Profiles of Leading Women Scientists on AcademiaNet – an initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
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|Year of election:||2019|
|Section:||History of Science and Medicine|
Research priorities: History of Modern Science, Russian History, Scientific Communication, Nuclear History
Michael D. Gordin is an American science historian and slavicist. He studies the history of modern science, with an emphasis on the institutions and infrastructure that lie beneath the production of knowledge. Most of his work falls in three categories, which together emphasize the importance of studying phenomena on the edges of major developments in order to illuminate what is typically taken as the mainstream.
First, he has published three books and many articles that explore the unique development of modern science within Slavic-dominated spaces, ranging from Prague to Vladivostok, but concentrating on European Russia. In conventional accounts of the history of science, the Russian case is either ignored (with partial exceptions like D. I. Mendeleev and his periodic system of chemical elements) or treated as pathological (as in the case of T. D. Lysenko’s campaign against Mendelian genetics). When analyzed transnationally, these cases help illuminate general characteristics that are shared with “Western” science.
Second, he continues to research scientific communication, particularly the effects of language choice on the development of science. As he has documented in Scientific Babel (2015), the striking dominance of global English in communication in the natural sciences is a recent phenomenon, and represents a transformation in the underlying organization of global knowledge-production. He also maintains an interest in the history of constructed languages (Plansprachen).
Finally, he works on the boundary debates between what counts as science and what as pseudoscience, as rational and irrational, and how these arguments trace the boundaries of sociological communities within the sciences.
06108 Halle (Saale)
|Phone||0345 - 47 239 - 122|
|Fax||0345 - 47 239 - 139|