The Global and Beyond: An Essay

Last year, I wrote a little piece on the “global turn” in the history of science, taking a moment to consider that turn not from the perspective of what we’re studying, but of how we’re doing it. It was published in a focus section of the journal Isis on “The Future of the History of Science” and you can find it here. The main take-away point, and one that I’m still interested in and struggling with, is that there are very different (and not necessarily mutually-compatible) ways of doing the history of science/med/tech, each with different questions, priorities, and assumptions, and yet they are in principle all part of the same field. How do we make sure not to talk past one another or take those differences as justification for unproductive criticism or plain ignorance, and instead create a space where real, mutually-enriching dialogue is taking place?