The Disposal of the World: (double) crossing the arts and sciences

Series Name School of Management
Speaker Professor Rolland Munro
Type Lectures & Talks
Starts at Oct 22, 2013 05:30 PM
Ends at Oct 22, 2013 06:30 PM
Venue Ken Edwards Building, Lecture Theatre 1
Open To Public
For Bookings Contact 0116 252 2320

The adage “Man proposes, God disposes” puts man (sic) in a particular and peculiar position: one of making pronouncements about how the world works, but unable to do much about the arrangements. Times have changed. Today the expectation is much more that we (sic) are in charge of almost everything, a list that stretches from disasters and plagues to climate and aging. We no longer just say how DNA works, we are re-arranging the species in new ways.

All this puts the world at our disposal. We can arrange things how we will. That’s the challenge! But can we? While such a proposal attracts those who think in terms of goals and projects, it also faces many doubters. Some of these bring with them a different language – they argue about things called risks and claim these have to be “managed”.  Others say it can all be left to “markets” – the last thing they want is a return to central planning.

My topic then – The Disposal of the World – is a contentious one. What I set out is how, in my own work, I put under erasure four key notions, namely language, culture, system and self. My research in these fields has had me crossing and criss-crossing between the arts and sciences – back and forth - in an attempt to rethink how each of these matters is almost inevitably systematised and turned into technologies that work the world – as much at least as they also works us.

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