Each year, the History of Science Society honors the best scholarship in the history of science. This year was no different, and we are pleased to share our prize winners and their contributions below.
HSS/NASA Fellowship in Aerospace History
Ingrid Ockert (Science History Institute)
The winner of the 2018 HSS/NASA Fellowship is Dr. Ingrid Ockert, currently a Haas Postdoctoral Fellow at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ockert was awarded this fellowship for her proposed book project, The Scientific Storytellers: How Scientists, Journalists, and Actors Brought Science onto American Television, 1948-1980.
Building on research conducted for her dissertation, Ockert’s project investigates the collaborations between scientists and writers that have influenced the images of space science and the subsequent development of scientific research. “While much attention has been paid to the popularization of science and space exploration in print sources,” Ockert writes, “the genre of educational television has received scant attention.” Her project aims to change that, since millions of Americans learned about space through televised lectures from popular scientists like Carl Sagan and Wernher von Braun, who “helped to shape the popular rhetoric of space and planetary science in the 20th century.”
To understand these relationships, Ockert’s project analyzes the content of fan messages, which allows her to gain a sense of how audiences were actually internalizing the scientific messages presented on screen. She also uncovers the forgotten voices of television production: “the production assistants and writers who, because of their gender and ethnic background, have been forgotten in these histories of science.” Ockert remarks that these men and women used their own positions to advocate for a more inclusive vision of science and that her project honors them by putting their achievements in the spotlight.
Nathan Reingold Prize for best essay by a graduate student
Ohad Reiss Sorokin (Princeton University)
This year the Reingold Prize Committee received a record number of nominations, with abundant evidence of the many diverse strengths among the rising cohort of historians of science. From the moment it began comparing notes, however, the committee soon singled out the essay of Ohad Reiss Sorokin, “The Early Biography of ‘Intelligence’ as a Scientific Object: Alfred Binet’s Experiments on his Daughters.” In a masterful synthesis of the experimental practices, concepts, and research objects the French psychologist employed to create an ontological framework for intelligence,” Sorokin has crafted an essay that combines meticulous source work and superb argumentation with a flair for writing that will draw in non-specialists. By carefully delineating two distinct stages in Binet’s concept of intelligence, Sorokin reinvigorates our understanding of the canonical aspect of his research, yet he goes beyond this to demonstrate the subtler consistencies that ultimately linked them, but have been lost to view in the interim. Though biographical in focus, Sorokin’s essay traces important connections with British and German experimental psychology, not least in the explication of Binet’s use of time-measurement devices. Binet’s eclecticism thereby becomes, not the thing that made him singular, but in Sorokin’s deft handling, the locus for a compelling new method borrowing from multiple disciplinary sources.
Daniel Margócsy, Simon Werrett, Karl Hall (Chair)
Philip J. Pauly Prize for the best first book on the history of science in the Americas
Jeremy Vetter (University of Arizona)
In Field Life: Science in the American West during the Railroad Era (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016), Jeremy Vetter has produced an exciting, deeply researched analysis of field science in the North American West of the railroad era (roughly the half century between the Civil War and World War I), and a model for advancing scholarship of the environmental history of science. The book charts an ambitious course, drawing upon many archival collections while engaging with the historiography and broader literature of science and technology studies, geography, and environmental studies. Combining broad strokes and detailed case studies, Vetter considers four different modes of scientific practice during this era: lay networks, geological surveys, fossil quarries, and field stations, all of which were rooted in place. Complementing his analysis of place is his consideration of the laborers of science. Vetter’s book reminds us to consider the many different contributors to the scientific endeavor in the field, including the resident lay observers of nature and the numerous support staff necessary for surveys, fossil quarries, and field stations to function as centers of productive scientific work.
Vetter demonstrates a mastery of the extensive scholarship encompassing the history of science in the West while adding his own insights regarding the importance of place-based knowledge production and divisions of scientific labor in the field. We are very pleased to recognize his impressive achievement with the inaugural Philip Pauly Prize for the best first book on the history of American science.
