Why create an Institute for Earthbound Studies?
There are several reasons why this Institute came about, some more interesting than others. A few of the obvious reasons include:
- Having a dedicated research focus helps bring like-minded people together around a shared topic or issues of concern in a more structured way
- When trying to organize and connect diverse information, one central node for tracking and sharing the connections can be helpful
- It provides a way to present multiple research projects that may have overlapping interests but would not otherwise bump into to each other
- If offers the possibility of bringing in funding or other forms of support to advance this research agenda beyond the scope of one or two people
- It provides a venue for people thinking and interested in Latour’s ideas to gather, discuss, debate and find new ideas and interconnections in his work
There are likely many more reasons that could be given. These are just a few initial ones that come to mind. Others might be added as this site evolves. Ultimately you could say the decision to start up a project like this is more or less arbitrary. Since no one else had thought up this idea, it seemed like a novel way to bring together various research threads and political ideas into a more or less unified space, while also allowing for others to collaborate via the wonders of the web. Whether or not this proves useful for others remains to be seen.