Who makes scientific knowledge, and how? Who is excluded from knowledge-making processes, and why? Zachary Barr argues that the answer to these questions leads beyond laboratories, journals, and conferences, to sites of circulation and translation between scientists, scientific amateurs, and lay publics.
Jahrhundertwende (1887—1914) Austria boasted one of Europe’s most impressive adult education networks. Organizations across the sociopolitical spectrum offered lay publics access to a wide variety of libraries, reading rooms, lectures, lecture series, guided tours, courses, demonstrations, and even small, seminar-style classes, many of which were led by professional scientists or university-affiliated scholars. This lecture will trace the circulation of scientific and “popular scientific” knowledge through such sites, arguing that in their capacity as spaces for the translation, appropriation, and contestation of scientific claims by lay audiences and scientific amateurs, they played a role not only in producing scientific facts, but also in configuring the social and methodological boundaries of science itself.
Zachary Barr is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at the University of Chicago. He received his B.A. in History and Spanish from the University of San Diego in 2009 and his M.A. from the University of Chicago in 2012 with a master’s thesis on women’s political participation in the Christian Social Party. He is currently Fulbright/IFK_Junior Fellow.