Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo

Seminar on Contemporary Science, Technology, and Culture

Wednesday, November 18, 4:00 pm ET

 The 2020-2021 Contemporary History Seminar continues on Wednesday, November 18th on Zoom. Register in advance.

The speaker will be:

 Teasel Muir Harmony

Space History Curator, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum


Operation Moonglow:

A Political History of Project Apollo


When President Kennedy proposed Project Apollo in 1961, he was not only aiming at the Moon. Kennedy saw the moonshot as the nation’s best hope for winning the hearts and minds of the world, and in turn, fostering a global coalition aligned with America’s Cold War interests. This talk focuses on the first lunar orbital mission—Apollo 8—to showcase the central significance of spaceflight within twentieth-century international relations, and the complicated ways that nationalism and globalism are historically bound together.

For further information, please contact: Matt Shindell at 202-633-5897; ShindellM@si.edu

Please register in advance for this talk.


Before the talk, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The link you receive should not be shared with others; it is unique to you.


A group of BiPOC/BAME scholars in the history of science/technology/medicine got together during the BSHS summer festival to share and discuss topics both professional and scholarly. They are meeting again on Thursday, 12 November at 4 PM (GMT) and would welcome anyone to join them who identifies in this way.  Please email Dr Mirjam Brusius for details of the Zoom meeting: mbrusius@cantab.net

WEBINAR: Black Inventors and Innovators: New Perspectives (November 16–20, 2020)

Black Inventors and Innovators: New Perspectives

A week-long webinar series, free and open to the public!

Convened by the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center

November 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20, 2020 | 1:00-2:30pm ET daily

Registration: https://smithsonian.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PTe1rHzsTG2FSaEHoTcb2w

Details: https://invention.si.edu/black-inventors-and-innovators-new-perspectives


The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation invites you to attend our upcoming webinar series, Black Inventors and Innovators: New Perspectives. The program is free and open to the public and will convene daily November 16–20, 2020 from 1:00-2:30pm ET. This week-long program will draw renewed attention to historic and contemporary inventors of color and Black technology consumers, while discussing strategies for building a more equitable innovation ecosystem. Through presentations by an interdisciplinary group of thought leaders and engaged discussions with our online audience, this “state of the field” workshop will identify critical questions, seek out new case studies, and articulate theories, concepts and themes to inform the next generation of research, archival collecting, museum exhibitions, and invention education initiatives.



Rayvon Fouché, Professor of American Studies, Purdue University

Lisa D. Cook, Professor of Economics and International Relations, Michigan State University

Moderator: Cathleen S. Lewis, Curator, Space History Department, National Air and Space Museum



Amy E. Slaton, Professor, Department of History, Drexel University

James Holly, Jr., Assistant Professor of Urban Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics Education, Wayne State University

Moderator: Yolanda L. Comedy, Science and Technology Policy Consultant



Tyrone Grandison, Chief Technology Officer, Pearl Long Term Care Solutions

Tahira Reid Smith, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University

Moderator: Monica M. Smith, Head of Exhibitions and Interpretation, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History



Kara W. Swanson, Professor of Law and Affiliate Professor of History, Northeastern University

Shontavia Johnson, Associate Vice President for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Clemson University

Moderator: Crystal Marie Moten, Curator of African American History, Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History



Charlton McIlwain, Vice Provost for Faculty Engagement and Development, New York University

André Brock, Associate Professor, School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Tech

Moderator: Arthur Daemmrich, Director, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History


Accessibility: The National Museum of American History welcomes visitors of all ages and abilities. Real-time captioning (CART) will be provided for our online program. For other questions about accessibility, please email nmahprograms@si.edu.

Our Sponsor: The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center gratefully acknowledges The Lemelson Foundation for its generous support of the Black Inventors and Innovators: New Perspectives webinar series.

