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'Cosmologies' is one of the four themed strands of the Oral History of British Science project, an initiative of National Life Stories and the British Library in association with the Science Museum.

Column of cool molecular hydrogen gas and dust


Column of cool molecular hydrogen gas and dust, 1995
Image courtesy of NASA/SSPL

Cosmologies considers new systems of thought that have emerged in correspondence with the development of a number of theoretical fields (mathematics, mathematical physics, cosmology, astronomy, statistics, high-energy physics).

‘Cosmology’ is not intended here as a scientific discipline, but – metaphorically - as reasoning around comprehensive systems of scientific thinking, providing an image of the ‘whole’ either at macro-level (universe) or at micro-level (structure of matter). Given the high level of abstraction of many new theories, an analysis of the relation between ideas and reality would be appropriate. What do scientists see as ‘real’ in their very abstract models?

Special emphasis will be given to the debates on the nature of the universe emerging in cosmology, as well as mathematical physics. And on the structure of matter emerging in high-energy physics. The interviews will also elucidate different models and approaches as well as debates and controversies that have arisen from new theories and experimental observations.

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