Working Groups

The Consortium invites area scholars to join several topical working groups for challenging and collegial discussion of interesting publications in their fields and of each others’ works-in-progress. Please contact the conveners if you would like to participate in one or more of the groups.

Each of the groups meets one evening or afternoon each month at the Consortium offices in Philadelphia. Scholars located anywhere can also participate online. The regular meeting days are as follows, but be sure to check each group's individual schedule for changes.

Please be patient if the connection is slow when entering a group webpage.

1stHistory & TheoryEarth & Environmental SciencesBiological Sciences
2ndHistory & Philosophy of ScienceEarly ScienceScience Beyond the West
3rdTechnologyPhysical Sciences
(Spring 2016)
Physical Sciences
(Fall 2015)
Medicine and Health

Upcoming Meetings

Earth and Environmental Sciences

September 30, 2015

Note Special Day

Larry Kessler from Temple Univ. will share his paper, “‘Overcoming Nature by Nature’: Biological Pest Control and the Campaign for Hawaiian Annexation.”

History and Theory

October 6, 2015

The group will discuss Dipesh Chakrabarty, “The Climate of History: Four Theses,” Critical Inquiry 35, no. 2 (2009): 197–222, and Reinhard Koselleck, “Chapter 6: Time and History,” from The Practice of Conceptual History: Timing History, Spacing Concepts (Stanford University Press, 2002).

Early Sciences

October 7, 2015

Note Special Day and Time, 3:30-5:00 Eastern For our first meeting of the Early Sciences Working Group, we will be joining the “Science Beyond the West” group for a special event: Dimitri Gutas and H. Floris Cohen will discuss Cohen’s recent book, How Modern Science Came Into the World: Four Civilizations, One 17th-Century Breakthrough (Amsterdam University Press, 2011).  Online participants for this session should join from the webpage for the working group on science beyond the West.

Science Beyond the West

October 7, 2015

Note Special Day. The session will still take place from 3:30-5:00pm Eastern Time
The group welcomes Dimitri Gutas of Yale University and Floris Cohen of Utrecht University as guest participants. Gutas will comment on Cohen's How Modern Science Came Into the World: Four Civilizations, One 17th-Century Breakthrough (Amsterdam University Press, 2011). Cohen will reply, and then the group will discuss.

History and Philosophy of Science

October 14, 2015

This semester, the group will read Theodore Arabatzis's book Representing Electrons: A Biographical Approach to Theoretical Entities (Chicago, 2005). Please obtain your own copy and read the first three chapters for this meeting.

Physical Sciences

October 15, 2015

Lillian Hoddeson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will introduce her book chapter on “Stanford Ovshinsky and the Invention of the Nicke-Metal-Hydride Battery”


October 20, 2015

Michelle Murphy of the University of Toronto will introduce her paper, “The Economization of Life.”

Medicine and Health

October 30, 2015

Note Special Day TBA

Biological Sciences

November 5, 2015

Robin Scheffler at MIT will lead a discussion of chapters 1, 4 and 6 of Doogab Yi’s exciting new book The Recombinant University: Genetic Engineering and the Emergence of Stanford Biotechnology (University of Chicago Press, 2015).

Human Sciences

February 3, 2016


Vannevar Bush (1890-1974) led American science policy during and after WWII
Courtesy of the American Philosophical Society