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Open Access (free)
Theatre and the politics of engagement
Author: Simon Parry

This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.

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Scientists and their poetry
Author: Sam Illingworth

A sonnet to science presents an account of six groundbreaking scientists who also wrote poetry, and the effect that this had on their lives and research. Focusing on Humphry Davy, Ada Lovelace, James Clerk Maxwell, Ronald Ross, Miroslav Holub, and Rebecca Elson, this book explores the extent to which poetry influenced and inspired their scientific achievements and in doing so considers how science and poetry offer complementary, rather than antagonistic, viewpoints for understanding the world and the way in which we live. By presenting a selection of the poetry that these scientists wrote and contextualising it with their work and research, this book provides a tentative explanation as to why these scientists wrote poetry, and gives a better understanding of how poetry might today be used as an effective tool in both the advancement of science and the way that science is communicated. Featured alongside the poems of these scientists is biographical detail that indicates the extent to which poetry affected their research and thinking. In presenting an aspirational account of how these two disciplines can work together, A sonnet to science aims to convince both current and future generations of scientists and poets that these worlds are not mutually exclusive, but rather complementary in nature.

Audrey Cruse

In ancient Greece and Rome magical and religious healing continued to be practised at the same time as a burgeoning of research and learning in the natural sciences was promoting a seemingly more rational and scientific approach to medicine. Was there, then, a dichotomy in medical treatment or was the situation more complex? This paper draws on historical textual sources as well as archaeological research in examining the question in more detail. Some early texts, such as the Egyptian papyri from about 2,600 bc and the Hippocratic Corpus from the third and fourth centuries bc, contain an intriguing mixture of scientific and religious material. Archaeological evidence from, for example, sites of healing sanctuaries from ancient times, show medical prescriptions used as part of votive offerings and religious inscriptions on surgical instruments, while physicians were prominent among donators to shrines. Other archaeological finds such as the contents of rubbish tips, buried hoards, sepulchral deposits and stray artefacts from occupation levels, have also added to the archive of medical material available for discussion. The paper concludes that such intertwinings of religion and science were not only common in Roman medicine but, in fact, continue into the present time.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Reflections on the relationship between science and society from the perspective of physics
Lucio Piccirillo

8 Big science and small science: reflections on the relationship between science and society from the perspective of physics Lucio Piccirillo The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. (Albert Einstein, The World as I See It) Chester V: ‘There’s no such thing as small science, only small scientists.’ (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2) In this chapter I will discuss some of the possible answers as to why science is a valuable enterprise. If this is

in The freedom of scientific research
Author: Michael R. Lynn

This book explores the appropriation of science in French society and the development of an urban scientific culture. Science underwent a process of commodification and popularization during the eighteenth century as more and more individuals sought to acquire some knowledge of scientific activities and as more and more people entered public debates on science. Popular science took many forms in the eighteenth century. While books, periodicals, universities, and academies all provided a breadth of scientific popularization at different levels and for different audiences, this book focuses on popular science within urban culture more generally. More than ever before, public lectures and demonstrations, clubs, and other activities arose in the eighteenth century as new opportunities for the general population to gain access to and appropriate science. These arenas for popular science were not restricted to people of a certain education. In fact, popular science, and public lecture courses in particular, was often set at a level that could be understood by pretty much anyone. This was a bone of contention between popularizers and their critics who felt that in some cases popular science lacked any sort of real scientific content. In reality, some popularizers had specific theoretical content in mind for their courses while others were admittedly more interested in theatrics. Identifying the audience, cost, and location of popular science helps reveal its place in urban culture. The book looks at the audience, identified through advertisements and course descriptions, as well as the economics of courses.

The Reverend William Richardson

‘I love controversy’ claimed the Reverend William Richardson (1740-1820). Though a rural Irish rector, Richardson was a clerical polymath with wide-ranging interests in botany and geology who had international connections at the highest level. This book explores all the dimensions of Richardson’s extraordinary scientific career and assesses his interventions in Irish loyalist politics at the time of the 1798 rebellion. He was a prolific writer who contributed to the debate on the origin of basalt at the Giant’s Causeway, refuting claims that it was volcanic. His main project, however, was agricultural improvement. He argued that the adoption of, Irish fiorin grass, a plant which flourished on bog-land, would help reclaim wastelands throughout Britain and enable farmers to make hay in wintertime. Though considered mad for attempting to overturn the conventional wisdom of ‘making hay while the sun shines’ Richardson was supported by leading British scientists like Sir Humphry Davy and Sir Joseph Banks. In truth he sits at the intersection between provincial and metropolitan science and his overall historical importance, like his career, is diverse. His scientific empiricism meant that he offered an alternative voice to that of the loyalist propagandist, Sir Richard Musgrave. Even more significantly, in the aftermath of legislative union, Richardson recommended Irish agriculture to remedy Britain’s economic predicament during the ‘war of resources’ phase of the Napoleonic wars.

Open Access (free)
Convergence, emergence and divergence
Simon Parry

1 Science in performance: convergence, emergence and divergence Starting with a (big) bang Sir Ian McKellen as Prospero: Miranda, go out into the world. Will you be for all of us gathering here our eyes, our ears and our hearts? Shine your light on the beautiful diversity of humanity. Understand those rights that protect us. Look up, stretch your wings and fly. Will you take the journey for all of us and will you set us free? Professor Stephen Hawking: We live in a universe governed by rational laws that we can discover and understand. Look up at the stars and

in Science in performance
Open Access (free)
Christopher Morgan

chapter5 28/1/05 1:31 pm Page 102 5 Science and nature Introduction: pure and applied science Having dealt with the issue of the language of science, one must return to the dilemma pointed up earlier by Ned Thomas’s reading of ‘Homo Sapiens 1941’: how does one begin to reconcile R. S. Thomas’s apparently simultaneous condemnation and admiration for the objects and ideas which underlie that language? As I have already suggested, Thomas seems to move gradually from a preoccupation with the language of science for the purposes of art into a moral philosopher

in R. S. Thomas
David Amigoni

‘The conveyance of thought’ in the wonderful century of science In this chapter, I critically reflect on the interface between literature and science in the long nineteenth century. I map trends in the field suggesting that, methodologically, literature and science paradigms are quite fundamental to the understanding of interdisciplinary nineteenth-century studies: in so far as the literature-science field has been characteristically concerned with the transmission of thought and its conveyance by

in Interventions
The British Interplanetary Society before the Second World War
Charlotte Sleigh

11 Science as heterotopia: the British Interplanetary Society before the Second World War Charlotte Sleigh In a night of wild drinking in 1941, Captain John (Jack) Happian Edwards, on leave from his Admiralty research post in Scotland, let slip his secret quest for an enormous emerald, stolen from a Burmese temple and whisked across international borders. In the course of tracing the gem Edwards had stumbled upon a gang of dope smugglers who, convinced that he was working for Scotland Yard, surrendered themselves to him. Of the emerald’s whereabouts he said

in Scientific governance in Britain, 1914–79