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Title: Experts in the wild natural history film-making as a culture of knowledge-production
Author: Gouyon, Jean-Baptiste
ISNI:       0000 0004 2673 7385
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis is about natural history film-making and how it relates to the public understanding of science. The word 'public' in the phrase is taken to designate in the first place the film-makers. The study is thus one which investigates how natural history film-makers negotiate their identity and situate their knowledge with relation to sciences. Drawing on an examination of the history of the development of natural history film-making in Britain, and on two case studies of contemporary examples of natural history films, this thesis first suggests that the culture of natural history film-making should be regarded as an offshoot of the Victorian culture of amateur natural history, thus as a form of knowledge production in its own right, instead of a form of popularisation of science. In this perspective, natural history film-makers appear as spokespersons for nature and not for science. Their relationship to scientific practitioners would be aptly described as one of co-existence on either side of a border, peopled with such objects as animals, plants, and the motion-picture camera. Natural history film-makers' cognitive authority stems from their status as amateurs naturalists-deriving their knowledge of the natural world from their capacity to engage intimately with it-as well as from their ability to use the film-making apparatus convincingly. The types of evidences supporting the claims to trustworthiness to be observed in natural history films do not appear to relate to the values and beliefs of professional science but to the culture of amateur natural history and to the conventions of the film medium. In order to account for the type of authority to speak for nature embodied in the culture of natural history film-making, this thesis proposes to use the word "telenaturalist".
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available