In this essay, the history of the “Gaia hypothesis” is used as an example for dilemmas in science communication. James Lovelock invented and developed the idea of Gaia, while Lynn Margulis defended it and worked out a “metatheory” according to which scientific data are exaggerated into the image of the Earth as an organism. Heated reactions to Gaia produced different metatheories, arguing that Gaia was a product of ethical and unscientific choices, superimposed on scientific data. The essay defends the metatheoretical definition of Gaia as a “scientific narrative”, a hypotheses-generator which is part of science but works in an inspirational way. The accessibility of a scientific narrative is, at once, the source of its generative power, the hook to involve lay people in science, and the worrying factor for movements of scientists defending science against pseudoscience and other threats

Serrelli, E. (2015). La Terra è un organismo? Gaia come espediente persuasivo e come generatore di ipotesi scientifiche. In S. Caianiello (a cura di), Fuori di sé. L’empatia nell’orizzonte umano e oltre (pp. 147-167). Roma : CNR Edizioni.

La Terra è un organismo? Gaia come espediente persuasivo e come generatore di ipotesi scientifiche

SERRELLI, EMANUELE
Primo
2015

Abstract

In this essay, the history of the “Gaia hypothesis” is used as an example for dilemmas in science communication. James Lovelock invented and developed the idea of Gaia, while Lynn Margulis defended it and worked out a “metatheory” according to which scientific data are exaggerated into the image of the Earth as an organism. Heated reactions to Gaia produced different metatheories, arguing that Gaia was a product of ethical and unscientific choices, superimposed on scientific data. The essay defends the metatheoretical definition of Gaia as a “scientific narrative”, a hypotheses-generator which is part of science but works in an inspirational way. The accessibility of a scientific narrative is, at once, the source of its generative power, the hook to involve lay people in science, and the worrying factor for movements of scientists defending science against pseudoscience and other threats
Capitolo o saggio
Gaia hypothesis, history of science, philosophy of science, empathy
Italian
Fuori di sé. L’empatia nell’orizzonte umano e oltre
9788880801894
Serrelli, E. (2015). La Terra è un organismo? Gaia come espediente persuasivo e come generatore di ipotesi scientifiche. In S. Caianiello (a cura di), Fuori di sé. L’empatia nell’orizzonte umano e oltre (pp. 147-167). Roma : CNR Edizioni.
Serrelli, E
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/101871
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