Narrating Life in the Sciences

This essay archives memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies of scientists and educators to analyze epistemological cultures, shifts in subjectivity, and signs of social and cultural transformations.

Rather than advancing hagiography or exceptionalism, reading life narrations ethnographically opens up social and cultural agents being written into texts to "be drawn into the comparative project of anthropology, bringing with them their sense of self and their critical apparatuses of knowledge and culture” (Fisher, 1991).

When the individual is drawn into the biographical, a space of articulation or "figuring out" specific, peculiar, and comparative subjectivities is opened up, that resists singular interpretation of neuroses, habits, ideas, assumptions, norms, ethics---the stuff of science, and also of society. 

The thumbnail is a painting by the diasporic Karachi-born artist and videographer Nalini Malini, from a set of paintings titled "Splitting the Other" (2007). Malini is affected by partition stories, from the Indian subcontintent to Eastern Europe and Palestine, and is known for her play with trope, metaphor, myth, and archetype. 


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Created date

May 11, 2023

Cite as

Prerna Srigyan. 11 May 2023, "Narrating Life in the Sciences ", STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 19 May 2023, accessed 17 June 2024.