Registration: https://smithsonian.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PTe1rHzsTG2FSaEHoTcb2w


Call for expression of interest: Flying colloquium for the history of science in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe

The online platform hps.cesee: History of Science in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe  is proud to inaugurate a “flying colloquium for the history of science in CESEE”, a series of informal seminars where we plan to discuss ongoing work in our field. The call is addressed to scholars who would like to discuss their work in progress — PhD fragments, article drafts, book chapters, or forthcoming important presentations — with a group of peers and invited experts in a safe environment. Our intention is to create an “invisible college” concerned with the history of science and scholarship (i.e. natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, technology and medicine), where we can share our interest and expertise in an informal and supportive atmosphere. The call is directed at scholars at all career stages, though preference will be given to early-career researchers. The colloquium responds not just to the limitation of travelling options during the ongoing pandemic, but more generally to the lack of fora for discussion of projects in the histories of sciences and humanities in CESEE. It also aims to strengthen global exchange on this topic.
Texts for the colloquium will be pre-circulated, and will be introduced by a commentator. For a start, we would like to set up a limited group that meets online twice a month between January and March 2021, where we shall create a constructive and safe atmosphere for productive discussions. If you would like to take part in the colloquium by presenting a piece of your own work and/or discussing the work of others, please fill out the form here https://forms.gle/wLKam3Znuk197Rq96 by November 25, 2020.

Lukas Becht, Friedrich Cain, Adela Hincu, Katalin Straner, Jan Surman

For questions please contact hps.cesee@gmail.com.


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Medical Heritage Library Conference November 13th

Good morning, I’m writing to announce a virtual conference that will be of interest to subscribers to the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology network.

The Medical Heritage Library is hosting an online conference next Friday to celebrate the tenth anniversiary of its digital work in the history of medicine. Dr. Jaipreet Virdi, author of Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History and Assistant Professor for the Department of History at the University of Delaware, will be the keynote speaker.

The conference is free and open to the public. It will be held on Zoom from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm EST on November 13. The full program and registration information is available on the Medical Heritage Library Website (medicalheritage.org/10th-anniversary-conference/). We ask that you register for the event in advance.

We invite scholars, educators, and allied health professionals to join us for this interdisciplinary event. Conference sessions will feature research that derives strength from access to Medical Heritage Library collections. They will include presentations in digital and medical humanities; disability studies; history of medicine and technology; library and information science; literary studies; food studies; and cultural studies.

The Medical Heritage Library is a collaborative digitization and discovery organization committed to providing open access resources in the history of healthcare and the health sciences. We aspire to be a visible, research-driven history of medicine and health community that serves a broad, interdisciplinary constituency. Our goal is to make high-quality content available online and to simplify and centralize the discovery of these resources.

Please join us for this online event!

CFP: The Promise and Pitfalls of Citizen Science, Due 18 December 2020

CFP: The Promise and Pitfalls of Citizen Science

Inspired by its 2021 exhibition Dr. Franklin, Citizen Scientist, the American Philosophical Society’s Library & Museum is organizing a symposium that explores citizen science as a phenomenon. The symposium’s theme reflects the work of Benjamin Franklin and others who lacked formal training and whose work sometimes went unacknowledged but whose contributions significantly added to the advancement of knowledge. It hopes to expand upon the theme of the exhibition by exploring understandings of citizen science over time, placing historical initiatives in conversation with present day projects as well as reflecting on the future needs and opportunities of the movement.


The Library & Museum invites innovative proposals from scholars from all disciplines whose research may contribute to a conversation about the past, present, and future of citizen- or community-led science. The chronological scope of the conference is open-ended and proposals from those whose work can provide a long historical perspective on these issues are encouraged to apply.

Potential topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Historical perspectives on the concept and definition of citizen science and the myriad of ways people have performed what we now often call “citizen science.”
  • The diverse range of people who have contributed to the advancement of knowledge over time, including the work of lesser-known figures and historically marginalized communities.
  • The role of citizen science in promoting environmental and social justice, and for climate science.
  • Outcomes of citizen science projects, such as new scientific knowledge, policy change, conservation action, or educational resources and their impact on the broader social, cultural, and political sphere.
  • Recent developments in the citizen science movement, including best practices and innovative approaches. Of particular interest is the role of technology in developing projects and pedagogical techniques used to incorporate projects into the classroom.
  • Issues of inequality in limiting access to scientific knowledge and participation, both historically and in the present.
  • Challenges to collecting data and building trust through projects (including issues of scale), as well as possible solutions to those problems.
  • Failed citizen science projects and the lessons they offer.
  • The relationship between professional science and citizen science, over time and in the present, including the ways in which professionalization has changed the way scientific work is done and who can conduct it.
  • International perspectives on citizen science.

