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Peter Galison

Science Historian and Filmmaker

Peter Galison is the Joseph Pellegrino University Professor of the History of Science and of Physics at Harvard University. In 1997, he was named a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow; in 1999, he was a winner of the Max Planck Prize, given by the Max Planck Gesellschaft and Humboldt Stiftung.

Galison is interested in the intersection of philosophical and historical questions such as these: What, at a given time, convinces people that an experiment is correct? How do scientific subcultures form interlanguages of theory and things at their borders? More broadly, Galison's main work explores the complex interaction between the three principal subcultures of twentieth-century physics--experimentation, instrumentation, and theory.

His books include How Experiments End (1987), Image and Logic (1997), Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps (2003) and, with L. Daston, Objectivity (2008). In addition, Galison has launched several projects examining the powerful cross-currents between physics and other fields--these include a series of co-edited volumes on the relations between science, art, and architecture, including The Architecture of Science (1999).

He co-produced a documentary film on the politics of science, "Ultimate Weapon: The H-bomb Dilemma" (2000); his second, "Secrecy" (co-directed and co-produced with Robb Moss), about the architecture of the classification and secrecy establishment, premiered at Sundance in 2008 and opened in New York at the Village Cinema in September 2008.

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