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Alex Csiszar

Aug 4, 2021

The Scientific Journal

Authorship and the Politics of Knowledge in the Nineteenth Century

University of Chicago Press 2018

Listen to this interview of Alex Csiszar, professor in the Department of the History of Science, Harvard University and author of The Scientific Journal: Authorship and the Politics of Knowledge in the Nineteenth Century (U Chicago Press, 2018). We talk about the British, the French, and the Germans. No joke.

Alex Csiszar : "There's this myth out there about what makes a scientist a scientist. It's that they're highly skeptical of everything. They don't believe a claim until they see it with their own eyes. But anybody who spends any kind of time in the scientific process knows this is ridiculous. Most everything that everybody believes in the sciences is stuff that they've been given to believe through reading papers, through education, through being told by their colleagues, through textbooks–––almost everything anybody in the sciences believes has come to them through trust. And the formats and genres through which a lot of that stuff comes to one's eyes matter a lot for generating that trust. Though, maybe one of the lessons of the book is that the formats and genres might matter a little less than you might at first think because there are other means, perhaps more important means, through which individuals come to trust a particular claim––and personal contacts matter a lot here. But clearly what is being discussed in a lot of the debates that I follow in this book are the means through which such trust can be established, guaranteed."

Daniel heads Scholarly Communication, the podcast about how knowledge gets known. Daniel's YouTube Channel is called Write Your Research.

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