Jacob Darwin Hamblin, Christine Keiner, and Marc Rothenberg (Chair)
Ronald Rainger Prize for the best early career work on the history of the earth and environmental studies
Owen James Hyman (Utah State University Eastern)
The inaugural Rainger Prize for early-career work in the history of the earth and environmental sciences is awarded to Owen Hyman for his essay “Anxieties of the Plastic Age: Cotton Culture, White Supremacy, and Tenant Forestry in the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta, 1935-1953.” Dr. Hyman recently completed his Ph.D. in the department of history at Mississippi State University. His prize-winning paper illuminates a range of factors that led cotton planters in the Delta region of Mississippi to adopt a new focus on exploiting their lands’ hardwood forests in the first half of the twentieth century. Planters shifted their attention to timber resources (and sponsored forestry research) at a moment when their cotton production seemed threatened by competition from other cotton-growing regions, the rise of synthetic textiles, and the local labor shortage caused by out-migration and the war economy. However, Hyman argues convincingly that their specific approach to developing a Delta timber economy—namely by adoption of small-scale “low tech” forestry carried out by black tenant farmers—was driven by a desire to maintain the longstanding social order in the Delta, the site of a notoriously oppressive agrarian regime of slave-labor and sharecropping. Hyman’s close archival research, and his contextualizing of the region’s Delta Experimental Forest in economic, social, and environmental history, make this essay a worthy winner of the first Rainger Prize.
Mott Greene, Alexandra Hui, Alistair Sponsel (Chair)
Suzanne J. Levinson Prize highlighting a book in the history of life sciences and natural history
Evelleen Richards (University of Sydney)
In Darwin and the Making of Sexual Selection (University of Chicago Press, 2017) Evelleen Richards offers fresh and thought-provoking perspective on a topic of long-standing interest to historians of biology. This dazzling book transforms our understanding of the genesis of Charles Darwin’s theory, and far more generally of the debate over sex and race, evolution and reproduction.
According to the theory of sexual selection, either male combat or female choice drives the evolution of striking sexual dimorphisms, including in those ornamental structures and behaviors that otherwise seem nonadaptive at best. This was Darwin’s “secondary” principle, but Richards makes a strong case that sexual selection came first and then gained prominence as he backtracked on the scope of natural selection. Yet, as she shows, sexual selection was always controversial and often unsuccessful; it continually threatened to collapse under the weight of its contradictions. Richards brilliantly explores the mental acrobatics through which Darwin tried to justify female choice in other animals, but preserve male agency in humans. She insists, moreover, that the theory, marked by Darwin’s encounter with “savages” in Tierra del Fuego, was also and in some ways primarily about race. Reconstructing his attempt to produce a naturalistic account of beauty, she places aesthetic theory and visual discrimination center-stage, not least in a gripping analysis of his triple analogy among female birds, male pigeon-breeders, and women fashionably decked out in feathers.
The book is thus rich and sophisticated, synthetic and revisionist. Richards benefits from previous scholarship on Darwin, but has herself delved deep into the notebooks, the printed record, and a wide range of secondary literatures to offer a wealth of discoveries and reinterpretations. Time and again, she guides readers through a passage we may think we know—and demonstrates the transformative power of new evidence and a different approach. Many of the canonical episodes in Darwin studies will never look quite the same again.
Richards’s magnum opus demonstrates the fresh insights that sustained and meticulous historical analysis can bring even to familiar subjects. The intellectual equal of the best historical writing on Darwin, it is also so readable it can serve as an advanced introduction to a host of important issues in the history of the life sciences and natural history. Sure to be enjoyed and discussed by historians of science and laypeople alike, Darwin and the Making of Sexual Selection is a milestone in the study of nineteenth-century science.
