September HPS&ST Note Available

The September HPS&ST Note is now on the web at:

This issue includes the following:

  • Introduction
  • Interdivisional Teaching Commission (IDTC), Summer School, Lille, October 2017
  • Interdivisional Teaching Commission (IDTC), Innovative Teaching Sessions Presenters’ Files Available
  • RISE Special Issue: Epistemic Insight – teaching and learning about the nature of science in real world and multidisciplinary arenas
  • Centre for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, Spring Programme
  • Gratis MOOC Course: ‘Humphry Davy: Laughing gas, literature and the lamp
  • Neu Whitrow-Prize of the Commission on Bibliography and Documentation
  • Science Teaching: The Contribution of HPS, Chinese, Turkish & Spanish Translations
  • Opinion Page
  • Recent HPS&ST Research Articles
  • Recent HPS&ST Related Books
  • Coming HPS&ST Related Conferences

This HPS&ST monthly Note is sent to about 7,500 individuals who directly or indirectly have an interest in the connections of history and philosophy of science with theoretical, curricular and pedagogical issues in science teaching, and/or interests in the promotion of more engaging and effective teaching of the history and philosophy of science.  The note is also sent to different HPS lists and to science education lists.  It is an information list, not a discussion list.

The note seeks to serve the diverse international community of HPS&ST scholars and teachers by disseminating information about events and publications that connect to HPS&ST concerns.


Contributions to the note (publications, thematic issues, conferences, Opinion Page, etc.) are welcome and should be sent direct to the editor:  Michael R. Matthews, UNSW, .


HSS Secretary, Luis Campos, Hosts Library of Congress Astrobiology Symposium, “Life As It Could Be”

Luis Campos
Baruch S. Blumberg NASA Chair of Astrobiology, Library of Congress

What is life? How might life have emerged on Earth or on other worlds? And how might we engineer the future of life—what might we make life to be? Astrobiologists and synthetic biologists grapple with these questions every day. To further explore the intersections between these sciences and the humanities, the Library of Congress is bringing together scientists, scholars, artists and journalists for a special symposium on Thursday, September 28.

“Life As It Could Be: Astrobiology, Synthetic Biology, and the Future of Life” will be hosted by Luis Campos, the current Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress chair in astrobiology at the Library’s John W. Kluge Center. The symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in room 119 on the first floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed. The event will also be livestreamed on the Library’s Facebook page and its YouTube site (with captions).

Developed as part of the joint NASA/Library of Congress astrobiology program, the one-day symposium will be structured around four groups of commentators: from the laboratory (scientists), from the library (humanists), from the studio (artists and designers) and from the public square (writers and commentators). Presentations from scientists and humanists will be accompanied by commentary from journalists and cultural critics. In addition, artists and designers will contribute insights from work in media ranging from studio art and experimental practice to film and design.

Scheduled speakers include:

  • Giada Arney, planetary scientist and astrobiologist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Joe Davis, bioartist/scientist, MIT
  • Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, designer, lead author of  “Synthetic Aesthetics: Investigating Synthetic Biology’s Designs on Nature”
  • Andy Gracie, conceptual and experimental artist working at the intersection of art and science
  • Stefan Helmreich, anthropologist of science, MIT
  • Jennifer Joy, science-themed performance artist, writer, comic and director
  • Betul Kacar, assistant professor of astronomy and molecular and cellular biology, University of Arizona
  • Jason Kelly, Founder, Ginkgo Bioworks
  • Benumerata Muhammad, lyricist, writer, poet, beatbox, actor, and teacher
  • Antonio Regalado, senior editor, MIT Technology Review
  • Markus Schmidt, CEO and founder, Biofaction
  • Valerie Thompson, book review editor, Science Magazine
  • Nicola Twilley, contributing writer for the New Yorker, author of the blog Edible Geography and a co-host of the “Gastropod” podcast

For a complete schedule and further information, visit the Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress website.

The symposium is part of the Kluge Center’s ongoing Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress astrobiology program. Funded by NASA, and executed by the Kluge Center in consultation with the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the Kluge Center astrobiology program was created to promote research in the nation’s capital of issues surrounding life’s future in the universe, for humans and other species, on Earth and beyond. The program encourages discussion and reflection on the potential impacts of discovering whether there is life beyond our planet. One senior researcher is appointed annually to be in residence at the Kluge Center, to make use of the Library of Congress collections in exploration of these questions, as well as convene related programs that ensure the subject of astrobiology’s role in culture and society receives considered treatment each year in Washington, D.C.

Campos is concluding his appointment as the fourth Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress chair. A historian of science, Campos is currently associate professor of history at the University of New Mexico. He is the author of “Radium and the Secret of Life” and is co-editor of “Making Mutations: Objects, Practices, Contexts.”

