Beijing Harper Lecture: Big Calculation and Algorithmic Intelligence

Featuring Lorraine Daston, visiting professor in the Department of History and the Committee on Social Thought

In many cultures and epochs, the three pillars of scribal cultures have been reading, writing, and calculation. Our online lives are dominated by reading and writing to an extent probably unprecedented in world history; these culture techniques have weathered and indeed flourished under successive media revolutions, from printing to digitization. But calculation, the third pillar of the scribal triumvirate, has almost ceased to count as an intellectual activity. How did this happen? In this lecture, Lorraine Daston takes you back to the century between 1870–1970, when calculation was demoted from an intellectual to a mechanical activity and when the histories of Big Calculation and the division of labor converged.
harper_headshot_beijing-9-27-2018Featured Faculty: Lorraine Daston
Lorraine Daston is a visiting professor in the Department of History and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, director of Department II of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, and a permanent fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. She has published on a wide range of topics in the history of science, including the history of probability and statistics, wonders in early modern science, the emergence of the scientific fact, scientific models, objects of scientific inquiry, the moral authority of nature, and the history of scientific objectivity. Her recent books include How Reason Almost Lost Its Mind: The Strange Career of Cold War Rationality (2014, with Paul Erikson et al.) and Histories of Scientific Observation (2011, coedited with Elizabeth Lunbeck).

Check out Lorraine Daston’s books on the history of science.

Lecture Details

$10/Maroon Loyalty Society member or recent graduate (College alumni of the past 10 years and graduate alumni of the past five years)
Free for current academic year graduates and current students
Two complimentary registrations for members of the Chicago, Harper, Phoenix, and Medical and Biological Sciences Alumni Association philanthropic societies
Event Details:
6:30 p.m. Registration and networking
7:00 p.m. Presentation and discussion
8:00 p.m. Reception
Contact alumniassociation@uchicago.edu or 773.702.2150.


Thursday, 09/27/18 at 11:30pm - Friday at 2:00am | iCal


Cultural Building
No. 59A Zhong Guan Cun Street
Beijing, 100872 China

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