Nick Hopwood, Robin Scheffler, Elena Aronova (Chair)
Derek Price/Rod Webster Prize for the best article in Isis
Greg Eghigian (Pennsylvania State University)
In his riveting and methodically argued article, “A Drifting Concept for an Unruly Menace: A History of Psychopathy in Germany,” Isis 106, no. 2 (2015): 283-309, Eghigian navigates the reader through the emergence of multiple definitions and applications of the category of psychopathy. He traces its genealogy back to 1890s Germany, where physician and asylum administrator Julius Koch used the term “psychopathic inferiority” to refer to a range of allegedly abnormal symptoms that, in his view, denoted a chronic lack of moral principles. The ambiguity and flexibility of this nosological category, as Eghigian shows, was key to its long-lasting success. The diagnosis of psychopathy proved indeed to be adaptable to an array of institutional settings such as courts, prisons, schools, and welfare programs. As it traveled, the definition of psychopathy continued to change, and it came to include within its scope alleged symptoms such as laziness and homosexuality. Increasingly, individuals showing psychopathic tendencies were cast as “psychopaths,” social deviants requiring a variety of forms of confinement or rehabilitative treatments. Throughout the essay, Eghigian uses an impressive number of sources to emphasize the decisive influence of changing social, political, and cultural circumstances in reshaping how and to whom the category of psychopathy was applied. He thus provides a clear and compelling historical account for both this category’s ubiquity and its continuing indeterminacy.
Luciano Boschiero, Anya Zilberstein, Massimo Mazzotti (Chair)
Joseph H. Hazen Education Prize for excellence in education
The Embryo Project, Steve Elliott and Erica Leigh O’Neill (Arizona State University)
The Joseph H. Hazen Prize Committee of the History of Science Society is proud to award the 2018 Prize to the Embryo Project at Arizona State University. A team effort led primarily by graduate students, the Embryo Project was founded in 2007 and has since become a model for communicating science to the wider public as well as training more than 200 skilled and insightful scholars of the history of developmental and reproductive biology. Its open-access digital Encyclopedia is widely cited by scholars in diverse fields, contains hundreds of original articles, and receives well over a million pageviews each year. The committee believes that the Embryo Project is a superb example of the power and reach of public engagement with the history of science, one that is also training a new generation of engaged and creative educators. The Project and its many members truly embody the ideals celebrated by the Hazen Prize for excellence in education in the history of science.
Richard Duschl, JB Shank, Mark Waddell (Chair)
Margaret W. Rossiter History of Women in Science Prize for best article on the role of women in science
Kara Swanson (Northeastern University)
The Margaret W. Rossiter History of Women in Science Prize is awarded in recognition of an outstanding book (or, in even-numbered years, article) on the history of women in science The book or article may take a biographical, institutional, theoretical, or other approach to the topic, which may include discussions of women’s activities in science, analyses of past scientific practices that deal explicitly with gender, and investigations regarding women as viewed by scientists. The 2018 Rossiter Prize is awarded to Kara W. Swanson (Northeastern University School of Law) for her article “Rubbing Elbows and Blowing Smoke: Gender, Class, and Science in the Nineteenth-Century Patent Office,” published in Isis, 2017, 108: 40-60.
Kara Swanson’s outstanding article opens up a moment in the history of women in mid-19th century American science when women were employed in the US Patent Office as clerks, working and receiving equal pay alongside “scientific men” who were fighting for professional identity. Ambitious, theoretically sound, and fluently written, her article expands our understanding of the place women occupied in 19th-century science, including within the federal bureaucracy. Swanson deftly gets at the question of how scientific spaces were made hostile to women, and calls upon analytic tools of gender, class, space, and embodiment to disentangle complexities. In particular, her attention to the “social skin” of the workplace highlights practices of deportment and honor in mid-19th century American culture that shaped who fit in and who was edged out.