Applicants should submit a title and a 250-word proposal along with a C.V. by December 18, 2020 via Interfolio: https://apply.interfolio.com/79883


Decisions will be announced in February 2021.


The symposium will be held the week of April 5, 2021 in Philadelphia. At this point, we have not determined if the conference will be online or in person. If in person, all presenters will receive travel subsidies and hotel accommodations. Accepted papers will be due a month before the conference and pre-circulated to registered attendees. Papers should be no longer than 15 double-spaced pages. Presenters may also have the opportunity to publish revised papers in the APS’s Transactions, one of the longest running scholarly series in America.


For more information, visit https://www.amphilsoc.org/, or contact Kyle Roberts, Associate Director for Library and Museum Programming at kroberts@amphilsoc.org or Adrianna Link, Head of Scholarly Programs, at alink@amphilsoc.org.

Interior Space: Preserving the History and Culture of the International Space Station through Photographic Interpretation

Please join us November 18 at 12:00pm ET for our Virtual History Brown Bag talk:

Roland Miller, “Interior Space: Preserving the History and Culture of the International Space Station through Photographic Interpretation”


To historically preserve and artistically interpret the International Space Station, Astronaut Paolo Nespoli and photographer Roland Miller collaboratively photographed the interior of the ISS during Expeditions 52 and 53—Paolo on the station and Roland on the Earth.

Many important and informative photographs have been made by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Most of these have been views of the Earth, and rightly so. Others are of astronauts performing activities and documenting experiments. There is, however, a dearth of images that intentionally document and interpret the interior of the ISS itself. As any environment will, life aboard the ISS affects astronauts socially, physically, and mentally. There is a need to examine the cultural, social, historical, and even the aesthetic aspects of the ISS environment. Investigating this environment through photography and from artistic and sociological perspectives is critical to this goal.

Roland Miller, a Chicago native, taught photography at Brevard Community College in Cocoa, Florida for 14 years, where he began photographing nearby NASA launch sites. After serving as the dean of Communication Arts, Humanities, and Fine Arts at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois for ten years, he retired in 2018 to work full-time on photography. Miller’s project and book, Abandoned in Place: Preserving America’s Space History (University of New Mexico Press, 2016), documents deactivated and repurposed space launch and test facilities around the United States. Miller’s collaborative project and book, Interior Space: A Visual Exploration of the International Space Station (Damiani Editore, 2020) with Italian Astronaut, Paolo Nespoli, documents and examines the interior of the International Space Station. His photographs are part of permanent collections at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Illinois and the NASA Art Collection in Washington, DC. Miller’s photography has been exhibited in major art and science museums, including the Galleria del Cembalo, Rome, Italy. His work has been featured in major publications including: The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and Forbes.

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Toxic: A history of nerve agents 7.00pm to 8.30pm, Tuesday 17 November

Nerve agents are the world’s deadliest means of chemical warfare.

Developed by Nazi Germany, but not used in the Second World War, nerve agents have since spread across the world, despite international arms control efforts..

In this talk, Dan Kaszeta uncovers the development and propogation of these deadly compounds, from their Nazi invention to their recent use by assassins in Salisbury, England.

Dan Kaszeta lives in London, where he runs a specialist consulting firm. He has decades of experience in protecting against chemical and biological weapons, and has held positions in the US Army, the White House Military Office, the US Secret Service and private industry.

Join Dan in this online lecture as he delves into the grisly history of these weapons of mass destruction, a deadly suite of invisible, odourless killers.


For more information and to register, check out the:


PSA 2020 Webinar: Putting COVID-19 in Its Place

Locating the Scientific, Psychological, and Social Aspects of the Crisis

November 20, 2020 – 1:00-2:30 pm EST

Registration is Now Open

The webinar is free. All are welcome. It takes only a minute to register.

