Free online course: “History and Philosophy of Science in 20 Objects,” University of Leeds

This free online course offers an introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science. The course is informal, with no exams and no certificate at the end. But anyone, aged 16 and up, who is curious to know more about the subject will find it presented in a lively, accessible and unusual way.

At the core of the course are 20 films from a public lecture series given in 2016-7 by staff and graduate students in the Centre for History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Leeds. Each lecture uses an object from the University’s Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine as a jumping-off point for explorations of major themes in the historical development and philosophical interpretation of science.

The opening lecture shows how an ancient Cypriot horse-and-rider figurine can serve as a point of entry to the long run of the study of the human mind, from Plato to Freud. The second lecture uses a two-headed fish, preserved in a jar, to look at the question of monsters and monstrosity, emphasizing the challenge that deformity posed for pre-Darwinian science, when God’s good design-work in organisms was taken for granted. From there, the objects and topics examined cover a wide range. Some objects are emblematic of the history of science as anyone would tell it, such as an air-pump (in a lecture on physics and the laws of nature), a microscope (in a lecture on observation and its relationship to theory), and a stethoscope (in a lecture on medical diagnosis and the shift in emphasis, around 1800, from outward symptoms to inner causes). Other objects are more surprising: a nineteenth-century Biblical herbarium, stocked with specimens of plants named in the Bible (in a lecture on science and religion); an X-ray camera used in the 1930s to take the first X-ray photograph of DNA (in a lecture on molecular biology and its little-known industrial beginnings); and the prototype Newlyn-Phillips machine, which in the late 1940s used flowing water to model, and even compute, the flow of money in national economies, making it the world’s first economics computer (in a lecture on models, mathematics and economics). Most surprising of all, perhaps, is a perpetual motion machine…

The course is self-paced. But beginning this Friday, 15 May, and continuing for the next month, current and former members of the Leeds Centre will be hosting online discussions of the lectures.

To join the course:

(1) Go to Blackboard Learn.
(2) Search for “History and Philosophy of Science in 20 Objects” via the search window (where it says “Find the Right Course for You”)
(3) Click on “Enroll”
(4) At the bottom of the pop-up window, click on “Don’t have an account?  Create one here.”  (If you don’t see that, click on “Enroll” again, or — if that doesn’t work — use a different internet browser)
(5) After you’ve created an account, you’ll be given a link that will take you to the course homepage

For further information, please email Gregory Radick at

For more on the Leeds Centre for History and Philosophy of Science, including MA and PhD programmes, please visit the Centre’s website.  For more on undergraduate programmes, please visit the University of Leeds coursefinder.

Two New Resources, National Humanities Alliance

We are pleased to announce two new resources designed to support the humanities community in making the case for the value of the humanities: 1) Humanities Recruitment Survey: Challenges & Audiences, which shares quantitative survey results from 397 faculty and administrators at 294 institutions and 2) Documenting the Impact of Your Humanities Program, a new toolkit that supports faculty, administrators, and project directors in capturing and communicating about their impact.

NHA staff would be pleased to discuss these resources with you. We are also available to join classes, department meetings, and virtual workshops to discuss how these resources can support case making for the humanities as the pandemic presents new financial and programmatic challenges to humanities educators and organizations.

Humanities Recruitment Survey: Challenges & Audiences

In the summer of 2019, we launched the Humanities Recruitment Survey (HRS) to better understand the challenges faculty and administrators face in attracting students to the humanities, the audiences they are engaging to overcome those challenges, and specific humanities recruitment strategies they have implemented. The first HRS report, Humanities Recruitment Survey: Challenges & Audiences, highlights opportunities for information sharing across institutions to engage additional audiences.

We are conducting additional research into the recruitment strategies surfaced through the survey and will be releasing in-depth reports featuring profiles of a range of strategies beginning this fall.

For additional information or to explore the possibility of a virtual workshop, please contact Study the Humanities project director Scott Muir at

Documenting the Impact of Your Humanities Program: A New Toolkit

Our new toolkit, Documenting the Impact of Your Humanities Program, is aimed at helping the humanities community collect data about the impact of programs such as professional development seminars, public humanities projects, and programs for students that prepare them for college and help them imagine humanities careers. These surveys are designed to support the humanities community in articulating the impact of its work and making the case for the resources to support it.

This toolkit builds on work over the past three years to document the impact of NEH-funded projects. In partnership with directors of public humanities projects, we’ve designed and implemented pre- and post-program surveys that take into account the programs’ immediate goals and their broader social impacts, including impacts on trust, empathy, community connection, and appreciation for and pride in local culture and heritage. Our goal has been to help these partners collect information that makes the case for their work to a range of stakeholders, including funders, organizational leadership, and policymakers. The surveys are designed to be broadly useful for humanities faculty and practitioners in highlighting and evaluating their programs.

