Karl Jordan and International Organization in Entomology 1910-1955: Ordering Natural and Disciplinary Diversity View Homepage


Ontology type: schema:MonetaryGrant     


Grant Info

YEARS

2004-2006

FUNDING AMOUNT

84000 USD

ABSTRACT

Project Abstract SES 0328634 This project, undertaken as a post-doctorate by Kristin Johnson under the sponsorship of Jane Maienschein, will examine the entomologist Karl Jordan's work as an internationalist during the first half of the twentieth century. Based on his experiences with the unorganized state of entomology as a discipline at the turn of the century and with the disruptive effects of nationalism in science, Karl Jordan founded the first International Congress of Entomology in 1910. He guided the congresses over the course of the next four decades, leading the recovery of both entomological friendships and meetings after the first and second world wars. His persistence was inspired not only by his firm belief in the congresses as important to the success of entomology, but the internationalist belief that scientists could lead the way toward peace and unity in all human affairs. But as Jordan brought entomologists together at international congresses, the diverse range of priorities, methods, and traditions present among natural history work became apparent. And entomologists from nations involved in tense political confrontations with each other often found it more than difficult to leave their feelings as members of nations outside the walls of the congress venues. It has been one of the fundamental tenets of science that the search for knowledge about the natural world is a task beyond politics and creed, and science has indeed been the source of interaction, exchange, and friendships between nationals for centuries. But examinations by historians of science of the impact of nationalism and world politics on science have demonstrated the falsity behind assumptions of scientific purity. Historical studies of internationalism and the effect of the world wars and the cold war on scientists. International networks have primarily focused on the physical sciences. This project will examine the ways in which the life sciences are different by looking closely at the contributions of Karl Jordan to the internationalization of science. Jordan hoped that his colleagues would not only improve the state of entomology by these occasional international meetings, but also, as scientists involved in the search for truth, show the rest of the world how to put differences aside in favor of cooperation. An analysis of the historical context of Jordan and his colleagues' successes and failures in these endeavors will provide a valuable study of the constant interplay between science and society, and how the cultural, social, and political context in which participants live influences the history of scientific disciplines. The project will take place at Arizona State University, where co-PI Kristin Johnson will work with the growing community of historians, philosophers, and sociologists of science directed by Jane Maienschein, who will take responsibility as PI for providing institutional support and a lively intellectual community for this project. Under Maienschein's leadership, Arizona State University is currently reorganizing the Life Sciences into a School of Life Sciences. The new School will house the Human Dimensions of Biology, including a new Center for Biology and Society also directed by Maienschein. That Center will include growing History and Philosophy of Science, Biology and Society, Bioethics, and Law programs. The HPS community consists of ten Ph.D. trained scholars pursuing research the life sciences or closely related fields. In addition, ASU has great strengths in the natural historical and field sciences and in systematics, with rich insect collections and related research programs. It is an ideal place for this study, which will result in at least two papers on international science and a full-length biography of Karl Jordan as an international biologist. More... »

URL

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