On the Drama of Becoming and Being a Acientist

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Chemists, physicists, and biologists are commonly criticized, from within the discipline of psychology, for being reductionistic—for attempting to explain the complexities of human life by descriptions at the level of molecules, atoms, or cells. Despite this critical tradition, I wish to enter the claim that nothing is intrinsically wrong with reductionist accounts of such psychological phenomena as learning, memory, perception, and mental disorders—so long as such accounts are presented as provisional and not absolute. I offer this license in order to indulge my own license. For I wish engage in another form of reduction—that of reducing science to drama—or at least, looking at science through the lens of drama. But my dramaturgical account of science is simply the development of a point of view. The advantage of developing this point of view is that it might illuminate the life and work of individual scientists in a way that will help advance our understanding of larger ethical and moral issues surrounding the conduct of science. Participants are invited to look at science as drama and at scientists as actors in the dramas of their everyday scientific lives. As a start, a summary of the results of interviews with a dozen practicing scientists will be presented.


Keywords: Drama, Role Theory, Scientific Conduct
Stream: Sociology, Geography
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: Drama of the Scientific Life, The


Prof. Karl E. Scheibe

Professor, Deaprtment of Psychology
Wasch Center for Retired Faculty, Wesleyan University

Middletown, Connecticut, USA

Karl Scheibe graduated from Trinity College in 1959, and received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1963. From 1963 to 2005 he was on the faculty of Wesleyan University. He was Professor of Psychology from 1973-2005, with several interruptions for visiting professorships in Brazil and in California. He was twice been a Fulbright Fellow to the Catholic University in Sao Paulo—in 1927-72 and in 1984. He was also Professor at DUXX, Graduate School of Business Leadership, in Monterrey, Mexico from 1995-2002, and is a psychotherapist in private practice and Executive Director of the Saybrook Counseling Center. In 2005 he became Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, at Wesleyan, where he is now Director of the Wasch Center for Retired Faculty.He is author of four books, BELIEFS AND VALUES (1970), MIRRORS, MASKS, LIES AND SECRETS (1979), SELF STUDIES (1995), and THE DRAMA OF EVERYDAY LIFE (2000) and co-editor of THE SOCIAL CONTEXT OF CONDUCT (1982) and STUDIES IN SOCIAL IDENTITY (1983), and scores of articles in psychological journals on topics in personality and social psychology. He has a special interest in utilizing the perspectives of theater for psychological issues and topics.

Ref: I08P0134