RESEARCH CLUSTER: Global Histories of Science


Marwa Elshakry, Associate Professor of History
Eugenia Lean, Professor of History and East Asian Languages and Cultures and Director of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute
Kavita Sivaramakrishnan, Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences

This research cluster engages in an interdisciplinary study of science in society that focuses on understudied places, peoples and periods. Whereas in the past the approach to the history of science in Asia or Africa has so far primarily been traced in reference to some abstract notion of “the West,” the aim of this cluster is to explore a broader, more inclusive and interlinked history of science among regions or geographies.

Global histories 6 Global histories 5 L0030067 Japanese Herbal, 17th century
L0030067 Japanese Herbal, 17th century Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images Contains various drawings of European plants with names/text in Old Dutch, Chinese, Japanese & Latin. Illustration 30. "Kruid Boek getrokken uyt Dodoneaus",- "Herbal extracted from Dodoneaus" Published: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0
By crossing traditional borders of periodization, we also hope to explore chronologies or periods of history that have so far been studied separately through a pre-colonial, colonial, or post-colonial or even nationalist lens. We take a broad view of “global histories of science,” from the role of minor geographies in the material, social and intellectual networks of science in the recent to far past to the work of science policies around the globe today. This cluster brings together scholars from Columbia’s Arts and Sciences departments (including history, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, the Institute of Comparative Literature and Society, and Anthropology), the School of International Policy and Affairs (SIPA), the Mailman School of Public Health, and from regional institutes including the Weatherhead East Asian Institute (WEAI), the South Asian Institute and the Middle East Institute.
Among our planned program events are an annual series of lectures; collaborative courses and summer workshops that involve affiliated faculty members and the chance to engage in research and study at one of the Global Centers; and a virtual archive.

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@The Center of Science and Society at Columbia University 2016
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