Lisa Messeri (Anthropology) - Yale University
Title: Astronomical Images and Imaginations
Abstract: Anthropologists consider how cultural meanings are embedded in images. This is no less true of the work produced by scientific practitioners than indigenous communities. This talk considers a range of astronomical images – including images circulated in journals and those in press releases – and what can be learned in terms of community beliefs. Lisa Messeri’s ethnographic research was conducted primarily with exoplanet astronomers and planetary scientists, so the examples begin in those disciplines. The talk will open up to a conversation about images of black holes, with the hopes that the ensuing discussion will extend the analyses presented in the talk and draw connections with exoplanet images and imaginations.
Bio: Lisa Messeri is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Yale University. She received her PhD from MIT in history, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society in 2011. Her research focuses on the practices, imaginaries, and influences of contemporary science and technology.