Stick to the science – an interview with Bruno Latour

[Unedited writedown from an interview to Bruno Latour @ Festivaletteratura 2018 on occasion of Scienceground 2, Mantova, Sunday September 9th, 2018. Edited Italian version on iltascabile.it]

[On the dispute with Sokal-Bricmont] A big one I had in a big theatre in the middle of London. Eight hundred people screaming, half of them against me and half of them against Sokal. Sokal is a nice guy actually, he was defending the last stand of the old epistemology. But now all of that is gone, actually Sokal wrote that we won. He was interrogated about climate skepticism, and everyone realized that the ones that were defending the scientists were us, and that the whole epistemological defense of science was no use against the big corporations and big deniers. So, the Sokal affair was the last ditch, so to speak, the last effort of the traditional epistemology to defend itself, and then we realized it was a very bad defense, because when you are attacked, seriously, by a denier of climate science, you need another version of science.

[On postmodernism] All of these disputes are 20th century. We’re in another century. Sokal is a 20th century question, postmodernism is a 20th century question.… Read the rest

SCIENCEGROUND 1.5 – Microbes

The program of Scienceground 1.5 @Festivaletteratura 2019, Mantova 4-8 September. All the references are to the program of the festival,  which can be downloaded at www.festivaletteratura.it.

Drawings by Andrea De Franco

A COMMON GROUND FOR EXCHANGING IDEAS ON THE SCIENTIFIC WORLD

Organized by Piccola Comunità Scientifica ExTemporanea

«When you try to observe microbes or viruses, you end up finding links that are part of what people call “society”. They are two sides of the same coin. This is why it is not necessary to get out of science to explain its social aspects. We need to enter into the various disciplines – and then it will be the connections between the scientific objects themselves to define society, for you and us.»

Bruno Latour, interview at Scienceground 2, 2018

If we had to rebuild Palazzo Te now and decide the subjects to depict, how would we fresco the walls? We could certainly dedicate one room to the microorganisms that populate our environment and bodies – even larger in number than our own cells! So, just as the rooms of Palazzo Te are dedicated to giants, emblems and metamorphoses, the Isabella d’Este high school will host THE BACTERIA HALL, THE MOULD ROOM, THE YEAST ATRIUM AND THE VIRUS CLOISTER.… Read the rest