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This is a project about what might have been…

24 March 2011

It attempts to imagine what our present day world would –or could– be like, had various debates in the history of biology swung the other way… If theories that were abandoned or superseded had instead been stuck with and developed, if different aspects of the world had been the focus of experiment, and discoveries had been made in a different order.

The project is kindly supported by a Small Arts Award from the Wellcome Trust, and is by me, Thomas Thwaites. I’m a designer (of a more speculative sort let’s say), so I’m interested in how these ‘counterfactual histories’ of biological discovery might’ve filtered into the popular psyche, and effected our institutions, our tools and our ideas about ourselves.

The fact that I’m a designer, means I’m not (i) a historian, (ii) a philosopher, or (iii) a biologist (though I have dabbled educationally with two out of those three). So, dear reader, if you are any of the above, then (i) please don’t be too cross if I trample on something in your field, and/or (ii) please get in touch if you’re interested in the project!