Presentation on theme: "1 Online Access to Technological Aspects of Local History Through Georgia HomePLACE Collaborative Digitization Projects at the Digital Library of Georgia."— Presentation transcript:
1 Online Access to Technological Aspects of Local History Through Georgia HomePLACE Collaborative Digitization Projects at the Digital Library of Georgia Edward A. Johnson Director, Georgia HomePLACE Georgia Academy of Science Annual Meeting March 2006
10 Findley Gold Mining Company 1878 Prospectus (mka045f)
11 mka014a About the Rider Mine … I know it is good, but it is rather small & confined in as hard a rock as you ever saw or heard of: so that it will take capital to work to advantage -- say steam drills & pumps. -- Amory Dexter
36 Technological Understanding Within a Humanities-Oriented Context Unlike typical local history interpretations, our two case studies recognize the role of technology (and its underlying scientific basis) in human history Sometimes historians – trained in the humanities – dont comprehend scientists different orientation in terms of content and of methodological approach (and perhaps vice versa) Unfortunate legacy of the longstanding rivalry between the sciences and the humanities … sometimes described as the two cultures
37 The Two Cultures Sciences vs. Humanities Late 19 th century debates between T.H. Huxley (Darwins Bulldog) & cultural critic Matthew Arnold Scientist/novelist C.P. Snow explored the issue in The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution (1959) Literary critic F. R. Leavis created public uproar with vehement (and personal) attacks on Snow (1962) Aldous Huxley confirmed dichotomy by comparing Snows scientism with Leavis literarism (1963) [Revisit 1960s debates in June 2005 History of Science]
38 The Science Wars Thomas Kuhns paradigm shifts (Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962) described sociological influences involved in the evolution of science Transmogrified into the science wars of 1990s – an epistemological battle with postmodernists who see truth as culturally-determined social construct Paul Gross & Norman Levitt, in Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and its Quarrels with Science (1994), attacked the postmodernists Comic relief provided by Alan Sokal 1996 hoax
39 Toward Consilience The rivalry continues but we can work toward mutual understanding – perhaps eventually approaching a unity of knowledge or consilience (the term popularized by E. O. Wilson in 1998) Historians (and humanities-oriented folk) should strive to understand scientific approaches as our best opportunity to discover the truth about reality Scientists should strive to understand how science itself evolves historically, and can be affected by (both obvious and subtle) social and cultural factors.
40 Ships for Victory http://www.galileo.usg.edu/express?link=vsbg Digital Library of Georgia http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu Thars Gold in Them Thar Hills http://www.galileo.usg.edu/express?link=dahl
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