An Interactive History of Atomic Science as a Situated Practice

Aditya Anupam, Georgia Institute of Technology

New Orleans 2019: Mapping / monitoring

The history of scientific research is commonly narrated as a linear sequence of scientists and their models. Yet, STS studies have shown repeatedly that science is heavily influenced by the situations scientists work on, and the situations themselves are a complex amalgamation of the human and material conditions. This project puts forward a critique of traditional historical narratives of science in the form of a digital interactive visualization of the history of atomic research in the 18th and 19th century. Navigation through this complex non-linear history is performed through movement across space, events, and time. The works of scientists such as Dalton are visualized in the context of the situation they were in and the communities they formed a part of. Through engagement with technical, socio-cultural conditions and their entanglement with scientific situations, this re-visioning of scientific history situates atomic models in the circumstances of their history.