Re: Conference Announcement

Alx V. Dark (avd5863@IS.NYU.EDU)
Wed, 19 Oct 1994 12:56:52 -0400

On Wed, 19 Oct 1994, Harriet Lyons wrote:

> Well at least Mr. Garelli has indicated where he stands by posting the
> announcement from the National Association of Scholars. Where do the rest
> of us stand?

Well, the program announcement of the National Association of Scholars,
which expressed some desire to address "pseudoscience" (undefined) in the
social sciences, made it pretty clear that the opinions of social
scientists were not, in fact, necessary at the conference: panelists
included physicists and medical/biological scientists only.

I do wonder, when physicists get to talking about pseudoscience, whether
they are talking about "new age" appropriations of science as a kind of
authorizing discourse for their beliefs, or fundamentalism, or if they might
not also be referring to cultural anthropologists who suggest "science"
is as much a culturally and socially embedded practice as any other set
of activities which don't aim at the rationalization of conduct per se.
Physicists often don't want to hear, for example, that their
work, and their knowledge, has been shaped by cold war economic and
military priorities, not simply by the hypothesizing and falsification of
theory. When "us social scientists" suggest this, I think we get
uninvited to the roundup of the wagons.

______________________________ ____________________________
Alx V. Dark Department of Anthropology
internet: New York University
"Wash your brains, think 25 Waverly Place
again, double check" -- H3O New York, NY 10003 USA