Events in history of science, technology and medicine at or near member institutions or within 75 miles of Philadelphia


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September 28, 2016

Paula Findlen, Stanford University

New York History of Science Lecture Series: Newton’s Prisms:  Why Francesco Algarotti Became an Experimenter

Columbia University (New York, NY)

September 29, 2016

Jan Golinski, Professor of History and Humanities, University of New Hampshire

Synthesis Lecture: Jan Golinski

Chemical Heritage Foundation (Philadelphia, PA)

September 30, 2016


The Materiality of Scientific Knowledge: Image–Text–Book

University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)

October 3, 2016

Ingemar Pettersson, Science and Technology Studies Center and the Department of Economic History, Uppsala University

Brown Bag Lecture: Masters of Flavor: Sensory Analysis and High-Industrial Food

Chemical Heritage Foundation (Philadelphia, PA)

October 3, 2016

Keith Wailoo, Princeton University

Manuelidis Lecture

Yale University (New Haven, CT)

October 5, 2016

Keith Wailoo, Princeton University

The Crooked Mile: Race, Psychology, and the Strange Carer of the Menthol Cigarette in the U.S.

Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

October 6, 2016

Karen Rader, Virginia Commonwealth University

From Watchful Grasshoppers to Rat Basketball: Practices of Live Animal Display in Twentieth-Century Science Museums

Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR)

October 6, 2016

Lee Vinsel, Stevens Institute of Technology

Research Seminar: The Rise and Fall of the First American Auto Safety Network, 1919-1940

Hagley Museum & Library (Wilmington, DE)

October 7, 2016

Gerd Gigerenzer, Max Planck Institute for Human Development

The End of Common Sense: From Statistical Thinking to Statistical Rules

Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

October 10, 2016

Nadav Davidovitch

The Shadow of the Holocaust on Bioethics: A Comparative Study of Israel and Germany

Yale University (New Haven, CT)

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Pietro de Crescenzi, Ruralia commoda, ca. 1490-1495. Image courtesy of the University of Toronto.

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Working Groups

October 4, 2016

History and Theory

This year’s theme for the History & Theory Working Group is “ontology and materiality.” They will begin with a discussion of two essays: Greg Anderson’s “Retrieving the Lost Worlds of the Past: The Case for an Ontological Turn” and Paul Roth’s “Ways of Pastmaking.”

October 5, 2016

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Abe Gibson of Arizona State will introduce selections from his new book, Feral Animals in the American South, Cambridge University Press, 2016:
1. The trouble with ferality: domestication as coevolution and the nature of broken symbioses
4. Nascent domestication initiatives and their effects on ferality: claiming dominion in the antebellum South
5. Anthropogenic improvement and assaults on fertility: divergent fates in the industrializing South
6.  Everything in its right place: wild, domestic, and feral populations in the modern South
Note: if you own or have access to “Feral Animals in the American South” through your university library, either in hardcopy or as an ebook through, please access it directly. Libraries (and publishers) track usage.

October 6, 2016

Biological Sciences

The group will discuss two recent articles: “Ark and Archive: Making a Place for Long-Term Research on Barro Colorado Island, Panama,” by Megan Raby of University of Texas, Austin and “The Right Tool and the Right Place for the Job: The Importance of the Field in Experimental Neurophysiology, 1880-1945” by Samantha Muka of the University of Pennsylvania.

October 12, 2016

History and Philosophy of Science

​This Fall​ we will be reading Helen Longino's Studying Human Behavior: How Scientists Investigate Aggression and Sexuality (University of Chicago Press, 2013). On Wednesday, October 12 we will discuss Chapters 1-4. Nabeel Hamid will introduce the readings.

October 13, 2016

Ancient and Medieval Sciences

The group will read three articles on ancient pharmacology:

“Mithradates’ Antidote: A Pharmcological Ghost” by Laurence M. V. Totelin, Early Science and Medicine, Vol. 9, No. 1 (2004), pp. 1-19

“Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Court of Cleopatra VII: Traces of Three Physicians” by John Scarborough, in Arsdall, Anne Van, and Graham, Timothy, eds. Medicine in the Medieval Mediterranean : Herbs and Healers from the Ancient Mediterranean through the Medieval West : Essays in Honor of John M. Riddle, Routledge, 2012.

“A recipe for a headache: Translating and interpreting ancient Greek and Roman remedies” by Laurence M.V. Totelin, in Imhausen, Annette, and Pommerening, Tanja, eds. Beiträge zur Altertumskunde : Writings of Early Scholars in the Ancient Near East, Egypt, Rome, and Greece : Translating Ancient Scientific Texts, De Gruyter, 2011.

October 14, 2016

Science Beyond the West

The group will discuss three articles:
"Intimidation, Coercion and Resistance in the Final Stages of the South Asian Smallpox Eradication Campaign, 1973-1975"
by Paul Greenough
Soc. Sci. Med. Vol.41, No. 5, pp. 633-645,1995

"Chimeric globalism: Global health in the shadow of the dengue vaccine"
by Alex M. Nading
American Ethnologist, Vol. 42, No. 2, pp. 356­-370, 2015

"`He is now like a brother, I can even give him some blood' -- Relational ethics and material exchanges in a malaria vaccine `trial community' in The Gambia"
by P. Wenzel Geissler, Ann Kelly, Babatunde Imoukhuede and Robert Pool
Social Science & Medicine 67 (2008) 696-707

October 18, 2016


Lisa Rand, Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Title, TBD

October 19, 2016

Human Sciences

Besides organizing the upcoming schedule, the group will discuss the introduction to the forthcoming edited volume The Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health by Greg Eghigian (Penn State University).

October 20, 2016

Physical Sciences

John Krige of George Tech will be discussing a chapter from his book Sharing Knowledge, Shaping Europe (MIT 2016)

October 21, 2016

Early Modern Science

Note Special Day

Participant in Consortium Working Groups are invited to attend remotely a symposium held at the University of Minnesota.  The symposium will produce a special issue of the Journal of Early Modern History on the topic “Beyond the ’Scientific Revolution:’ Thinking Globally about the History of Modern Science.” The presenters are:
Jorge Canizares Esguerra, UT Austin
Hal Cook, Brown
Harun Küçük, UPenn
Carla Nappi, UBC
Ahmed Ragab, Harvard
Kapil Raj, EHESS Paris
Daniela Bleichmar, USC
JB Shank, UMN

October 28, 2016

Medicine and Health

Note Special Day Topic TBA