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


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March 3, 2015

Nadia Berenstein, University of Pennsylvania

Capturing Nature’s Flavors: Flavor Chemistry in the United States, 1913-1954

Chemical Heritage Foundation, Brown Bag Lecture Series

March 4, 2015

Elizabeth Siegel Watkins, University of California, San Francisco

Stress and the American Vernacular: Popular Perceptions of Disease Causality

History of Science Colloquium, Princeton University

March 6, 2015

Michael Gordin, Princeton University

Lysenko Unemployed: Soviet Genetics after the Aftermath

Davis Center Seminar, Princeton University

March 10, 2015

Charlotte Abney, Yale University

Finding Yttrium: Johan Gadolin and the Development of a ‘Discovery’

Chemical Heritage Foundation, Brown Bag Lecture Series

March 17, 2015

Mathias Grote, Humboldt University, Berlin

From ‘Total Synthesis’ to ‘Synthetic Biology’? Making Biomolecules with Reagents, Enzymes, and Machines, 1960s-1980s

Chemical Heritage Foundation, Brown Bag Lecture Series

March 18, 2015

Kelly O'Donnell, Yale University

The Women’s Health Lobby: Feminist Health Activism in Washington, D.C., 1974-1977

Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, Seminar Series

March 23, 2015

Lissa Roberts, University of Twente

The History of Productivity in Eurasia: A Non-Economic Manifesto

University of Pennsylvania, History and Sociology of Science, Speaker Series

March 24, 2015

Geert Somsen, Maastricht University / Columbia University

Chemical Internationalism: Wilhelm Ostwald, Die Brücke, and the Energy Streams of Empire

Chemical Heritage Foundation, Brown Bag Lecture Series

March 25, 2015

Rachel Rothschild, Yale University

Across Disciplines and Borders: The Big Science of Acid Rain and Environmental Diplomacy

Columbia University Seminar (History and Philosophy of Science)

March 30, 2015

Asif Siddiqi, Fordham University

Expertise and Terror in the Stalinist Gulag

University of Pennsylvania, History and Sociology of Science, Speaker Series

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Electrical Machine used by Benjamin Franklin for experiments, ca. 1742-1747.
Collection of the Library Company of Philadelphia

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Working Groups

February 20, 2015

Medicine and Health

Our next seminar will feature a discussion between two authors who have recently written books about pain: Keith Wailoo, the author of Pain: A Political History, and Joanna Bourke, the author of The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers. Keith will comment on Joanna’s book, Joanna on Keith’s, and then we will open the floor for questions from the seminar participants.

February 24, 2015


Note special date. Teasel Muir-Harmoney of the American Institute of Physics will introduce her paper, “A Global History of the First Lunar Landing.”

February 25, 2015

History and Philosophy of Science

Note special date. Louise Daoust of UPenn will introduce Chapter 5 of Daston and Galison's Objectivity.

March 3, 2015

History and Theory

The group will discuss selections of You Must Change Your Life by Peter Sloterdijk: pp. 83-105 (Religions Do Not Exist); 109-130 (mostly Nietzsche and the Vertical); 131-159 (Wittgenstein and Foucault); and optionally 177-242 (other stuff, monasticism included).  Additional readings include a piece by William James on practice/verticality/energy/ethics, ”The Energies of Men,” and a review of an interesting recent book connecting James’ energetics to Foucault’s ascetics.

March 4, 2015

Physical Sciences

Peter Ramberg of Truman State University will introduce his paper, “Popularizing Astronomy in the German Free Religious Movement, 1850-1852.”

March 6, 2015

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Mary Mitchell of the University of Pennsylvania will introduce her paper, “Falling Out: Challenging Atmospheric Nuclear Testing in the Domestic Courts”

March 10, 2015

Life Sciences and Natural History

The group will discuss selections from Daniela Bleichmar’s Visible Empire: Botanical Expeditions and Visual Culture in the Hispanic Enlightenment, U of Chicago Press, 2012.

March 12, 2015

Early Sciences

Sue Wells, Temple University TBA

March 13, 2015

Science Beyond the West


March 18, 2015

Human Sciences

Audra Wolfe, Independent Scholar, will introduce an excerpt of Thomas Medvetz, Think Tanks in America (University of Chicago Press, 2012).