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 SciencesMedicine and Health

Upcoming Meetings

Earth and Environmental Sciences

January 27, 2016

Note special day. Nick Shapiro, research fellow at CHF will join the group for a discussion of his recent work published in Cultural Anthropology, “Attuning to the Chemosphere: Domestic Formaldehyde, Bodily Reasoning, and the Chemical Sublime.” The article is available for download at

History and Theory

February 2, 2016

The group will discuss Greg Dening, “Performing on the Beaches of the Mind: An Essay,” History and Theory 41, no. 1 (2002): 1-24, and Berber Bevernage, “Tales of pastness and contemporaneity: on politics of time in history and anthropology,” MS. (NOTE: The Bevernage essay is currently under review for publication; please do not circulate or discuss the paper outside of the group session.)

Biological Sciences

February 4, 2016

For its first session of 2016, the group will discuss Luis A. Campos, Radium and the Secret of Life (University of Chicago Press, 2015), Chapters 2 and 4, and Luis Campos will join to help guide the discussion.

History and Philosophy of Science

February 10, 2016

The group will read Nancy Nersessian's Creating Scientific Concepts (MIT Press, 2010), chapters 1 & 2. Group members are asked to obtain their own copies of the text.

Early Sciences

February 11, 2016


Science Beyond the West

February 12, 2016

Fa-ti Fan from Binghamton University will introduce a chapter, "The People’s War against Earthquakes: Cultures of Mass Science in Mao’s China'" from his forthcoming book on earthquakes in China and Debjani Bhattacharya of Drexel will provide comments to start the discussion.


February 16, 2016

Layne Karafantis of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum will introduce a dissertation chapter, “The Blue Cube: Cold War Espionage Hidden in Plain Sight.”

Physical Sciences

February 17, 2016

Kristie Macrakis of Georgia Tech and ​the Woodrow ​Wilson Center will introduce her paper, “How We Really Found Missiles on Cuba: A Story about Myths, Technology and Secret Agents.”

Medicine and Health

February 19, 2016

Wendy Kline (Purdue University) will present a chapter from her book-in-progress, Coming Home: Medicine, Midwives, and the Transformation of Birth in Late-Twentieth-Century America.

Human Sciences

October 5, 2016


Abraham Schnapf, Manager of Program Management at RCA's Astro - Electronics Division, Princeton, New Jersey is shown with the first TIROS weather satellite. Image courtesy of the American Institute of Physics.