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The “New World of Sciences”: The Temporality of the Research Agenda and the Unending Ambitions of Science

Vera Keller
Vol. 103, No. 4 (December 2012), pp. 727-734
DOI: 10.1086/669047
Stable URL:
Page Count: 8
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ABSTRACTLists foreground multiplicity: both of objects to be pursued and, for distant objects, of far-flung networks enabling their pursuit. The future-oriented or projective list stretches such networks not only around the world but forward through time. Research agendas are one kind of future-oriented, projective list. Sketching how such lists have functioned over time, from Francis Bacon's “The New World of Sciences, or Desiderata” to today's desiderata lists, suggests how an early modern model of imperial expansion has shaped, in unintended ways, a scientific rhetoric of collaborative advance on shared targets.