Article ID: CBB157169284

Experiencing Deep and Global Currents at a ‘prototypical Strait’, 1870s and 1980s (2018)


Deep ocean currents are not accessible to direct human perception. Their insertion into global structures of circulation is even more profoundly removed from individual sensorial experience. But oceanographers tend to use wider concepts of experience to include instruments, traditions of observation and theoretical models. Historians and philosophers of science, as well as STS scholars, have also redefined scientific experience as operational and collective transformations of parts of the world around us into fragments of larger bodies of knowledge. This paper pursues this definition to follow the instrumental and epistemological resources available to those “observing” deep-water circulation at the Strait of Gibraltar in two very distinct moments, ca. 1870 and ca. 1985, respectively through the works of scientists like William B. Carpenter and the transnational team involved in the Gibraltar Experiment. Detecting and mapping the Gibraltar undercurrent necessitated taking data of temperature and salinity as proxies for masses of water. Making it relevant to world ocean currents required the use of models and moving across scales. In both contexts, empires of global reach provided the globalizing motivations and infrastructures.

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Article Lino Camprubí; Philipp Lehmann (2018) The Scales of Experience: Introduction to the Special Issue Experiencing the Global Environment. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science (pp. 1-5). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Rozwadowski, Helen M.
Rose, Edward P. F.
Marinescu, Alexandru
Bologa, Alexandru S.
Smed, Jens
Matsuda, Yoshiaki
Earth Sciences History: Journal of the History of the Earth Sciences Society
Transversal: International Journal for the Historiography of Science
Science and Education
Science, Technology and Human Values
Social Studies of Science
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
Musée Océanographique
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
Science History Publications
Corn Field Press
Pickering & Chatto
Shin Yo Sha
Philosophy of science
Technoscience; science and technology studies
Oceans and seas
Models and modeling in science
Antipa, Grigore
Racovitza, Emile
Smith, James
James, Thomas
Imrie, Ninian
Bailey, Edgar Henry Summerfield
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
21st century
18th century
20th century, early
Great Britain
United States Navy
Great Britain. Royal Engineers
Great Britain. Geological Survey

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