but they should be kept in perspective. The freedom to attempt to free future generations from inherited illness is worth protecting.

in The freedom of scientific research
From theory to advocacy

While international law has recognised a human right to science since 1948, the binding normative content of this right still needs to be clarified and specified. It is rarely discussed by states when they report on their obligations under the various international human rights treaties (UN and ICESCR), and receives scant attention by international human rights bodies. To advance our understanding of this under-studied and under-appreciated right, this chapter offers an overview of ways in which the right to science can be advanced and realised. The chapter is divided into three parts: the first section discusses the recognition of the right to science under international and regional legal instruments; the second presents a literature review; and the third discusses the use (mobilisation) of international adjudicative and political forums to advance the right to science and to shape its normative content.

in The freedom of scientific research
Bridging the gap between science and society

Never have the scope and limits of scientific freedom been more important or more under attack. New science, from artificial intelligence to genomic manipulation, creates unique opportunities to make the world a better place. But it also presents unprecedented dangers, which many believe threaten the survival of humanity and the planet. This collection, by an international and multidisciplinary group of leading thinkers, addresses three vital questions: (1) How are scientific developments impacting on human life and on the structure of societies? (2) How is science regulated, and how should it be regulated? (3) Are there ethical boundaries to scientific developments in some sensitive areas (e.g. robotic intelligence, biosecurity)? The contributors are drawn from many disciplines, and approach the issues in diverse ways to secure the widest representation of the many interests engaged. They include some of the most distinguished academics working in this field, as well as young scholars.

The quest for the right to science

This chapter discusses the prohibition of narcotics and other psychoactive substances, and its impact on science. International organisations, particularly the United Nations, have intervened over the years to regulate and control the use and distribution of psychoactive substances. There are three main international Conventions that deal with psychoactive substances: the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961), the Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971) and the Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988). The prohibitions relating to psychoactive substances can seriously hinder the progress of scientific research. As scientific advancement is regarded as a human right by the same treaties and documents which restrict the use of psychoactive substances, prohibition results in the violation of fundamental human rights, such as the right to science and to health.

in The freedom of scientific research
Washington’s painful search for a credible China policy

When Barack Obama assumed the presidency in 2008, China was already a major economic power. Obama understood the importance and potential of the Asia Pacific broadly, and China more specifically, and his main ambition was to create a more sustainable foundation for relations with Beijing. To do so, Obama aimed to channel China’s rise in as non-confrontational a direction as possible. To counter the ongoing power shift, more strategic attention and resources were devoted by Washington to the Asia Pacific, via the administration’s ‘Pivot’ to the region and the Trans-Pacific Partnership which excluded China. No consolidation was achieved. During the first two years of the presidency of Donald Trump, the relationship between China and the West has been predicated less on expectations of convergence, and more on rivalry and competition. China is building a party-state-driven economy based on its own distinctive vision for globalisation. The future increasingly appears one of systemic dissonance. Strategic distrust seems more likely to define an ever-more complex US–China relationship. At no time has the United States appeared to be in more urgent need of a comprehensive and viable China policy, beyond transactional improvisations and power projections.

in The United States in the Indo-Pacific

This chapter shows that just as VNIITE designers had built a theoretical basis for action by the late 1960s and started developing new prototypes for modern household objects, such as vacuum cleaners and refrigerators, they also started to recognise the inadequacy of the object as a basic unit of socialist material culture. Following the theorists of the Ulm School of Design (1953–68, a school critical of American styling and promoting an interdisciplinary approach to design), VNIITE designers tended to see environments, and not objects, as the ideal end products of their work. Without abandoning the avant-garde’s idea of a comradely object, after the late 1960s Soviet designers and theorists dwelled upon another notion of the avant-garde: the artist as the organiser of all aspects of society’s life, including the material environments of work and leisure. After discussing several projects for home appliances from the early 1970s, the chapter explains the notion of a design programme – an elaboration including systems of objects, environments and labour processes. By analysing two cases of design programmes, one from the early 1970s and another from the 1980s, I demonstrate that this type of design was flexible: it intended to regulate broad areas of human activity but also left space for consumer activity and variation.

in Comradely objects