|Thu 21 Jun 2012, 7:00pm–8:30pm|
Renowned anthropologist and scholar Professor Dame Anne Salmond presents the third lecture in the Transit of Venus lecture series. In association with the Royal Society of New Zealand and Radio New Zealand.
A New Enlightenment
When the Endeavour sailed into the Pacific in 1769 to observe the Transit of Venus, it was a travelling sideshow of the Enlightenment.
As a skilled hydrographer, Lieutenant James Cook produced meticulous charts of the places that they visited. The artists on board the ship recorded the landscapes, plants, animals and people that they found.
The Royal Society scientists led by Joseph Banks were lavishly equipped with the latest instruments, and inspired by an experimental spirit. They were intrigued by the people they met in the Pacific, and open to the possibility that their ways of living might provide new ideas for Europe.
Since that time, the fragmentation of the scientific project into the natural and social sciences has often constrained scientific thinking. It has become difficult to address patterns of the world that cross these boundaries, including some of the most urgent questions of our times.
In this talk, Professor Salmond explores the possibility of a new Enlightenment that recaptures the wide-ranging curiosity of those early scientists, while transcending ‘Western’ modernity by drawing upon other intellectual traditions. This includes the relational thinking characteristic of Māori and other Pacific life worlds, opening up new futures.
Professor Dame Anne Salmond:
Professor Dame Anne Salmond grew up on the East Coast, and as a teenager was taken under the wing of Eruera and Amiria Stirling, Māori elders from that district. Now Distinguished Professor in Māori Studies and Anthropology at the University of Auckland, she is the author of seven award-winning books and many articles on Māori life and early contacts between Europeans and islanders in Polynesia. She is a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences; a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy; a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand; and a Dame Commander of the British Empire.
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