{#10} The days of the virus /1

In this newsletter:
- A socially-distanced hug
- Suggested readings
- The age of (in)security: meeting Jeff Halper
- How to participate?

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“Like wire models of molecules the students moved through the yard, always maintaining the distances between them, as if they were attached to steel connecting pipes. A human mobile. Sometimes just watching made you dizzy, said Dr. Rudolph […] He always felt really strange when they moved back and forth in that way and talked with one another as if all this were completely normal.

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{#6} Living with the trouble

«I dreamed that the visible universe is the physical person of God; that the vast worlds that we see twinkling millions of miles apart in the fields of space are the blood corpuscles in His veins; and that we and the other creatures are the microbes that charge with multitudinous life the corpuscles.»

Mark Twain, 3,000 Years Among the Microbes

«Twain drew upon contemporary scientific theories of disease, specifically, the new germ theory, which postulated that disease was caused by microbes, and spread through contact with infectious individuals.

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{#4} Scienceground 1.5: Microbes

«Microbes were doing things in the lab under [Pasteur’s] experimental skills which they didn’t do before. […] When you get into the science of microbes, or viruses, you get into associations which are part of what people call “society”. […] The next step in science communication is not to talk about rationality but to talk about these beings. And if you take bacteria you will develop the whole science and the whole society almost simultaneously»

B.

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{#3} On air!

«I was aware of many facts for which I had no explanation. Delivery with prolonged dilation almost inevitably led to death. Patients who delivered prematurely or on the street almost never became ill, and this contradicted my conviction that the deaths were due to endemic causes. The disease appeared sequentially among patients in the first clinic. Patients in the second clinic were healthier, although individuals working there were no more skillful or conscientious in their duties.

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{#2} Reading Semmelweis

«One of the most neglected works of Louis-Ferdinand Celine is his first published one […] Semmelweis is by no means what one would expect today from a medical thesis. First of all, it is a purely biographical work that does not address Semmelweis’s theories from a medical or scientific standpoint.»

Ifri, Pascal A., A Reconsideration of Celine’s Semmelweis, from Questia

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If you receive this aperiodic newsletter it means you’re still friend with someone who in the last two years worked hard to create Scienceground, a space-time for open conversations on science, technology, and society.… Read the rest

{#1} About Scienceground

«That the purified language of science, or even the richer purified language of literature should ever be adequate to the givenness of the world and of our experience is in the very nature of things, impossible. Cheerfully accepting the fact, let us advance together, men of letters and men of science, further and further into the every-expanding regions of the unknown.»

Aldous Huxley, Literature and Science

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If you receive this mail it means you’re friend with someone who in the past two years worked hard to create Scienceground, a space for open conversation on science, technology, and society.… Read the rest