Northwestern Events Calendar


SHC Klopsteg Lecture: MICHAEL GORDIN

When: Monday, October 10, 2016
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM CT

Where: University Hall, Hagstrum Room, UH 201, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students


Contact: Natasha O Dennison   (847) 491-3525

Group: Science in Human Culture Program

Category: Lectures & Meetings


MICHAEL GORDIN: History, Princeton University

“Scientific Babel: The Languages of Science Before and After Global English”

Description: Communication, especially publication, in the natural sciences today takes place almost exclusively in English. This phenomenon is relatively recent, with a strong shift toward monoglot natural science taking place roughly half a century ago. This talk offers an account of the transformation of communication in the natural sciences from a primarily trilingual situation in 1850 (English, French, and German) to a bilingual situation after the Second World War (English primary, Russian secondary), to the essentially monoglot system of today.

Bio: Michael Gordin is the Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Princeton University. He specializes on the history of modern science (primarily the physical sciences) and European and American cultural history. He is the author of five books, including A Well-Ordered Thing: Dmitrii Mendeleev and the Shadow of the Periodic Table (2004), Red Cloud at Dawn: Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly (2009), and co-author of How Reason Almost Lost its Mind: The Strange Career of Cold War Rationality (2013). His most recent book, Scientific Babel, is a history of the languages in which science has been done, exploring the rise and fall of various linguistic regimes in the natural sciences up to the present moment of almost universal publication in English.

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