Kathryn Davis, Theresa Levitt, Ann (Rusty) Shteir (Chair)
Watson Davis and Helen Miles Davis Prize for best book for a general audience
Jim Endersby (University of Sussex)
The Watson Davis and Helen Miles Davis Prize Committee is delighted to announce that the 2018 award for a history of science book that effectively appeals to general readers goes to Jim Endersby, for Orchid: A Cultural History (University of Chicago Press, 2016). In this delightful, engaging, and insightful study, Endersby documents the enduring cultural and scientific allure of the orchid, from the time of the ancient Greeks to the recent past. With eloquent, imaginative, and witty prose, Orchid traces the cultural meanings associated with this often fragrant and beautiful plant, especially the themes of sex and death that weave through literature, scientific writing, and cinema. Reminding readers that there is “no stable boundary between the natural and the cultural,” Endersby deftly reconstructs scientific investigations of the often mysterious biology of the orchid family. Industrialization and empire fueled the orchidmania that gripped Great Britain in the nineteenth century, threatening the survival of exotic species that came flooding into the nation from its far-flung colonies. At the same time, the popularity of orchid collecting provided Darwin with the specimens he needed to demonstrate a close link between insects and plants, convincing evidence for his theory of evolution. In the final chapters, the orchid increasingly takes center stage, leading to a conclusion that offers an “orchid’s-eye view” of its history: with humans enlisted as pollinators, the family has successfully colonized a wide variety of new ecological niches, including grocery stores, florists, offices, and homes. Orchid delivers on its promise to offer a history of science that is simultaneously authoritative, accessible, and as enthralling as its subject matter.
Patrick McCray, Mary Terrall, Mark Barrow (Chair)
Pfizer Award for best scholarly book
Anita Guerrini (Oregon State University)
This year the Pfizer Committee (consisting of Elaine Leong, Dagmar Schäfer, and Crosbie Smith (Chair)) began by agreeing on a long shortlist of 21 titles from around 80 nominated works. It soon became clear to Committee members that the standard of scholarship was as high as ever, with some particularly impressive and weighty tomes for consideration. Thus the task over the summer months of narrowing the selection down to a final shortlist was set to be a challenging one. In reaching our decision we continually kept in mind that the prize is awarded in recognition of an outstanding book dealing with the history of science published in English during one of the three calendar years immediately preceding the year of the competition (in the present case 2015, 2016 and 2017).
The Committee’s final and unanimous choice is Anita Guerrini’s The Courtiers’ Anatomists: Animals and Humans in Louis XIV’s Paris, published by The University of Chicago Press in 2015.
The Courtiers’ Anatomists opens with the deceptively simple declaration that “This book is about bodies, human and animal, dead and living: particular bodies in a particular place and time.” Committee members were immediately struck by two complementary strands running throughout the chapters: the masterly construction of interconnecting local contexts in 17th-century Paris and the rigorous exploration of the changing practices of dissection and natural history within those contexts. In Guerrini’s story, animals are pushed to the center of the stage, thus locating it within current debates about humans and non-human bodies. Taking a long view perspective from Herophilus to contemporary Animal Rights, Guerrini deftly demonstrates the importance of historical studies in our understanding of current controversies, in this case debates on the values of science and society.
Dissecting decomposing animals at court informed French courtiers. This book offers us the proof. Guerrini reminds us that throughout the 17th century anatomists continued to disagree about how to bring together into a fresh synthesis the new structures and the non-Galenic physiological processes that dissection had revealed. At the same time, the animal informed a growing understanding of human animals, despite religious distinctions linked to questions of the human soul.
