Symposium: Writing as Discovery: Investigating a Hidden Component of Method

Writing as Discovery:
Investigating a Hidden Component of Method
One-day cross-disciplinary symposium
Humanities Research Centre, Sir Roland Wilson Building, ANU
Friday, November the 9th 2018 (9am – 5pm)

When scientists and scholars compose papers, articles and
monographs, is it really only a matter of “writing up” what they by then
already know? Could it also be that in the attempt to articulate our
knowledge new discoveries are made?
One of the few studies in this area concluded that scientists regularly started
writing prior to the end of experimentation, to bring clarity to what they were
trying to achieve, that major discoveries occurred in the course of revision and
that collegial input at the review stage actively changed findings (Yore, Hand
and Priam 2002; confirming earlier work by Holmes 1987). But mostly the
matter is obscure, and this is true outside the STEM sector as well. When
Michel Foucault’s editors comment that the way he composed his books
“should be an object of study in its own right” (Fontana and Bertani, 2003),
they underline that the writing practices of even the most cited figures in the
contemporary humanities are simply unknown. Nor is it clear to what extent
writing functions as a vehicle for discovery in the social sciences. Across all
disciplines with the arguable exception of creative writing itself, the writing
practices of scholars and scientists remain “significantly undertheorised”
(Aitchison and Lee 2006).
Our aim is to consider the possibility that, far from being simply ancillary, the
act of writing constitutes a key plank in scientific and scholarly method.
Co-hosted by the Humanities Research Centre, ANU College of the Arts &
Social Sciences and the University of Canberra’s Centre for Creative and
Cultural Research, Faculty of Arts & Design, this symposium brings together
major thinkers from across the disciplines. Presentations will include panel
discussions, a live interview and an open workshop.
All are invited to attend and contribute their own disciplinary and creative
perspectives to the discussion.
Featuring:
• Nobel Laureate in Physiology and National Trust Australian Living
Treasure, Professor Peter Doherty
• Author of over 35 U.S. patents for the treatment of cancer, Fellow of
the National Academy of Inventors, Microbiologist, Professor Yvonne
Paterson
• Filmmaker, Cultural Studies Scholar and Former Creative Director of
the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Professor Ross Gibson
• Labour Economist, former editor-in-chief of Labour Economics and
novelist, Professor Alison Booth
• Winner of the NSW Premier’s Biennial Prize for Literary Scholarship
and Head of the Humanities Research Centre, Professor Will Christie
• Non-fiction writer, novelist, former fellow at the Rachel Carson Center
for Environment and Society at Ludwig Maximillians University and
2018/2019 Environmental Humanities Fellow at the University of
Edinburgh, Associate Professor Saskia Beudel
• Novelist, creative writing researcher and former Fulbright scholar,
Doctor Lucy Neave
• Poet, critic and scholar in poetics, Associate Professor Paul Magee
For further information, please click here.

Image credit: Robert Delaunay, Rythme No.1

Co-organised by the Australian National University and the University of Canberra


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s