Speaker: Dr. Lewis Dartnell
The success of Lewis Dartnell’s book "The Knowledge: How To Rebuild Our World From Scratch" speaks to long standing anxieties about the specialization of knowledge and technical know-how.
Living in the modern world, we have become disconnected from the basic processes that support our lives, as well as the beautiful fundamentals of science that enable you to relearn things for yourself. A work of popular science, The Knowledge is a book which seeks to explain ‘everything you need to know about everything.’ A thought experiment premised on the collapse of the modern world, the book is an attempt to provide ‘a quickstart guide for rebooting civilization.’ Outlining dozens of critical technologies and inventions – from quick lime to the crystal radio – Dartnell’s book also raises a series of fascinating questions about how societies create and sustain scientific and technical understanding as well as practical know-how.
In this WICI seminar, Dartnell will explore a range of ideas, concepts and themes that are only intimated in The Knowledge. These include: the nature of invention; path dependency and the relationship between the chronological and functional sequence of technologies; and the relationship between scientific knowledge and technical know-how; the relationship between explicit and implicit knowledge and the problem of sustaining theoretical knowledge and practical know-how in situations where these are not applied or practiced. Lewis is coming with more questions than answers, so please join us with the expectation of vigorous debate and collective cogitation.