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Title:Towards a genealogy of planet management: Computer simulation, limits to growth and the emergence of global spaces
Author(s):Elichirigoity, Irving Fernando
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Burkhardt, Richard W.
Department / Program:History of Science
Discipline:History of Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History of Science
Abstract:This dissertation explores the history of the idea that the earth and human activity constitute a total irreducible system. I explore the history of "planet management" by focusing on the scientific practices and discourses that make it possible to conceptualize the earth and human activity as a total system. Examples of these scientific practices, (which are constitutive of the very notion of planet management that they facilitate), include satellite surveillance and imaging of the earth, and global computer modeling.
I look at the genealogy of "planet management" work is by way of an exemplar of the discourses and practices of globality, namely, the Limits to Growth report, the first computer model of the earth that included human activity as an integral element of the planet system itself. This modeling was based on the theory of System Dynamics, developed by Jay Forrester at MIT. The report was sponsored by an organization of western industrialists and non-elected high government bureaucrats known as The Club of Rome. My discussion of Forrester's ideas allows me to also investigate how many of the scientific practices, both mental and material, that emerged out of the crucible of WWII, are constitutive of planet management.
Theoretically this dissertation is informed by Michel Foucault's notion of governmentality. The dissertation is based on primary sources research at MIT archives and the personal papers of Aurelio Peccei, the founder of the Club of Rome.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Elichirigoity, Irving Fernando
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9512353
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9512353

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