Helena Sheehan: The influence of Marxism on Science Studies: 1931 and now
How to appraise the reverberations set off by the impact of the soviet delegation at the 1931 international history of science congress? How farreaching, how profound have been the resonances of this interaction? How were such tragic fates connected to being so fired up by such ideas? How did later soviet delegations fare at international congresses? What did subsequent generations make of this connection of Marxism with science? How have different trends within Marxism related to science? How have different trends within science studies related to Marxism? How has Marxism influenced science studies? What remains? What was set in motion at the congress continued to reverberate. Some of those present were forever changed by it. Some prospered, but others met tragic fates tied to the force of their convictions. This presentation will trace the trajectory of the ideas put forward by the soviet delegation through the decades since. It will focus both on the impact of these ideas on several generations of Marxists who have engaged with science and also on trends in science studies showing a somewhat circuitous and complex relation to Marxism.