PACHSmörgåsbord: Journalism/Public Understanding of Science

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Oregon Plague Update

The man who contracted the plague this past June is recovering, though he will probably lose some fingers and toes.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 09/05 at 11:30 AM

Sunday, September 02, 2012

John Dee in Rudolfine Prague

Patrick Leigh Fermor weaves the past into his observations of his, pre-World War II present. His description of Prague is magical, if a bit selective.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 09/02 at 11:04 AM

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Central Question

I’m interested in how people reinvent the past to justify present-day assumptions or to push an agenda. At the recent 3-Society Meeting in Philadelphia Mike Keas spoke about how certain self-serving myths had made their way into astronomy textbooks from the 19th century. Specifically, how Copernicus’ replacement of the earth-centered cosmos by a sun-centered one demoted us humans from our lofty position at the very center of the cosmos. Well, it sounds convincing—who wouldn’t want to be the center of attention?

Posted by Michal Meyer on 08/11 at 12:19 PM
(2) Comments

Friday, August 03, 2012

Off with their (Whig) Heads

The Renaissance Mathematicus blog has a wonderful rant about one of my pet peeves, Whig history. The post is about how we separate those who have done science in the past into two categories: those whom we now deem as having done “correct” science (e.g. Darwin) and those deluded souls who merely believed they were doing science (e.g. Lamarck). Perhaps this is true among scientists, but I’ve found something quite different in my admittedly few collaborations with people creating popular history of science for use in science courses.

Posted by Michal Meyer on 08/03 at 07:39 PM

Friday, July 27, 2012

Give me history!

I wanted to dislike the recent Nova special Hunting the Elements, an attempt to place the periodic table and its contents in a broader context for the average PBS viewer. After all, the list of experts did not include a single historian. How can a broad, robust exploration of this icon of chemistry exclude the history of the science behind its creation?

Posted by Michal Meyer on 07/27 at 06:48 PM

Monday, July 02, 2012

Having (and Dusting) It All

What happens when we think about Ann-Marie Slaughter’s much-discussed treatment of women’s work/family challenges with some bigger context? Here, we draw on a recent critical study of American consumption habits and some classic works in gender and technology to deepen the conversation.

Posted by Amy E. Slaton on 07/02 at 10:19 AM

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Plague in Oregon

The latest case of plague in Oregon is, well, rather typical: man plays with rodent, gets bit by infected flea, contracts the plague. An aggressive round of antibiotics should make him healthy again. The moral of the story: don’t play with rodents.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 06/26 at 01:20 PM

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lynn White—Historian of Medieval Technology & Futurist

Lynn White is best known for his work on medieval technology—stirrups and windmills—unless it’s 1968 and you’re the editors of McCall’s. In that case, Lynn White is a futurist.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 06/25 at 05:51 PM

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Another Flat Earth Report

This time SPACE.com repeats the Flat Earth myth.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 06/12 at 11:26 PM

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Toward a history of “eppur si muove”

This post explores some of the history of the apocryphal Galileo quotation “eppur si muove” and reflects on some of the work that quotation does.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 06/03 at 12:26 AM
(2) Comments

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