For additional information or to arrange a virtual workshop, please contact Cecily Hill, director of community initiatives, at

2020 Golden Goose Awards

We hope you are all as well as can be. Like many of you, we have been trying to think creatively about how to conduct, communicate, and – in the case of the Golden Goose Award – celebrate scientific research. It’s clear that this is no ordinary year; COVID-19 is foremost in our thoughts and lives.

With this in mind, the Golden Goose Award will be doing something different in 2020: we are collecting COVID-19 scientific success stories. And we need your help. Please nominate an individual or team for the 2020 Golden Goose COVID-19 Recognition by May 22. You can also help us amplify this request by retweeting the Golden Goose Award on Twitter and sharing our post on Facebook.

We’re seeking stories about:

  • Projects that have resulted in significant scientific and/or technological understanding and/or impacts for which there is evidence detailing how this occurred and how this has been deployed in the field to further advance our understanding of issues relating to COVID-19;
  • Projects that have contributed to the treatment and/or response to COVID-19 and have clear and demonstratable evidence of societal impacts that might have been unforeseen prior to the current crisis (i.e. at the time the original research was conducted);
  • Fundamental research projects that may have appeared unusual or obscure, which sounded “funny,” or for which a societal application was not clear at their outset but has since pivoted to help address and advance our understanding and knowledge of and/or response to COVID-19; and/or
  • Research discoveries that were serendipitous in nature or for which the application to COVID-19 could not have been predicted as a result of observations or research that initially focused in an entirely different direction or research areas at the time it was initiated and funded. This may include examples of unexpected partnerships which have resulted in effective responses to addressing COVID-19.

Visit our website for the full eligibility requirements and nomination procedures. For best consideration, please submit by May 22, and email with any questions.

Stories are as important now as ever. We hope you will share yours and be part of the 2020 Golden Goose COVID-19 Recognition.


Erin Heath & Meredith Asbury
Golden Goose Award Co-Chairs

Covid-19 Teaching Resources

Check out this new site for COVID-19 teaching resources.

If you want to contribute or use teaching resources on COVID-19, come visit this site and get involved.

Teach311+COVID-19 Collective is a collective of educators, researchers, artists, students and survivors spanning disciplinary and linguistic boundaries who study and teach about disasters. Our collaborative process encourages empathetic inquiry into the past, and shares those stories for the future.

The site is a great, interdisciplinary resource for people who study & teach about disasters. It has diary entries, field analyses, lectures, videos & teaching modules.

They are looking for contributors too. The site includes…
– Notes from the Field (for student & general audiences, by scholars)
– Diary Projects (by undergraduates/graduates esp situated in the Global South)
– Teaching Moments (Q&A, teaching reflections by educators)

Contact if you want to contribute, with the subject heading “COVID-19 Teaching”

CFP: Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Health Humanities

The editors are inviting scholars of medical humanities to participate in the The Encyclopaedia of Health Humanities to be published by Springer Nature (under the imprint of Palgrave Macmillan). This will be the first reference volume of the health humanities of its kind. Entries are sought with a lower limit of approximately 500-1,000 words and an upper limit of no more than 10,000 words. Entries will be published online by Springer as they are approved, with a final date of January 2022 for publication. A guideline for entries follows. We welcome you will join this groundbreaking venture.

Scope of the Encyclopaedia. The Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Health Humanities aims to be a pre-eminent, seminal, and international work that draws upon the multiple and expanding fields of inquiry underpinned by the health humanities, that link health and social care disciplines with the arts and humanities. A major focus of the volume will be the role of the health humanities in illuminating and enriching the social, cultural, and phenomenological experience of being ill, and of caring for those who are ill, as well as documenting how these experiences have contributed to the development of the arts and humanities themselves. Overall, this volume will offer a thorough development of critique and critical theory concerning health care, in order to enable readers to question not only current practice, but also the foundational assumptions of health care and the health humanities. This volume will provide a foundational resource to scholars and practitioners in the arts, humanities, healthcare, health and well-being from around the world.

Contribution level. Our aim is to publish a work of tertiary literature, which provides summarized information derived from primary or secondary sources, rather than original articles. As such it contains digested knowledge in an easily accessible format. Please don’t use your entry as an opportunity to publish (exclusively) your own scientific work (primary literature). Rather, the current state of literature should be summarized including also possible review articles. As with any other scientific paper, proper references are required. Content, therefore, consists of established information in a particular field.

The level of contributions should be such that anyone from a student to a researcher would benefit from a contribution, which is not from his or her area of expertise. Each contribution should stand on its own without an assumption that a reader will be seeing any other portion of the work.

