In the next Perspectives on Science seminar, Mary S. Morgan (London School of Economics) will give a talk on “Narrative: A General Purpose Technology for Science”.

The seminar takes place online via Zoom from 14:15 to 15:45 on the 3rd of October. To join the seminar, please contact for the Zoom invitation.

Perspectives on Science is a weekly research seminar which brings together experts from science studies and philosophy of science. It is organized by TINT – Centre for Philosophy of Social Science at the University of Helsinki. More information about the seminar here.


Narrative is ubiquitous inside the sciences. While it might be hidden, evident only from its traces, it can be found regularly in scientists’ accounts both of their research, and of the natural, human and social worlds they study.  Investigating the functions of narrative, it becomes clear that narrative-making provides scientists a means of making sense of the phenomena in their field, that narrative provides a means of representing that knowledge, and that narrative may even provide the site for scientific reasoning.  Narrative emerges as a ‘general purpose technology’, used in many different forms in different sites of science, enabling scientists to figure out and express their scientific knowledge claims. Understanding scientists’ use of narrative as a sense-making technology suggests that narrative functions as a bridge between the interventionist practices of science and the knowledge gained from those practices.

Abstract from Narrative Science: Reasoning, Representing and Knowing since 1800, edited M.S. Morgan, K.M. Hajek and D.M. Berry (CUP, 2022).]

Author bio:

Mary S. Morgan is the Albert O. Hirschman Professor of History and Philosophy of Economics at the London School of Economics; she is a Fellow of the British Academy (and served as Vice President 2014-6), and an Overseas Fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences.  She is currently President-Elect of the Royal Economic Society, to become President for 2023-4.