Home

About

Advanced Search

Browse by Discipline

Scientific Societies

E-print Alerts

Add E-prints

E-print Network
FAQHELPSITE MAPCONTACT US


  Advanced Search  

 
Vol. 22, No. 3 The Elusive Placelessness of the Mont-Blanc Observatory (18931909): The Social Underpinnings of
 

Summary: 1
09/05/2009
Vol. 22, No. 3
The Elusive Placelessness of the Mont-Blanc Observatory (1893­1909): The Social Underpinnings of
High-Altitude Observation
Stéphane Le Gars
Université de Nantes
Centre François Viète
David Aubin
Université Pierre et Marie Curie
Institut de mathématiques de Jussieu
Argument
From 1893 to 1909 when it definitely sunk into the glacier, the Mont-Blanc Observatory (MBO)
struggled to find its scientific purpose. In this article, we use recent literature on the social
characterization of place to analyze this struggle. Our first goal is to investigate where the observatory
may fit in the laboratory-field dyad. We investigate various kinds of conceptual "borderlands" between
these places and look at the networking activities between particular knowledge production sites. We
argue that part observatory, part laboratory, and part field station, the place of the MBO was
"heterotopic" space in Foucault's sense. We then examine the social underpinnings that led to the
foundation of this observatory in the context of French Third Republic at the turn of the century.

  

Source: Aubin, David - Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu, Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie, Paris 6

 

Collections: Mathematics; Multidisciplinary Databases and Resources