Pandora's Lab. Queering scientific practice to incorporate storytelling as method by way of comparison with Ancient Greek mythology.
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Based on what feminist philosophy has coined the dualistic epistemology of Western culture, the sciences and the humanities have long been assumed to be an exclusive dichotomy, with attributes such as objectivity and neutrality associated with the sciences, while the humanities are connected to subjectivity and partiality. This dualism is a part of a greater dualistic worldview which assigns negative value to some categories while attributing positive value to their “opposites.” Instead of accepting that the sciences and humanities are indeed inherently and incommensurably different, this thesis posits that the opposition of the “objective” sciences and the “subjective” humanities is actually incomplete and therefore not a realistic or useful construct. Instead, I present the use of storytelling as a valuable method for knowledge-making in science. Making use of “queer defamiliarisation” as discussed by Helen Palmer, in the first part of this thesis I compare scientific practice to Ancient Greek mythology to identify and recognize the already existing but unacknowledged narrative elements in science. In the second part, using theory from queer, feminist, and Indigenous work on knowledge, method and translation, I argue that the explicit use of narrative storytelling in scientific practice can lead to greater accountability, knowledge, and accessibility in the sciences. By allowing for the acknowledgment and further incorporation of storytelling into the sciences, this thesis shows how the concept of knowledge can be queered to be less dependent on strict boundaries between disciplines, thereby making space for creative development of new ideas and perspectives both within and beyond scientific practice.