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By Stacey Moran and Adam Nocek

The Royal Scientist secures for himself a unique existence. Heidegger speaks of the way in which a man - a being among beings - “pursues science” and through this process, the irruption of one being called “man” transforms into the whole of beings: Man. Science shows Man what he is and how he is. Science reveals this being among beings to be an object of investigation, an object to be known, grasped, and revered as the Being through which all other beings come to have meaning: homo sapiens. But here’s the catch: it is only through Science that Man is revealed to be the kind of being that grounds all other beings. Science announces the end of all other revelations and is an antidote to all other delusions, hallucinations, and phantasms.   To make manifest: the Royal Scientist reveals and thus secures himself to himself. And yet the history of “to manifest” lies not in the realm of knowledge, but in delinquency: “to be caught in the act.” To make manifest as Man, a being among others—is this not a form of delinquency or perhaps one might say, conjuring, to make oneself appear to the world in such a way? Surely this magical manifestation obliges some sort of calling out?   The Royal Scientist/Man, then, conjures up such an existence for himself. Because technology is central to the work of science, we should perhaps call him the Royal Technoscientist. He continually invents new technologies in order to see, witness, calculate, and experiment on the world. Science and technology thus join forces, go hand in hand as a means for “crossing the great distances” between human knowledge and the world. The knower observes and learns. Technology is his tool for achieving greater success, crossing voids and filling in remaining gaps in human knowledge of the objective world. Technoscientific Man waves his wand and reduces the world to calculation, abstraction, mathematics, algorithms, models.   There is a young scientist who sees an empty space between himself and the world. Between homo sapiens, the knower, and cosmos, the ordered whole (which is pure possibility for it is as yet unknown), a gulf spreads out. The energetic young scientist seeks to fill these gaps by building bridges. He steps out, walks across the vastness he calls the unknown, the immense gulf that lies between himself and the world, and what does he see? More emptiness, the unfurling of new distances growing out in every direction. Science offers Man more than simply knowledge of himself; science unveils an endless proliferation of Opportunity, of empty space for the engineering scientist to cross.

What types of bridges does the young scientist build? Waving his magic man, the scientist conjures as many bridges as there are gaps, gulfs, gorges, and gullies in the universe. There are bridges to span the gulf between our two bodies. Bridges to cross the distance between our minds and the ideas hidden within. Bridges to fill the gap between here and there, between life and death, between the spectator and the exhibition, between the viewer and the work of art, between the past and the present…and with each new bridge, my, how the distances grow!

How many distances can homo sapiens be expected to cover?