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress brings together the world’s best thinkers to energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources, and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information, visit

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both onsite and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at, and register creative works of authorship at

Press Contact: Deanna McCray-James (202) 707-9322
Public Contact: Travis Hensley (202) 707-8807
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or

David Sarnoff Library Collection Opens to the Public at Hagley Library

Wilmington, Delaware – September 11, 2017 – After three years of processing, preserving, and cataloging, Hagley Library announced today that the contents of the David Sarnoff Library collection, formerly of Princeton N.J., are now fully available to the public, including 700 digital images available through the Hagley Digital Archives. The collection includes thousands of linear feet of documents, reports, photographs, films, and publications detailing the rise and fall of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and of Sarnoff, its longtime leader.

In December 2013, Hagley Library was awarded a $291,500 grant by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) through CLIR’s Hidden Collections and Archives program, made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to process and make accessible the collections of the David Sarnoff Library. Employing two project archivists, Daniel Michelson and Kenneth Cleary, a number of graduate assistants and interns from the University of Delaware, and occupying a number of its library staff, Hagley completed the David Sarnoff Library Processing Project in May 2017. Hagley took an innovative approach to the project, making individual collections available to researchers as work progressed rather than the more typical approach of releasing all material only at the conclusion of the project.

“Hagley is proud of its work to preserve this collection documenting an iconic and innovative American business and the man who led that business for multiple decades,” said Erik Rau, director of library services at Hagley. “The collection includes materials donated by more than one hundred individuals and companies resulting in tens of thousands of individually cataloged reports and publications. We invite the public to explore this incredible collection on our website and at the library.

David Sarnoff ran RCA for nearly 40 years after developing his skills as a teenager in the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America at the dawn of the radio age. When RCA was formed in 1919, Sarnoff steadily raised his visibility as a shrewd negotiator and strategist, leveraging these talents to become president of the company in 1930. Over the next four decades, Sarnoff led RCA, one of the most important American technology companies in the twentieth century, introducing FM radio, color television, and a host of technologies in the communications and computing fields.

In the early 1960s, Sarnoff was inspired by the Roosevelt and Truman Presidential Libraries to open a library in the David Sarnoff Research Center in Princeton, N.J., to house his private papers and focus on his contributions to the communications and electronics industries. The David Sarnoff Collection (as it was then known) opened in late September 1967. The collection developed further with the acquisition of papers of former RCA executives, scientists, and engineers. However, the Sarnoff Corporation closed the library in 2009, following the onset of the Great Recession. Hagley obtained the Sarnoff collection records shortly thereafter.

The collections of the David Sarnoff Library are open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on the second Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Researchers are encouraged to contact reference staff ahead of arrival so they can be sure material is available upon arrival. Digital materials are available online anytime at

About Hagley Library

Hagley Library furthers the study of business and technology in America. The library’s collections include individuals’ papers and companies’ records ranging from eighteenth-century merchants to modern telecommunications and illustrate the impact of the business system on society. Hagley Library is a proud member of the prestigious Independent Research Libraries Association. For more information, call (302) 658-2400 weekdays or visit

About the Council on Library and Information Resources

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. To learn more, visit

September 28th – Immortal Life: The Promises and Perils of Biobanking and the Genetic Archive

Susan Lindee, Projit Bihari Mukharji, and Joanna Radin
American Philosophical Society and the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Thursday, September 28th, 2017 – 6:30PM

Benjamin Franklin Hall
American Philosophical Society
427 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Are we now approaching a time when we could all live, at least in freezers, forever? This public forum explores some of the historical and social questions raised by the “frozen archive.”

Modern collection and storage of biological samples make possible a kind of “immortality” for anyone who has ever had a saliva sample frozen for genealogical testing or a blood sample stored in medical collections. New technologies, like CRISPR for gene editing, expand possible future uses of biological materials stored around the world. The story of Henrietta Lacks, popularized in a book by Rebecca Skloot and an HBO special starring Oprah Winfrey, illustrates the ways that a single person’s cells and tissues can take on lives of their own as research material. In 1953, just before her death, Lacks’s cancer cells yielded the oldest and most common human cell line still used in research.

There has been significant public interest in her remarkable story, but the “immortality” of people like Henrietta Lacks raises pressing questions for all of us. Who owns and controls bodily materials extracted from research subjects and patients? Who can profit from the cells and genes that make us who we are? How do we weigh the value of personal privacy and an individual’s sense of self against the potential for medical progress? How do imbalances of wealth and power influence questions of consent, exploitation, and identity for people who provide biological materials?

Join us for a lively discussion with three scholars whose work has explored the history and contemporary issues surrounding the immortal lives of our cells, tissues, and other biological materials.

This event is free and open to the public. Please Register to Attend.

Susan Lindee is Janice and Julian Bers Professor of the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania and Chair of the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine. Her work explores historical and contemporary questions raised by genetics, nuclear weapons and radiation risk. Her books includeSuffering Made RealThe DNA Mystique, and Moments of Truth in Genetic Medicine.

Projit Bihari Mukharji is Associate Professor of the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include Nationalizing the Body and Doctoring Traditions. His work focuses on issues of marginality and marginalization both within and through science. His current research is on the history of human difference and race in 20th century South Asia, and how the politics of race, indigeneity and biocolonialism have influenced history.


