Akademiforelesningen i humaniora og samfunnsfag

Akademiforelesningen i humaniora og samfunnsfag er en årlig internasjonal forelesning. Den ble for første gang arrangert i mars 2009. I forlengelse blir det i tillegg annen hvert år bli arrangert et større internasjonalt seminar, der det første fant sted i Vitenskapsakademiet i oktober 2009. Tiltaket støttes av Grosserer N. A. Stangs legat.

Foredragsholder Lorraine Daston. Foto: Thomas B. Eckhoff.
Foredragsholder Lorraine Daston. Foto: Thomas B. Eckhoff. 

Akademiforelesningen 2018 ble holdt 13. mars. Professor Lorraine Daston ved Max Planck Institute for the History of Science foreleste om følgende tema:
Seeing All At Once in Early Modern Science.


Historians of Renaissance and early modern European art have long remarked on the many ways in which drawings and paintings gave viewers a glimpse of the impossible: not just depictions of mythical beasts like dragons and centaurs but more subtle impossibilities, in which the cunning of the artist panders to a certain yearning to see more broadly, deeply, or sharply than located human vision ever could.

This lecture explores a kind of impossible seeing attempted time and time again in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century natural history, natural philosophy, and even mathematics: synoptic seeing, or seeing everything all at once, in one glance. The "everything" in question could be the patterns of the prevailing winds across the globe or the type of a plant genus emerging from many individual species or the hidden regularities in the fluctuations of the weather or even the essential features of state administration. In each of these cases, vast amounts of information gleaned from many observers dispersed over centuries and continents had to be distilled into some kind of compact representation: reports from mariners at sea, from generations of botanists, from networks of weather-watchers, or from the stacks of records stored in state archives.

The representation in question could and often was verbal: a terse summary, a list of key points, a short description. But just as often, the representation was visual: a synoptic image that made seeing patterns, essences, and regularities all at once literally possible.


Til venstre: Øyvind Østerud, Josiah Ober  og Jan Terje Faarlund. Foto: Knut Falck

Fra den første Akademiforelesningen. Til venstre: Preses Øyvind Østerud, foredragsholder Josiah Ober og HF-klassens leder Jan Terje Faarlund. Foto: Knut Falck

Akademiforelesningens historie
Den første forelesningen ble holdt i Akademiets hus i 2009, over emnet Demokrati og verdighet. Foredragsholder var Josiah Ober ved Stanford University.

Internasjonalt seminar
Annenhvert år vil det i tillegg bli holdt et større internasjonalt seminar. Det første av disse fant sted i 2009 og omhandlet temaet Evolution, Culture & Society. Symposiet fokuserte på utviklingslærens betydning for samfunnsfag og humaniora.  

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