Joint seminar, March 22nd 2012 with Prof. Paul Josephson

The seminar will take place in the Sala de Graus II of the Edificio de Ciencias/Biociencias at 16h00.

I would like to draw your attention and invite you to a special seminar organized in partnership with the Centre d’Història de la Ciència (CEHIC) of the UAB this Spring on March, 22nd, 2012.

Prof. Josephson, from Colby College in the United States, will present his recent research in an open seminar called “You cannot fool (mother) Nature: The political and cultural roots of (natural) disasters.”

Paul Josephson, a specialist in the history of 20th century science and technology, teaches at Colby College, Waterville, Maine, USA.  He has written several books about science, technology and nature, increasingly from a comparative perspective.  His last books were an evaluation of technological utopianism under socialism (Would Trotsky Wear a Bluetooth?) and a biography of Nobel laureate in physics, Zhores Alferov (Lenin’s Laureate).  He is finishing an environmental history of Soviet arctic conquest, 1930-1990.

Below is a short summary of Prof. Josephson’s talk:
“Natural disasters are hardly the stuff only of nature, nor behave in an unpredictable fashion.  Rather natural disasters involve human presence – their villages, homes, cemeteries, businesses, factories, schools and hospitals – and their science and engineering.  The way they organize agriculture, build structures, and attempt to control nature to limit its capricious fury is central to natural disasters.  To call something natural without seeing humans as part of it, ignores not only the epistemological aspect, but also the physical and psychological.  It also avoids recognizing the interaction of politics – of class, race and gender – with science and nature in all disasters”