Elizabeth Dobson Jones (London): A History of Ancient DNA Research

A History of Celebrity Science

02.06.2016 16:00 Uhr – 18:00 Uhr

wann: Donnerstag, 2. Juni 2016, 16-18 Uhr

wo: Historicum, Schellingstr. 12, Raum K026

Vortrag im Rahmen des Oberseminars "Perspektiven der Wissenschaftsgeschichte"

"In this talk, I argue that the history of ancient DNA research is a history of celebrity science. The search for DNA from fossils has a short but sensational history. It arose from the interface of paleontology, archeology, and molecular biology, and has evolved from an emergent to an established technoscience from the 1980s to today. However, I argue it has evolved under the influence of intense public interest and extreme media exposure, particularly as it coincided with and was accelerated by the book and movie Jurassic Park. Through original interviews with over fifty scientists and students, I use oral history to reveal the intricate relationship between science and the popular press. I use oral history in combination with literature in the history and sociology of science to enlighten the process of science and science communication in a world of modern media. I suggest that ancient DNA research is a case study of a celebrity science, and a framework for other scholars interested in the development of other sciences under persistent publicity pressures of the media." - Elizabeth Dobson Jones