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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
This chapter explores the problems that mirrors presented for women, at whom they were often directed, and discusses the potential for women to circumvent some of the mirror's negative associations. It presents various self-portraits by Sofonisba Anguissola and Artemisia Gentileschi which reveal the different approaches of these women to the problem of representing themselves. Female artists who represent themselves are hampered by the mirror's classic, symbolic associations with women which regularly portrays them in an unfavourable light. The images of Anguissola and Gentileschi, combined with the discussion of James Shirley's 'To A Lady Upon a Looking-Glass Sent', illustrate that the mirror is used in its traditional context of sin, pride and vanity. The mirror appears as a tool of self-improvement, as a means of gazing into the truth of the soul, or what the soul ought to be, and as a motif for true self worth.
Berlin underwent a period of prodigious growth in the mid-nineteenth century. If there had ever been a moment in the history of the international statistical congress when it could be elevated to a higher plane, then it was 1863, in Berlin. Ernst Engel, the director of the Prussian statistical bureau, was intent on making the Berlin congress a resounding success. Baden was one of the states that took some interest in the resolutions adopted by the international statistical congress. The Baden government was closely involved in the initiatives introduced at the congresses in Vienna in 1857 and Berlin in 1863 with respect to a common system of statistics in Germany. Of all the major themes that would be addressed at the congress, the most innovative theme was the role of statistics in mutual assistance and insurance. Mutual assistance was, in Engel's view, a step towards economic autonomy and independence.