Early Modern Science
The Early Modern Science Working Group meets monthly to discuss a colleague’s work in progress or to discuss readings that are of particular interest to participants. Meetings are usually held at the Consortium offices in Philadelphia from 3:30 to 5:00 on first Fridays. Scholars located anywhere can also participate online.
If you would like to join this working group please contact or .
Peter Dear is Professor of the History of Science at Cornell University. His research focus is on the history of European science in the seventeenth century. He teaches more broadly in the history of science, however, and in the fairly new field of science and technology studies. Read more about his research here.
Robert Westman is Professor of History at U.C. San Diego. His research focus is on the history of fifteenth-century astronomy and the cultural and political context of Copernicus and his work. Read more about his research here.
December 2, 2016
- NOTE SPECIAL TIME: 5:00-6:30 PM EST
- Bob Westman of UCSD and André Goddu of Stonehill College will discuss with group participants their recent work on Copernicus.
Robert S. Westman, Copernicus and the Astrologers, Dibner Library Lecture, December 12, 2013, Smithsonian Libraries. (Available here.)
André Goddu, “Ludwik Antoni Birkenmajer and Curtis Wilson on the Origin of Nicholas Copernicus’s Heliocentrism,” Isis, v 107, no 2, June 2016, pp. 225-253. (DOI: 10.1086/687031)
- October 21, 2016
- Participants in Consortium Working Groups attended 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 were:
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
Program and details
- April 14, 2016
- The group discussed Peter Dear’s “Afterword” for the Palgrave Handbook of Literature and Science and Mary Baine Campbell’s chapter on “Literature” from The Cambridge History of Science: Volume 3, Early Modern Science (2006), edited by Katharine Park and Lorraine Daston.
- March 10, 2016
- We read the first two chapters from David Wootton’s recent book, The Invention of Science, L. Daston’s review (from the Guardian), and A. Wulff’s review (from the Financial Times).
- November 12, 2015
- The group discussed Kleber Cecon’s “Chemical Translation: The Case of Robert Boyle’s Experiments on Sensible Qualities,” Annals of Science, Vol. 68, No. 2, April 2011, pp. 179-198, as well as Pamela Smith’s “In the Workshop of History: Making, Writing, and Meaning,” West 86th, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Spring-Summer 2012), pp 4-31.
- October 7, 2015
- The group joined the “Science Beyond the West” group for a special event: Dimitri Gutas and H. Floris Cohen discussed Cohen’s recent book, How Modern Science Came Into the World: Four Civilizations, One 17th-Century Breakthrough (Amsterdam University Press, 2011).
- April 9, 2015
- Planning meeting for 2015-2016
- March 12, 2015
- Sue Wells of Temple University introduced her draft chapter, “‘The Anatomy of Melancholy’ and Early Modern Medicine.”
- February 12, 2015
- Nahyan Fancy of Depauw University introduced his paper, “Avicenna, Ibn al-Nafis, and New Developments in Physiology in Western Eurasia, 1200-1560”
- December 11, 2014
- Harun Küçük of UPenn introduced his draft paper, “The Compass and the Astrolabe: Religion and Empirical Knowledge in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire.”
- November 13, 2014
- Bruce Moran of the University of Nevada, Reno introduced his draft paper “Preserving the Cutting Edge: Traveling Woodblocks, Material Networks, and Visualizing Plants in Early Modern Europe”
- October 9, 2014
- Elly Truitt introduced chapter six, “The Trouble with Taxa,” from Daryn Lehoux’s What did the Romans Know? An Inquiry into Science and Worldmaking.
- April 10, 2014
- Alisha Rankin of Tufts introduced her draft paper, “To Cure a Thief: Testing Poison Antidotes in Early Modern Europe.”
- March 13, 2014
- Darin Hayton of Haverford College introduced his paper “Byzantium: the Other East.”
- December, 12 2013
- Joel Klein of Indiana University introduced his “Daniel Sennert and the Quest for a (Nearly) Universal Medicine”.
- November, 14 2013
- Nicholas Harris of UPenn introduced a chapter from his dissertation Better Religion through Chemistry: ‘Izz al-Din Aydemir al-Jildaki and Alchemy under the Mamluks. This chapter examines the alchemist al-Jildaki’s legacy, and, more broadly, discusses the implications of the omission of early modern Arabic alchemy
from the history of alchemy.
- October 10, 2013
- Darin Hayton of Haverford College introduced the “Introduction” to his book Astrology and Politics in the Holy Roman Empire
- May 2, 2013
- Joel Klein of Indiana University introduced selections from "Communities of Learned Experience: Epistolary Medicine in the Renaissance" by Nancy G. Siraisi
- April 19, 2013
- Stephen Greenblatt’s "The Swerve"
- March 6, 2013
- Selections from Ann Blair’s "Too Much to Know"
- February 6, 2013
- Elly Truitt introduced her draft chapter "From Texts to Technology: Mechanical Automata in Courtly and Liturgical Pageantry".
- November 14, 2012 at 6:30 (note special day and time)
- Nicolas Wey-Gomez of CalTech introduced selections from his "The Tropics of Empire. Why Columbus Sailed South to the Indies". Transformations: Studies in the History of Science and Technology. Ed. Jed. Z. Buchwald. Cambridge, Mass. and London: The MIT Press, 2008.
- October 3, 2012
- Jonathan Seitz introduced a discussion of digital editions, their advantages and disadvantages and the possibilities they offer for new uses. The group also planned the rest of the year’s meetings.
- May 2, 2012
- Susan Wells of Temple introduced "Oratory and Rhetoric in Renaissance Medicine" by Nancy Siraisi and "Rhetorical and Medicine in Descartes’ Passions de l'âme: The Issue of Intervention" by Nancy Struever.
- April 4, 2012
- Jonathan Seitz of Drexel introduced selections from "The Professor of Secrets: Mystery, Medicine, and Alchemy in Renaissance Italy" by William Eamon
- March 7, 2012
- "Politics and Astrology in Renaissance Hungary" by Darin Hayton, Haverford College
- February 1, 2012
- "’A very imperfect trial’: Notes on Martin Lister’s Book of Shells" by Jessica Rosenberg, UPenn
- November 9, 2011
- Elly Truitt introduced "The Empire of Observation, 1600-1800" by Lorraine Daston, and "Frogs on the Mantelpiece: the Practice of Observation in Daily Life" by Mary Terrall.
- October 5, 2011
- Elly Truitt introduced "Networks of Travel, Correspondence, and Exchange" by Steven J. Harris and selections from "Matters of Exchange" by Harold J. Cook
- May 4, 2011
- Elizabeth Coates Paschall’s Scientific Revolution: Enlightened Experts and Healing Authority in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia
by Susan Brandt, Temple University
- April 6, 2011
- Accountancy and Systole by Michael Neuss, Columbia University