Dr. Elena Aronova
Alfried Krupp Junior Fellow
(October 2011 - March 2012)
- Born in 1965 in Moscow
- Studied Chemistry in Moscow and history of science in Moscow and San Diego
- Lecturer in History of Science at the University of California – San Diego, California
Fellow project: "The Politics and Contexts of Science Studies During the Cold War: Instituting the Studies of Science in the U.S.A., U.S.S.R, and the U.K.in the 1950s-1970s"
The inseparability of the political and the intellectual has been the subject and concern of many works in history of science in the past decades. Historians of science have illuminated the variety of ways in which the social, political, and substantial development of science and technology in the 20th century was shaped by the symbiotic relationships of science with the state and politics. But what about historians themselves, and the ways in which science’s past has been written about in different times? As a professionalized community, historians of science are, of course, no exception to the symbiotic relationship between professionals and the state. In this project I shift the focus of a historian of science from science to the history of science itself, asking how history of science, which became institutionalized during the Cold War in different countries on the both sides of the Iron Curtain, participated in defining the relationships between science, the state and politics: How was this relationship shaped by the political economy of the Cold War? In what ways did the historiographies of science, and, more broadly, various meta-discourses on science, its past and its social, economic and philosophical foundations influence these politics, and how they were understood? In this project I examine different modes of analysis of social, political, ethical, and philosophical aspects of science that were articulated in the aftermath of the WWII, in three different political contexts: Cold War America, post-Stalinist Soviet Union, and pre-Thatcher Britain. The aim of my project is to better understand how the interplay of political concerns and anxieties of the Cold War shaped the agendas and politics of state-supported science studies projects in different political systems.