PACHSmörgåsbord: Historiography/Methodology

Friday, October 07, 2011

Biography of a Map—Further Experiments in Pedagogy

My “Biography of a Map” assignment was intended to get students to think more broadly about historical artifacts and the nature of knowledge claims. I used maps as an opportunity to highlight some of the problems of approaching the past with our own assumptions and questions. Instead, it is important to recover the map maker’s questions and motivations. Maps are synecdochic for natural knowledge in general.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 10/07 at 10:49 PM

Friday, April 22, 2011

Why should we care…? IV. Toward a poetics of HSMT

In which we discuss the aesthetics of the history of science, medicine, and technology--and insist that “concretize” is not a word.

Posted by Nathaniel Comfort on 04/22 at 10:32 AM
(3) Comments

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Philadelphia Area Special Collections Search Engine

The PACHS special collections search tool is an excellent way to find history of science material throughout the region. What becomes clear almost immediately is how much material there is in the area.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 03/02 at 11:01 PM
(1) Comments

Friday, December 10, 2010

Charles Babbage, Eat Your Heart Out

A video on the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient Greek astronomical calculator, is a beautiful piece of science communication.

Posted by Nathaniel Comfort on 12/10 at 08:12 AM

Friday, December 03, 2010

Dawn of the Living Brahe: Retro-Diagnosis that Refuses to Die

Brahe may have died, but speculations about how he died and who killed him seem to be alive and well these days (even proliferating). Such conjectures remain pointless. Further, they deny historical expertise and, at least in this instance, represent a secular form of hagiography.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 12/03 at 10:25 PM

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tycho Brahe, Mercury, and Retro-diagnosing Illnesses

A team of scientists has be given permission to exhume Tycho Brahe’s body so that they can take samples of hair to test for the presence of mercury. They hope to determine Brahe’s cause of death, and clearly expect that cause to be mercury poisoning. This is the latest attempt by scientists to retro-diagnose historical diseases.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 11/17 at 10:30 PM

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Explaining Good Questions in the History of Science

It is not enough to model good questions, as I had previously thought. Instead, you must explain why certain questions are a good ones as you model them. The good news is students seem to get it, eventually.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 10/05 at 10:20 PM

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Formulating Questions in the History of Science

The third post recounting my efforts to instill curiosity in students and to encourage them to ask questions of source material. This time I try to model for them how to approach a source and how to formulate questions of that source.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 09/29 at 10:32 PM
(2) Comments

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Modeling Curiosity in the History of Science?

A follow up to my previous post about teaching students to be curious. Model curiosity seems to be the mantra: show them how to ask questions.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 09/16 at 10:59 AM

Sunday, September 12, 2010

How to Teach Curiosity in the History of Science?

Some thoughts on trying to teach the history of science. And a request for help.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 09/12 at 02:35 PM
(4) Comments

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