Epilogue of Body Earth
Rediscovering the Body

In the world of science, the 20th century opened with Max Planck’s discovery of the quantum and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

After that, particle physics and cosmology ruled supreme among the advanced sciences for over 50 years.

In the latter half of the century, the discovery of DNA made the life sciences join the leading ranks, and soon afterwards the environment joined in a supporting role.

But although the century saw the emergence of psychoanalysis thanks to Freud and Jung, and medicine made rapid advances, humans, and in particular the human body, never really made it to top billing. Perhaps the human-related sciences and technologies were a bit too focused on “abnormalities” and “diseases.”

Of course there were limits on using living humans as research materials as well.

Another big feature of the 20th century was all the cars and electric appliances, mobile phones and mobile players that directed peoples’ attention away from their bodies and diluted their bodily sensations.

However, both cosmology, particle physics and the life sciences are all in the end viewed through human eyes. Directly or indirectly, they are all about the universe, particles and life that are experienced with the body.

The human body itself is also a kind of “environment,” in contrast with the external environment.

It feels like the rediscovery of the human body is going to be a major theme for science and technology in the 21st century.