Working worlds: perspectives and problems of a tool for thinking about modern science

Professor Jon Agar

Thursday 6 March 2014 12:30 - 14:00

Oxford Internet Institute, 1 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3JS

Please email your name and affiliation to events@oii.ox.ac.uk or telephone +44 (0)1865 287210.

This event is part of PhilTech - Philosophy & Technology Seminar Series

Abstract

In a recent historical survey of science in the twentieth century, I devised a concept 'working worlds' which I think helps understand science's relationship with its broader context. Working worlds are arenas of human action that generate problems. The intuition was that science does not operate in a featureless, level environment; rather it responds to an uneven, given landscape of which working worlds are the major features. Our lives, but especially our sciences, have been organised by our orientation towards working worlds. In this seminar I will introduce the concept of working worlds, illustrate how they can be used to think about past and present science, and identify some problems and issues.

There are a limited number of places for this event, so please do register early to avoid disappointment. A light sandwich lunch will be provided to all registered attendees.

About the speaker

Professor Jon Agar

Professor of Science and Technology Studies, University College London

Jon Agar is Professor of Science and Technology Studies (STS) at University College London. He is interested in the history and recent politics of science and technology. His past projects include a synthetic historical overview of twentieth-century science (Science in the Twentieth Century and Beyond, Polity 2012), the history of the mobile phone (Constant Touch: a Global History of the Mobile Phone, Icon, 2003, 3rd. edition 2013), and the history of information technologies (The Government Machine: a Revolutionary History of the Computer, MIT Press, 2003).