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11 DECEMBER 2012

Dara Ó Briain's Science Club: The Story of the Brain

"Dara traces the brain's journey from a useless organ once ditched by Egyptian embalmers to the centre of everything that makes us human. Science journalist Alok Jha asks whether smart drugs really make you brainier, oceanographer Helen Czerski explores cutting edge therapies allowing the brain to control limbs remotely and materials scientist Mark Miodownik takes apart a smart phone."

(BBC Two, UK)

Fig.1 this animation is from Episode 5 of 6 of Dara Ó Briain's Science Club, Tuesday 04 Dec 2012 at 9pm on BBC Two, voiced by Dara Ó Briain, animated by 12Foot6, Published on YouTube on 5 Dec 2012 by BBC.

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TAGS

12Foot620122D2D animationAlok Jhaanimated information graphicsanimationBBC TwoBBC2brain • brainier • consciousconsciousness • control limbs • cutting edge therapies • cutting-edge innovationsDara O Briaindissectiondrug takingdrugselectricity • embalming • epileptic • frog • heart • Helen Czerskihippocampushistory of ideas • homunculus • human speciesillustration to visually communicate information • liver • Mark Miodownikmemory • mummification • nervous system • neurosurgeon • organ • physician • reasonscienceScience Club (tv)sequential art • smart drugs • smartphone • spleen • story of sciencesubconscious • surgeon • UKunconsciousvisual representations of scientific concepts • Wilder Penfield

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 NOVEMBER 2006

Cumulative Continuity And Directionality Of Western Civilisation

David Frampton (Griffith University, Australia)
An influential philosophical perception of western civilisation in the late modern era has emphasised its cumulative continuity and directionality, expressed most forcibly perhaps through science and technology, but equally through other mechanisms for the transmission of knowledge. There has been a current of thought interpreting this characteristic as the imposition of a fundamentally arbitrary logic on the world and human order. Thus Reiss (1982) writes: 'a discursive order is achieved on the premise that the 'syntactic' order of semiotic systems (particularly language) is coincident both with the logical ordering of 'reason' and with the structural organisation of a world given as exterior to both orders' (p. 31). Similarly, information, in Koch's (1987) view, is 'the mark of a logical ordering imposed on the world'. As arbitrary, this perceived imposition of a linear syntax on objective reality has been seen as oppressive or 'logocentric', and a series of writers has both heralded and encouraged its fragmentation into multiple, heterogeneous and autonomous perspectives.

Reiss, T. J. (1982). The discourse of modernism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Koch, C. (1987). The being of idea: The relationship of the physical and the non–physical in the concept of the formal sign. Semiotica, 66(4), 345–357.

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Australiacontinuity • cumulative • directionalfragment • Frampton • linearlogocentricorderingperceptionperspectivereasonsciencesemiotics • syntactic • technologyteleologyWestern
08 APRIL 2005

The European Enlightenment

"The eighteenth century was the Age of Enlightenment, or Age of Reason, in Europe[...]. Advances in science in the 1600s gave rise to the belief in natural law and confidence in human reason, which led thinkers of the 1700s to apply a scientific approach to matters of human importance including religion, society, politics, and economics. The movement was centred in the salons of Paris, coffeehouses of England, and universities of Germany.Human rationality was seen to be in harmony with the universe, and belief in the importance of the individual was popular. Philosophers looked for universal truths to govern humanity and nature, and the sense of progress and perfectibility through rationality abounded. Human reason was considered the path to understanding the universe and improving the human condition, the result of which would be knowledge, freedom, and happiness.The scientific approach to discovery was very successful in the fields of science and mathematics and spurred the search for rules that could define all areas of human experience. Rather than trusting innate goodness or blaming original sin for people's behaviour, Enlightenment thinkers crafted new theories about heredity and psychology. Whereas once the political state was viewed as a representation of divine order, new political thinkers began touting the rights of individuals and arguing for establishment of democracies."

(Simon & Schuster, Inc.)

Fig.1 Étienne–Louis Boullée: Projekt for the National Library in Paris, 1785, France.

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18th centuryAge of EnlightenmentdiscoveryEuropeEuropean Enlightenmentrationalityreason • Schuster • science • Simon
01 JANUARY 2004

Actor-Network Theory (ANT)

"Originally created by French scholars Latour and Callon as an attempt to understand processes of technological innovation and scientific knowledge–creation, Actor–Network Theory (ANT) can be contrasted with 'heroic' accounts of scientific advance. For example, rather than saying Newton 'founded' the theory of gravitation seemingly as though he were alone in a vacuum, Actor–Network Theory emphasizes and considers all surrounding factors — no one acts alone. Galileo’s past experiences, his colleagues, his connections with the Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed, his use of Euclidean geometry, Kepler’s astronomy, Galileo’s mechanics, his tools, the details of his lab, cultural factors and restrictions placed upon him in his environment, and various other technical and non–technical elements would all be described and considered in his actor–network."

(Learning Theories Knowledgebase)

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TAGS

Actor-Network Theory (ANT) • Bruno Latour • cultural factors • discovery • heroic accounts • innovation • knowledge-creation • Learning Theories Knowledgebase • Michel Callon • network • no one acts alone • reasonscience • scientific advance • surrounding factors • theory

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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