Peter Galison: Waste-Wilderness

Seminar, in English, CCA Bookstore, 14 February 2010 , 3pm

Peter Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor of the History of Science and of Physics at Harvard University, discusses his current project – writing and filming about nuclear waste sites and the future of land.

As they are usually understood, “wasteland” and “wilderness” are opposites; when they merge on the sites of decommissioned weapons lands, when land is at the same time designated as a nature preserve and a toxic site, this circumstance is commonly seen as “paradoxical” or “ironic.” I argue here that the two categories are far more elusive than this simplistic dichotomy suggests—and that their newfound overlap undermines the historical opposition of purity and corruption. These territories provoke a questioning of what relation we will have to nature, land, wilderness, and waste.

Peter Galison is the author of How Experiments End (1987), Image and Logic (1997), Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps (2003), and, with Lorraine Daston, Objectivity (2007), as well as the contributing author of several edited volumes, including The Architecture of Science (1999) and Picturing Science, Producing Art (1998). With Robb Moss, he directed the award-winning documentary film, Secrecy (2008).


Sign up to get news from us

Email address
First name
Last name
By signing up you agree to receive our newsletter and communications about CCA activities. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, consult our privacy policy or contact us.

Thank you for signing up. You'll begin to receive emails from us shortly.

We’re not able to update your preferences at the moment. Please try again later.

You’ve already subscribed with this email address. If you’d like to subscribe with another, please try again.

This email was permanently deleted from our database. If you’d like to resubscribe with this email, please contact us

Please complete the form below to buy:
[Title of the book, authors]
ISBN: [ISBN of the book]
Price [Price of book]

First name
Last name
Address (line 1)
Address (line 2) (optional)
Postal code
Email address
Phone (day) (optional)

Thank you for placing an order. We will contact you shortly.

We’re not able to process your request at the moment. Please try again later.

Folder ()

Your folder is empty.

Please complete this form to make a request for consultation. A copy of this list will also be forwarded to you.

Your contact information
First name:
Last name:
Phone number:
Notes (optional):
We will contact you to set up an appointment. Please keep in mind that your consultation date will be based on the type of material you wish to study. To prepare your visit, we'll need:
  • — At least 2 weeks for primary sources (prints and drawings, photographs, archival documents, etc.)
  • — At least 48 hours for secondary sources (books, periodicals, vertical files, etc.)