Crucial to the author’s contextual methodology, the book opens with a nuanced geography of Paris anatomy in the 17th century. Thus “the juxtaposition of physicians, surgeons, dead bodies, and living and dead animals was an everyday occurrence in Paris, and courtiers were not isolated from this. … Seventeenth-century people were not unfamiliar with blood and death.” Moreover, the book’s grounding in and around the streets of Paris ensures that historical actors, familiar and unfamiliar, take on the persona of living, social beings. Thus although we encounter individuals integral to traditional accounts of the “scientific revolution” (Harvey, Descartes and Huygens for example), these figures appear not as abstractions but as humans subject to all the contingencies of the city with its everyday sights, sounds and smells of life and death.
In addition to her brilliant engagements with primary documents, Guerrini makes critical use of the massive scholarly literature on 17th-century natural philosophy, natural history and medicine to mold a subtle and compelling narrative of the role of dissection in the shaping of experimental knowledge in the period. Among numerous historical insights, she challenges conventional assumptions that the primary hall-mark of 17th-century scientific activity was doing rather than reading. Books, she argues, “retained central roles not only in recording and modeling knowledge but also in producing it; reading could constitute doing,” in particular when it came to such bloody and dirty businesses like vivi- and dissection. As vividly shown in later chapters, publication of illustrated texts on natural history and anatomy “made concrete the discoveries of the age and allowed for their replication and expansion. … Books and later journals situated anatomy within the broader cultural framework of the Republic of Letters.”
Central to Guerrini’s book are themes of display and spectacle, most strikingly manifested in the context of a royal universe. Menageries, the French Academy and animal symbolism all fed into glorification of the king. Derived from the Academy’s researches, the lavish Memoires pour server a l’histoire naturelle des animaux in particular “provided evidence of Louis XIV’s gloire in several ways: as a work of [fine]art, a display of his power, an imaginarium of his menageries, and a contribution to the new science.”
Guerrini awards the French court a much deserved significance in epistemic debates, thus rescuing it from its reduction to the epitome of enlightened European debauchery. By choosing an episodic approach (rather than chronologies), Guerrini also situates this court and France into important scientific and intellectual genealogies shedding light on the crucial links between comparative anatomy and natural history/philosophy of this time.
The Courtiers’ Anatomists is a marvelously accessible, yet magisterial work, that offers an historical model, rich in insights, not only to 17th-century scholars of the history of the sciences but also to historians of other periods and places. The Committee felt it should be required reading for everyone interested in the cultural history of 17th-century France, the history of natural history, the emergence of the experimental sciences, the reception (and rejection) of Cartesian mechanics, the roles of mechanical philosophies in the life sciences, and the rethinking of historical perspectives on “scientific revolution.”
Dagmar Schäfer, Elaine Leong, Crosbie Smith (Chair)
Sarton Medal for lifetime scholarly achievement
Sally Gregory Kohlstedt (University of Minnesota)
The Sarton Medal honors a lifetime of scholarly achievement, and through decades of scholarship, leadership, mentoring, service, and teaching, Prof. Kohlstedt has in fact generated and supported many lifetimes of scholarly activity. Her thoughtful and creative scholarly contributions in the many books and articles she has written, co-written, and edited; her leadership in disciplinary organizations; and her support of our colleagues and students make Prof. Kohlstedt richly deserving of this honor.
Prof. Kohlstedt’s scholarship revealed unexplored and forgotten aspects of the past that have shaped science in ways we are only now beginning to understand. In doing so, her work has helped create and advance three different research fields in the history of science: the history of American science, the history of natural history museums, and the history of science education. In each, she has made significant and lasting contributions by opening new fields of study into which others have followed. Through her original and exhaustively researched syntheses, she draws intellectually and socially diverse audiences to our field. A central theme in all of her scholarly contributions is the inclusion of new and varied voices and perspectives. From the history of American science to the history of biology, through the investigation of gender and science to the study of the role of previously unrecognized figures and influences in the development of science, Prof. Kohlstedt has instigated new lines of inquiry and encouraged her colleagues and students to do the same. She did not merely wander into these fields and make some contributions. She was instrumental in inventing them and fighting for their place in the discipline when they were too frequently seen as unimportant. In doing so, she helped reinvent and expand the discipline of the history of science.
