The Department of Philosophy and Physics hosting a public lecture by Dr Dhruv Raina

The Department of Philosophy and Physics, St Xavier’s College are jointly hosting a public lecture by Dr Dhruv Raina, Visiting Research Professor, Goa University at St. Xavier’s College, Mapusa on 10th December 2018 at 11.00 a.m. Conference Hall. The title of the lecture is “Changing Frames and Framing Changes: The Significance of the History of Sciences”.

Dr Dhruv Raina is a Professor, Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067,  India. An erudite scholar, he has extensively authored books and published articles in international and national journals. He has held esteemed positions as Honourary Director, Northern Regional Centre, Indian Council for Social Science Research, New Delhi (2012 – 2015), Heinrich Zimmer Chair for Indian Philosophy and Intellectual History, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany, (2010 -2011), Adjunct Professor of History of Science, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Chandigarh, (2010-2014 ), Faculty, The Young India Fellowship, New Delhi (2011 – 2012), Professor and Chairperson, Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, (2009 -2010 ) Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Institute of Advanced Study, Berlin (2007-2008) amongst many.

The public lecture is a part of lecture series organised under the Visiting Research Professors Programme, D.D. Kosambi Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies, Goa University and Dept. of Philosophy, Goa University.

Changing Frames and Framing Changes: The Significance of the History of Sciences

There is no one easy response to the question concerning the importance of the history of science. While the response could share much in common with the response to the question concerning the importance of history proper, the two domains would also have distinct domains of salience. I shall present an evolutionary argument, suggesting that the response to the question varies with time. In other words, the role, function and importance of the history of science is not only embedded within the social function science performs within society, but within the different institutional contexts of science and the changing imaginaries of science. The attempt then is to trace the evolution of the history of science as a discipline; identify the different social and cognitive functions that it has performed and highlight its importance against the changing backdrop of science and society. In other words, the response to the question as to what is the importance of the history of science can only be answered historically – any philosophical response to the question would fail to engage with the historical and institutional character of science and scientific activity. So rather than one size fits all, the argument to be developed is that there is a co-evolution of the history of sciences as a discipline and the changing institutional and cognitive firmament of scientific practice.

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