Faculty Chat: Bruno Latour

With the 1979 publication of Laboratory Life: The Social Construction of Scientific Facts, Bruno Latour (in co-authorship with Steve Woolgar) struck a forceful blow against the Enlightenment proposition that modern science has the unique capacity to access stable truths about the natural world. Instead, Latour argued (in Laboratory Life and subsequent works), science is a social system, with its precepts supported by social practices — its findings do as much to create our possibilities of existence as they do to describe them. In a Faculty Chat, Core Faculty Members Danya Glabau, who is teaching the April 2017 BISR course “Bruno Latour: Science, Society, and Politics,” and Suzanne Schneider discuss Latour’s core ideas, their relevance for scientists, critical theorists and historians, their vulnerability to cooption by anti-science charlatans, and their compatibility and tension with the works of Donna Haraway and other feminist theorists of science. The conversation begins at 0:24.

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