Prof. Kohlstedt’s first major scholarly contribution to the history of science helped create what has become a major subfield in the discipline: the history of American science. Today we take for granted the importance of this subfield and its powerful influence on the discipline generally, but it was founded less than forty years ago. Her first book, The Formation of the American Scientific Community, examined the first twelve years of the American Association for the Advancement of Science by drawing from eighty-two different manuscript collections. It exposed the tensions evident then – as today – in American science between the need to popularize science to generate public support on the one hand, and on the other the pressure to advance basic research so as to distinguish American researchers on the international stage. In his review in Isis, David Hollinger called the book a “prodigiously detailed and documented study . . . of the political behaviors and attitudes of the subjects.” Robert Bruce reviewed the book in the American Historical Review and concluded, “Her sources are impressively numerous and varied. She draws on sociological, economic, philosophical, and psychological studies for background. She seizes on the possibilities opened by a well-defined and well-recorded community for an elaborate statistical analysis. Above all, she makes explicit the manifold implications of her data. In substance, this study is definitive on a historical subject of first importance.”
Together with Margaret Rossiter, Prof. Kohlstedt co-edited the first volume of the new series for Osiris, titled Historical Writing on American Science. It was readily apparent to reviewers that her scholarly contributions to the history of science would open new and exciting topics for inquiry. In his review for Science, Louis Galambos wrote, “Judging by the several essays in this first volume of the revived Osiris, the history of science in this country is a vibrant, complex field of scholarship that is generating ideas that should interest a very broad range of readers.” Combined with her leadership role in the Forum for the History of American Science and her mentorship of the first full generation of historians of American science, Prof. Kohlstedt is rightly recognized as one of the founders of the field.
A dozen years after she co-edited the Osiris volume on American science, Prof. Kohlstedt returned as co-editor with Helen Longino of an Osiris volume on women, gender, and science, a theme she would return to again and again in her scholarship. The volume grew out of an international conference held at the University of Minnesota that drew a broad range of science studies and gender scholars to campus and helped frame a new generation’s approach to the study of gender and science. In her review for History of Science, Katharina Rowold praised the volume, writing that its “interdisciplinary approach makes it rich in perspectives and subject matter.” Similarly, Rima Apple explained in Isis that the volume “joyously offers a multiplicity of analytical tools and perspectives and invites us to engage in additional research and continued debate. Books such as this one ensure an exciting and significant future for the feminist humanistic studies of science.” At about the same time, Prof. Kohlstedt co-edited with Evelynn Hammonds and Helen Longino Gender and Scientific Authority, which was a collection of fifteen seminal papers from the journal Signs. Naomi Oreskes’s review of it in Isis concluded that each of these essays “suggests clear routes to a deeper analysis of gender issues in the history of science. This is a volume that every historian should have on her – or his – shelf.” As with Prof. Kohlstedt’s work in helping build a community of scholarship and scholars to study the history of American science, her contributions to the study of science and gender opened new pathways to future scholars for investigation, while her leadership in the HSS Women’s Caucus ensured that other women were recruited and retained in the discipline.
Prof. Kohlstedt has also made deep and meaningful contributions through her influential body of articles and essays in edited volumes on the history of natural history museums. This work, grounded as always in meticulous archival and primary source research, documents new forms of institutional and intellectual work in biology that was done at museums, while also connecting this work to the historiography of museum studies and animal display practices. Her work on college natural history museums, published from the 1980s through the mid-1990s, established
the importance of specimen collecting and the international circulation of materials and people to the institutional and professional history of nineteenth-century biology. During this same period, Prof. Kohlstedt focused on connections between museum education and museum display in a series of essays linking the history of biology scholarship to the history of science education and popular science. Her review essays in Journal of the History of Biology (1995) and Isis (2006) are master classes in synthesizing this historiography. Years later, award-winning history of biology books – such as Lynn Nyhart’s Modern Nature (2009), Karen Rader and Victoria Cain’s Life on Display (2014), and Erika Milam’s Looking for a Few Good Males (2010) – would pick up and develop various threads from Prof. Kohlstedt’s historiographical tapestry and weave them into their own analyses, a further testimony to her capacity as a scholar to initiate new and productive lines of inquiry that others could help advance.
