HS Hosts Workshop on Decolonizing History of Science

April 25, 2019
decolonize science

What might it mean to decolonize the history of science? Several emerging leaders of the field, and many graduate students, have been seeking answers to this question. On April 12 and 13, the Department of the History of Science, with the support of the Gough Whitlam and Malcom Fraser Chair of Australian Studies and Harvard’s Indigenous Studies Program, hosted a workshop examining various “postcolonial” and “decolonial” approaches to remaking the history of science, as well as science and technology studies (STS). Organizers Gabriela Soto Laveaga and Warwick Anderson brought together some twenty-five scholars from North America and Australasia and the Pacific, many of them Indigenous researchers, for a productive two days of vigorous conversation, trying to imagine a decolonized future for our field. Harvard graduate students actively shaped these discussions, challenging many of our preconceptions. One of the highlights was Philip Deloria’s launch of Pacific Futures: Past and Present (Hawaii, 2018), edited by Warwick Anderson, Miranda Johnson, Barbara Brookes, a collection of essays that explores other modes of doing history. The Department of the History of Science is committed to continuing and expanding these critical inquiries.