The debate on the concept of the Anthropocene, from a social sciences and humanities perspective, was launched by the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) and the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte (MPIWG), in Berlin, in 2013. It aimed at debating, from an interdisciplinary perspective and in the longue-durée, a topic which, for quite some time, was becoming critical in contemporary philosophy and ethics—that of technological singularity.
The collapse of the distinction between the human, the technological and the geological, along with the evidence that the current paradigm of progress (as it has been understood since Kant) calls for a reappraisal, compelled historians, sociologists, anthropologists and philosophers to debate a set of concepts that had been mainly associated with science fiction and popular culture until then.
History of STM immediately seized the opportunity to lock in on this topic, as some of its research paths had focused on the relationship between human action through techno-scientific expertise and the physical universe upon which this action is imposed.
The Baconian idea of understanding nature in order to dominate it has in itself the germ of a possible conflict between the natural and the technological which is at the core of current Anthropocene epistemology.
Up until now, research on the History of STM has focused mainly on classics of environmental history such as Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson [Carson, 1962] and Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900, by Alfred Crosby [Crosby, 1993], especially in the Anglo-Saxon world, in particular the British empire and the USA.