Instructions for Registration: Once you are on the event page, click on the blue Register link on the left or the Register button on the bottom of the page.

Meet the Panelists:

Katherine Furman is the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Lecturer at the University of Liverpool. Prior to this she was the director of the MA in Health and Society at University College Cork in Ireland. She works broadly on Philosophy and Health policy, with a special interest in relationships between experts and laypeople, and on health policy development. She did her PhD in Philosophy at the London School of Economics on AIDS denialism in South Africa.
Gerd Gigerenzer is Director of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy and founder of the Adaptive Behavior and Cognition (ABC) Center at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. He is former Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago and John M. Olin Distinguished Visiting Professor, School of Law at the University of Virginia. In addition, he is Member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, the German Academy of Sciences and Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He was awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Basel and the Open University of the Netherlands, and is Batten Fellow at the Darden Business School, University of Virginia. Awards for his work include the AAAS Prize for the best article in the behavioral sciences, the Association of American Publishers Prize for the best book in the social and behavioral sciences, the German Psychology Award, and the Communicator Award of the German Research Foundation. His award-winning popular books Calculated RisksGut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, and Risk Savvy: How to make good decisions have been translated into 21 languages. His academic books include Simple Heuristics That Make Us SmartRationality for MortalsSimply Rational, and Bounded Rationality (with Reinhard Selten, a Nobel Laureate in economics). Together with the Bank of England, he is working on the project “Simple heuristics for a safer world.” Gigerenzer has trained U.S. federal judges, German physicians, and top managers in decision making and understanding risks and uncertainties. The Swiss Duttweiler Institute has distinguished Gigerenzer as one of the top-100 Global Thought Leaders worldwide.

Sean A. Valles, PhD is an Associate Professor with an appointment in the Michigan State University Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Philosophy (where he is also Associate Chair). His research spans a range of topics in the philosophy of population health, from the use of evidence in medical genetics to the roles played by race concepts in epidemiology. He is author of the 2018 book, Philosophy of Population Health: Philosophy for a New Public Health Era. He is also co-editor (with Quill R. Kukla) of the Oxford University Press book series, “Bioethics for Social Justice”. http://seanvalles.com/

John Dupré is President-Elect of the Philosophy of Science Association. His research has covered a wide range of topics in the philosophy of biology, including taxonomy and the species problem, causation, microbiology and genomics. His recent work has promoted a radically processual understanding of living systems. From 2012-18, he held a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award for the project, A Process Ontology for Contemporary Biology. Since 2002 he has been director of Egenis, The Centre for the Study of Life Sciences, which he established in that year with a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council, UK. His books include Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology (co-edited with Daniel Nicholson, 2018); Processes of Life (2012); Genomes and What to Make of Them (with Barry Barnes 2008); Darwin’s Legacy: What Evolution Means Today (2003); Humans and Other Animals (2002); Human Nature and the Limits of Science (2001); and The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science (1993). Dupré is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an Honorary International Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

TECHNE AHRC Funded Studentship

TECHNE AHRC Funded Studentship – Partnership Award University of Roehampton and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Kew’s imperial archive: Cataloguing Economic Botany in the Miscellaneous Reports, 1841-1928

This studentship offers the opportunity to research and study the history, composition and arrangement of a major collection held in the archives of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.  The project focuses on the Miscellaneous Reports: 771 volumes of printed and manuscript material relating to the administration of the British colonial botanic gardens and stations, dating from the 1840s to 1928. The Reports document the economic botany of these regions through correspondence with Kew, printed reports, newspaper articles, and illustrative material such as maps, photographs and sketches.  They are grouped by country and by economically useful product (such as tea, cinchona or rubber).  Although mainly focused on economic botany, the collection also includes material relating to colonial history, geography and anthropology.  As a whole, this collection offers a rich and as yet untold narrative of Kew’s global operations in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.  No comparable collection exists in any other institution worldwide.  The significance of the Miscellaneous Reports was recently recognised by the award of a Wellcome Trust Research Resources Grant for their conservation and cataloguing.


Details: https://www.roehampton.ac.uk/graduate-school/ahrc-techne-cda/

Closing date 23 November, to start January 2021