Sep 28, 2020
Interpreting Complex Data in the History of Science with Network Theory
- 14:00 to 16:00
- Max Planck Research Group (Final Theory Program)
- Several Speakers
- Roberto Lalli
- Dirk Wintergrün
Interpreting Complex Data in the History of Science with Network Theory: The Socio-Epistemic Networks of General Relativity, 1925-1970
Network has long been a catchword in history writing. However, it has been traditionally employed on a purely metaphorical level. Only recently, a research field has emerged called Historical Network Research (HNR) which promises to make the most of formal methods of social network analysis (SNA) applied to corpora of historical data. Building on this approach we have developed a conceptual and methodological framework called socio-epistemic networks, aimed at exploring the emergence and development of complex interconnected networks in the history of knowledge. This framework defines knowledge networks as being composed of three different layers: the social network, the semiotic network, and the semantic network. Together with this conceptualization one of us (DW) developed an interactive research environment that brings together quantitative and qualitative data to explore complex networks.
In this talk, we present this conceptual and methodological framework of the socio-epistemic network and the related digital infrastructure as well as its application to the analysis of the development of general relativity between 1925 and 1970. This computational approach is used to uncover the mechanism of the passage between the low-water-mark of general relativity (roughly from the mid-1920s to the mid-1950s) and so-called renaissance of the theory after the mid-1950s.
Contact and Registration
This event takes place online. All are welcome, no registration required.
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