The Raw Truth (Polemic)

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After all, the modern fact had to be fabricated through the making of experiments, and those facts had to be witnessed and verified by experts in order to be accepted as truth.

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Early science really was a kind of performing art, subject to regimes of stagecraft that reverberated across the laboratory, the lecture hall, the anatomy theater, and the public stage. Nothing demonstrates the vexed relationship of science, spectacle, and authority better than the story of Robert Boyle. Historians of science have extensively studied the career of this seventeenth-century natural philosopher, but he deserves to be better known today, because he shows us how crucial it was to make a show of science, even if that risked drawing the scoffs of critics.

Boyle was a key patron and prime mover of the Royal Society, one of the earliest scientific organizations. A first-rate experimentalist, Boyle conducted foundational research into the nature of the physical world. Indeed, in his epochal New Experiments Physico-Mechanical , Boyle used his air-pump to overturn the ancient assumption that a vacuum could not exist in nature.

He was able to contrive one under its glass dome, and in doing so discovered previously unknown properties of air that revolutionized the emerging sciences of physics and chemistry. Instead of going to bed, he launched into an hours-long series of experiments and observations on the shining slab of flesh, right there in his bedroom. You get the sense that Boyle believes literally every single detail could be relevant, and so he omits nothing that fell under his gaze. And why should he?

The Raw Truth

Naturalists like Boyle cultivated exquisite states of affective enthrallment in spectacular natural phenomena as part of their scientific practice. And this immersion in the spectacles of science served a crucial purpose. While historians of science are apt to characterize early scientific activity as a cautious and sober empirical activity, the production of scientific facts paradoxically required natural philosophers to carefully perform and re-perform their experiments in semi-public assemblies until all those present arrived at a consensus about the findings.

As Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer have explained , this dynamic give birth to what were then absolute novelties in human history: the fact that speaks for itself, and the scientist who is merely its objective witness. My own research seeks to trouble that story just a little bit. After all, in the case of the shining veal, Boyle postponed his sleep for what must have been hours, working through the night, mostly in the absolute dark, making painstaking observation after observation: inspecting, rubbing, sniffing, measuring, and defacing the raw and bloody neck of a calf that, on the sudden report of a servant, was whisked out of the larder and summoned to his bed-chamber.

Instruments and contraptions were gathered from all parts of the house, data were recorded, trials were performed, and then re-performed, and a scrupulous account was produced. Such an absorption in the spectacles of science is entirely expected from someone who kept his eyes shut tight as his assistant refitted the air-pump by candlelight, so as to not compromise his night vision…. But there is no need to take my word for it. This is precisely the portrait of experimental science that appears in an influential and long-lived satire of natural philosophers that first appeared on the stage in The London playhouses were powerful sites of cultural mediation.

They satirized trends, made political statements, insulted public figures, and set fashions.

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Accordingly, over the course of the long eighteenth century, there were dozens of plays featuring crackpot scientists, sketchy doctors, randy anatomists, doltish antiquaries, and shifty projectors peddling questionable technologies sort of the early modern equivalent of flash-in-the-pan start-ups. But the play I want to bring into view is The Virtuoso , which appeared at the epicenter of a crucial anti-science backlash in the s.

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  4. The play itself is a conventionally-plotted Restoration sex comedy. The misguided scientist Sir Nicholas Gimcrack and his foolish friends attempt to keep his two young, rich, and beautiful nieces out of social circulation. The impecunious Gimcrack wants power over their purses to finance his experiments, while his friends want access to their persons. Indeed, the play has retained a long hold on our imaginations even if most of us are unfamiliar with the source. Vindica me Deus.

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    Halfway through her video, Kristi took a microscope to the lipsticks to see how defective they really were. That is absolutely mortifying. What are these hairs? Is it growing something? If any of you are receiving lipsticks like this….


    Were the quality control people touching the lipsticks with their gloves? WTF lab ever has used furry gloves?! And why is that hair so damn long? If it was a furry glove it would be very slight fuzz. Also, I need them all now, if only I could afford them lol pic. First impression of the jaclyncosmetics Jaclynhill lipstick. They feel so nice on and smell so good! Seriously, jaclyncosmetics best customer service eeevvveeerrr!

    Is Roxane Gay’s ‘Hunger’ a Memoir or a Polemic? - Electric Literature

    Congratulations Jaclynhill! Of the incredible volume of orders that were placed at launch, we believe less than half of one percent of orders were impacted by compromised product. We are actively reaching out to our customers with questions and concerns and have added to our customer service team to make sure that any questions are swiftly addressed. We are keeping an eye on the Jaclyn Cosmetics social channels and info jaclyncosmetics.

    We love our customers and are proud of our successful launch. Jaclyn Cosmetics also commented on the controversy via Twitter and said that the chunks and lumps some customers noticed in their products were from improper blending. In rare circumstances some lipsticks were exposed to high temperatures or the raw materials were not blended thoroughly and that is not acceptable to us — as of now we are seeing less 0. Hill said that she and her team were working on figuring out the problems people are having with their lipsticks. I am so sorry to see some of you dissatisfied with my product.

    Science hasn’t been this controversial since 1676

    She also told fans that if anyone is unsatisfied with the product they purchased, it can be returned for a full refund and replacement. If you are unsatisfied in ANY way please contact help jaclyncosmetics. If you have opted in for our browser push notifications, and you would like to opt-out, please refer to the following instructions depending on your device and browser.

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