In her most recent book, Teaching Children Science, Prof. Kohlstedt uses over thirty archival and manuscript sources to show how the nature study movement, supported primarily by women teachers and progressive educators, possessed a coherent scientific rationale and civic purpose that had lasting influence beyond its nineteenth-century origins. Her book re-centers the historiography of informal science education, overturning “casual descriptions in histories of science, education, environmentalism, and public culture … [that] … have labeled nature study as naive in outlook, marginal within the school curriculum, or ineffective in educational practice” (TCS, 228). Reviewers from history of science, science education, and environmental history praised the book. In his review in Science, Mark Barrow called it “a meticulously researched, engagingly presented, and wonderfully perceptive history.” Sevan Terzian’s review in History of Education Quarterly called the book “a masterful piece of scholarship that explains the remarkable success of a powerful educational phenomenon while attending to its diverse purposes and manifestation.” Kim Tolley, now president of the History of Education Society, wrote in Isis, “One of the strengths of the book is its attention to local context and to the ways that particular communities shaped the development of nature study within their schools.” Marsha Richmond in Journal of the History of Biology suggested, “Every so often an historian identifies a topic that others have either completely overlooked or else misinterpreted, and in so doing opens up a rich field of study and window into the past that significantly alters our understanding. This is what Sally Gregory Kohlstedt has done…. Teaching Children Science should be seen not only as an important contribution to understanding the past, but also as a guide to future reconfigurations of nature study.” In 2013, Teaching Children Science won HSS’s Margaret Rossiter prize for the best book on women and/or gender in the history of science, an honor that reveals how skillfully Prof. Kohlstedt herself sustains and weaves the various threads of her scholarship together over her career.
Over five decades, Prof. Kohlstedt has helped launch the careers of generations of science studies scholars, powerfully and positively influencing their work and their lives. She has done this work quietly, as is typical for our colleagues who do much of the hidden, often uncompensated, work in academia. She has done the big lifts and has given consistent attention to the small details that advance our discipline’s scholarship. Throughout it, Prof. Kohlstedt has exuded a spirit of collaboration, a zeal for careful and critical scholarly study, and a deep commitment to making the history of science influential both within and beyond the academy.
Books and articles are the most widely acclaimed products of scholarly activity, but they are by no means the only ones and ultimately they may not even be the most influential. While teaching and service are often considered distractions from research and writing, Prof. Kohlstedt has shown us how to successfully integrate research, teaching, and service into a single coherent and profoundly influential professional practice as historians of science. She has been exceptionally active throughout her life in all of these areas. She has served in nine different offices for the AAAS and over a dozen offices for HSS (including as the President), she has organized or co-organized four major conferences, and has served her university by holding every office in the Program in the History of Science and Technology, two different Associate Dean positions, acting Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education, and dozens of administrative and committee appointments in other units on campus. She has been the advisor or co-advisor for nearly three dozen Ph.D. students, many of whom she has helped shape into leaders in our discipline. In serving on many other doctoral committees, she has offered herself in an unofficial capacity as co-advisor, where her exceptional capacity to mentor students through the most difficult phases of writing would go unrecognized except through those students’ testimonies in the acknowledgments in their theses and dissertations. These contributions have the same impact as has her scholarship: They provided entry for a great many scholars into our discipline as well as mentorship and collaboration to advance as scholars, teachers, and colleagues. Collectively, they represent not just one, but many lifetimes of scholarly contributions to the history of science.
Mark Largent, Karen Rader