Lost in space

Geographies of ignorance in science and technology studies

Authored by: Scott Frickel , Abby Kinchy

Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415718967
eBook ISBN: 9781315867762
Adobe ISBN: 9781317964674

10.4324/9781315867762.ch18

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Abstract

Ignorance is an idea whose description is curiously tethered to the spatial. Scientists who write about ignorance seem to prefer metaphors with dimensionality, perhaps as a way to give their topic some conceptual heft. Thus, a mathematician:

Likening the growth of knowledge to the progressive construction of an atlas of our world, imagine two cartographers setting out to map the Pacific, one starting from the West and the other from the East, each one ignorant of latitude and longitude but using his [sic] own empirical coordinate system centered on his homeland. The initial gulf of ignorance between them would dwindle away until, finally, the maps overlap.

(Clarke 1977: 112)

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