Joanna Radin is Assistant Professor of the History of Medicine at Yale University. Her 2017 book, Life on Ice: A History of New Uses for Cold Blood, explores these issues and how indigenous activism around the preservation of blood provides new ways to consider their ethical dimensions. She is interested in the history of forward-looking projects in biomedicine, ecology, and anthropology in the 20th century and the politics of preservation and re-use. Her current research is investigating the ways that science fiction has shaped ideas about the future of biomedicine.


Support for this program has been generously provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Technology’s Stories Latest Edition: Energy

Technology’s Stories offers innovative, sharp, and compelling storytelling about technology in society, past and present. It aims to engage scholars, students, and the interested general public with the usable past – with stories that can help us make sense of contemporary technological challenges and aspirations. Pieces are strong on content and light on academic jargon, making them especially suitable for undergraduates.

Technology’s Stories is please to announce their latest edition: Energy This edition includes the following:

Interested in putting together an issue for Technology’s Stories? Or publishing a standalone essay? Please contact them at Technology’s Stories invites contributions from across the spectrum, from graduate students to senior scholars.

Latest Doctoral Dissertations

Attached are the latest batch of recent doctoral dissertations harvested from the issues 77-10 A and B of Dissertation Abstracts related to your subject area.  ProQuest has altered how they put out their individual issues.  No longer do they correlate to one month, so the dating is more random.  Thus titles will range from 2017-yes they have some 2017 dates-back into the early 1900’s.

There is one additional aspect to point out about this latest batch of dissertations.  ProQuest has begun adding numerous titles from many universities world-wide dating back into the early 1900’s.  Not all these earlier titles come with abstracts but should be available for down loading entire copies on line.

Dissertations from 77-10 A and B


Circumscribere is an international online peer-reviewed journal edited by Center Simão Mathias for Studies in the History of Science. It is published twice a year and carries academic articles on history of science, technology and medicine. The journal is 10 years old, and starting in 2017 added audiovisual resources, altmetrics and links to social newtorks, as well as a YouTube channel.

The link to the journal is:



Twitter: @CircumJHC

For further information, contact:

Call for Survey Completion

You’re invited to tell us your thoughts on the HSTM magazine, Viewpoint (even if you don’t read it!) by completing a very quick survey.

Many of you will be familiar with Viewpointthe colour magazine of the British Society for the History of Science, as contributors, readers, or both. Launched in its present form in 2006, it appears as an A4-format publication aimed at a broad readership, featuring articles, opinions, reviews and interviews addressing the history of science, technology and medicine, and drawing on the Society’s Outreach and Education activities. It is sent to subscribing libraries, museums, educational organisations and sent for free to BSHS members, and digital copies are available (after a short delay from the print copy) on the BSHS website.

Viewpoint is more than 10 years old now, and we’d like to find out what you think we’re doing well, and what we could improve. You can help to shape the future of Viewpoint by telling us what you think in just 6 multiple choice questions (plus a box for any other comments) – if you’re not yet a reader, you can still tell us what you think a HSTM magazine should be (and take a look at the digital copies above if you’re interested!).

The July HPS&ST Note Now Available

The July HPS&ST Note is now availble on the web at:

Contents include:

  • Introduction
  • 2017 IHPST Biennial Conference
    • IHPST President’s Report
    • Aydin Sayili and the Turkish 5TL banknote: A First for Historians of Science
    • Turkish Politics
  • In Memoria: Robert Sonné Cohen (1923-2017)
    • Gerald Holton: Bob Cohen: At the Beginning
  • Education Papers at the Division of the History of Science & Technology (DHST) 5th International Congress, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 23 to 29 July 2017
    • Innovative and Engaging Pedagogy in History of Science, Technology and Medicine
    • Using History in Science Education
    • New Histories of Science Education
  • Science and Cultural Content Knowledge: Gratis Article Download
  • Elements in the Philosophy of Biology, Cambridge University Press, Book Series
  • Opinion Page:
  • Recent HPS&ST Research Articles
  • Recent HPS&ST Related Books
  • Coming HPS&ST Related Conferences

This HPS&ST monthly Note is sent to about 7,500 individuals who directly or indirectly have an interest in the connections of history and philosophy of science with theoretical, curricular and pedagogical issues in science teaching, and/or interests in the promotion of more engaging and effective teaching of the history and philosophy of science.  The note is also sent to different HPS lists and to science education lists.

The note seeks to serve the diverse international community of HPS&ST scholars and teachers by disseminating information about events and publications that connect to HPS&ST concerns.  It is an information list, not a discussion list.

Please do feel free to forward this email to any local, national or international lists that whose members you think would appreciate knowing of the Note and its web location.  Forwarding the notification email is a very easy and efficient way of multiplying the readership and so increasing awareness of HPS&ST matters.

Contributions to the note (publications, conferences, Opinion Page, etc.) are welcome and should be sent direct to the editor:  Michael R. Matthews, UNSW, .