Thesis ID: CBB249381202

The Sound Culture of Space Science (2021)


Lovett, Jessica Manning (Author)
McLeod, Ken (Advisor)
Johnston, Gregory (Advisor)

University of Toronto
McLeod, Ken
Johnston, Gregory
Publication date: 2021
Language: English

Publication Date: 2021
Physical Details: 300

From the cosmic background noise that proved the so-called Big Bang Theory in the 1960s, to more recent models using sound waves to explain solar activity, modern science agrees with ancient cosmology that the universe is far from silent. But, as most twenty-first-century space scientists will assert, there is no serious place for sound in the modern study of outer space. This dissertation demonstrates sound’s ability to simultaneously mediate and reinforce social and ontological boundaries within the network of ideas, values, individuals and institutions that produce information about the universe. I argue that the rejection of both sound and music from astronomy can be attributed to the discourse within space science communities that conflates ideas about music with ideas about sound, and to the increased use of music in the marketing and public relations initiatives of nationally funded science agencies. I also outline some of the politics by which sound, music, and listening define collective culture for communities of space scientists and contribute to the creation of scientific truth despite being considered essentially non-scientific.

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Authors & Contributors
Dolder, Craig N.
Wilson, Preston S.
Abbri, Ferdinando
Boudry, Maarten
Cassidy, Angela
Christensen, Lars Lindberg
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Public Understanding of Science
European Physical Journal H
Galilæana: Journal of Galilean Studies
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
University of Chicago Press
University of Pittsburgh
Yale University
Harvard University Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
Oxford University Press
Science and music
Communication of scientific ideas
Boundary work
Carey, William M.
Bacon, Francis, 1st Baron Verulam
Galilei, Galileo
Kircher, Athanasius
Johann Heinrich von Maedler
Burney, Charles
Time Periods
20th century, late
21st century
19th century
20th century, early
17th century
20th century
United States
Great Britain
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)
Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) (Study group: U.S.)

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