UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science's history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy, located in the heart of London. Founded in 1921. Award winning for teaching and research, plus for our public engagement programme. Rated as outstanding by students at every level.

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Staff books include:

Gregory - Plato's Philosophy of Science

STS explores science on a pagan planet

4 March 2014

An Evening with Professor Michael Ruse

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Thanks to those who joined us for an evening's discussion with Professor Michael Ruse (Lucycle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University), led by STS's Dr Chiara Ambrosio. Ruse is the author of the new book on James Lovelock, Lynn Margulis, and others involved in developing the Gaia concept. Why does the public find such appeal in the Gaia hypothesis? Why do so many scientists react aggressively (not simply rejecting the view, but adding an unusual layer of invective to their opposition)? Ruse believes there are deeper themes to be found when studying this reception, and there are lessons to learn about the priorities we have in our research.

Ruse's related book

Ruse, Michael. 2013. The Gaia Hypothesis: Science on a Pagan Planet (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). ISBN 0226731707 (link)

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The format for the evening was an "in-the-round" discussion, facilitated by Dr Chiara Ambrosio.

New Scientist reviews how science today engages proposals related to Gaia (link).

Ruse has published a synopsis of his book in Aeon (link).

Related talk by Ruse on Gaia and science on a pagan planet

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Additional source materials

Lovelock's own website (link).

Lovelock interviewed by British Library Oral history of British Science (link).

Lovelock interviewed on BBC Radio4 "Life Scientific" (link). From the site: "Jim al-Khalili talks to James Lovelock about elocution lessons, defrosting hamsters and his grand theory of planet earth, Gaia. The idea that from the bottom of the earth's crust to the upper reaches of the atmosphere, planet earth is one giant inter-connected and self-regulating system."

Page last modified on 04 mar 14 23:02 by Joe Cain

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