Wakandan Science: A Parallel Univers(al)? Source: Fraction, Matt. Defenders. Vol. 2. New York: Marvel Characters, 2015.

Project (2018)

Medieval Science Puerile? Modern Science Plural?

Medieval Science is the little sister of Modern Science. She has always tried to show she could become modern. Was mature Science empirical? Medieval Science boasted about "magic and experimental Science." Was grown-up Science mathematical? She pointed to her algebra and "the Science of mechanics." Institutionalized? She showed off the universities of the West and hospitals of the East. Thus has historiography portrayed Medieval Science, tagging along behind Modern Science, and on that basis the elders of Modern Science recognized her lineage and her surname, Science. The family hardly noticed the growing number of voices making claims on behalf of Chinese electricity and magnetism, Mayan astronomy, and Liberian mathematics to the status of Science, thus challenging the hegemony of the dynasty.

Do the other lineages beget Science? If so, are their adult progeny, for example, the Indian space program, legitimate because they participate in the unique universal science of the West? Or do they embody a more or differently universal science like that of the Wakandans? Or, as in the case of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is it the very particularity of their real or imagined genealogy that confers the rights and privileges of Science?

The project asks: "Is Medieval Science simply an immature version of something else?" It will involve a critique of her aspirations and consider the insights to be gained from alternative models of maturity. It is thus a history of sciences in which the plural refers not to various disciplines but to various ways in which grown-up science can usefully be construed.