Technical University of Munich /
TUM School of Social Sciences and Technology /
Anthropology of Science and Technology
Thema: Science after Progress
Much life scientific research until today has been directed at understanding the building blocks and dynamics of life as if they existed in a pristine state. Natural life if you will. The Anthropocene, however, alerts us to the fact that life-as-natural has ceased to exist. The globally dominant capitalist exchange systems have altered life from the molecular to landscape structures and planetary circulations. ‘Science after progress’ is thus a call to pay attention to life-in-action, i.e. to how metabolic, immune, and endocrine processes are inhabited by the political economies of our past and present.
In this talk, trying to link to the theme of ‘fixing futures’, I want to explore the temporal aspects that are enacted through a science after progress. Contrary to the current obsession with anticipation of all sorts, I would like to contend that fixing futures demands at least also a biology of history (Landecker) through which we overcome the sacrificial logics of the future perfect (Povinelli). Such an approach demands interdisciplinarity in various forms and thus places an ethnographic STS in a central role as mediator between distant epistemic cultures.