Length of text. Each entry should consist of between 1,000 and 10,000 words (excluding figures and references) with the following suggested ranges: Short (1,000-3,000 words), Medium (3,000 to 7,000 words), Long (7,000 to 10,000 words). Please feel free to add tables and figures.

This google sheet has two worksheets. The first is an indicative chapter listing of topics sought by the senior editors, but which should not be considered exhaustive or definitive.  The second sheet shows confirmed topics.

If you would like to contribute, please contact me at, with the subject heading Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Health Humanities, and inform me of your chapter topic and title.  Please also make an annotation to the google sheet.  I will compile this list and forward to the senior editors.

Best wishes,

Michael Stanley-Baker,
History and LKC School of Medicine
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

April HPS&ST Newsletter

The April HPS&ST Newsletter is on the web.


  • Introduction
  • Teaching philosophy of science to students from other disciplines, European Journal of Philosophy of Science, Thematic Issue
  • Science & Education, “Science Education in the Era of a Pandemic”, Contributions Invited
  • UNILOG 2021 – The 7th World Congress on Universal Logic, Kolymbari, Crete, March 28 – April 7, 2021
  • Interuniversitary Institute for Science Studies (IILP)
  • A Layperson’s Guide to Epidemiological Modelling, Alexander Bird
  • Lakatos Award, 2021
  • Opinion Page I:  Replicable, Reproducible, and Generalizable: Implications of Scientific Hallmarks for Research in Education, Norm Lederman
  • Opinion Page II:  Is Reproducibility a Realistic Norm for Scientific Research into Teaching? Keith S. Taber
  • Vale: Mark Steiner (1942-2020)
  • PhD Theses in HPS&ST Domain
  • Recent HPS&ST Research Articles
  • Recent HPS&ST Related Books
  • Coming HPS&ST Related Conferences
  • HPS&ST Related Organisations and Websites

The Table of Contents and web-link of the HPS&ST Newsletter is sent monthly to about 8,500 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 newsletter is readable and downloadable from the website above.

The newsletter is also sent to different HPS lists and to science education lists.

The newsletter 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 newsletter (publications, thematic issues, conferences, Opinion Page, etc.) are welcome and should be sent direct to the editor:

Michael R. Matthews, UNSW,

If you have friends, colleagues or students who would like to subscribe to the list, tell them to send a message to: There is no need for subject header or any message; the email itself suffices for addition to the hpsst-list.

This newsletter is being posted in troubled times. The obituary note for Mark Steiner, a philosopher of mathematics who sadly died of COVID-19, is an indicator of just how troubled for all are the times.

Best wishes,
Michael Matthews

Announcing the 2020-2021 Lemelson Center Fellows and Travel Grantees

The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2020-2021 fellowships and travel grants!

The next deadline for applications will be 1 November 2020.  Please visit our website for more information about our fellowship and grant programs, and comprehensive lists of past and current fellows and travel grantees. Congratulations to our fellowship and travel grant recipients!


Eric S. Hintz, PhD 

Lemelson Center Fellowship Coordinator



Arthur Molella Distinguished Fellowship

Kara W. Swanson, JD, PhD

Professor of Law and Affiliate Professor of History, Northeastern University

Project: Inventing Citizens: Race, Gender, and Patents


Lemelson Center Fellowships

Harry Burson

PhD candidate, Film & Media, University of California, Berkeley

Project: The World in Stereo: Sound, Space, and Immersion, 1879-1959


Ann Daly

PhD candidate, History, Brown University

Project: Minting America: Money, Value, and the Federal State, 1784-1858


Grace Lees-Maffei, PhD

Professor, Design History, University of Hertfordshire

Project: The Hand Book


Pallavi R. Podapati

PhD Candidate, History of Science, Princeton University

Project: Beyond Boundaries: A History of Paralympic Design and Practice


Lemelson Center Travel Grants

Sarah Barnes, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Sport, Society & Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology

Project: Investigating the new frontier of human performance: Sleep inventions and innovations in sport


Hayley Brazier

PhD candidate, History, University of Oregon

Project: The Seafloor and Society: Technological Innovation on the Pacific Seabed since 1898


Vivien Hamilton, PhD

Associate Professor, History of Science, Harvey Mudd College

Project: Mechanical Womb and Artificial Mother: Designing the Infant Incubator 1900-1950s


Sarah Pickman

PhD candidate, History of Science and Medicine, Yale University

Project: The Veneer of Outside Things: Objects and the Making of Extreme Environments, 1820-1950


Benjamin Siegel, PhD

Assistant Professor, History, Boston University

Project: Innovation in the American Narcotic Pharmaceutical Industry


For more information, please visit the Lemelson Center Research Opportunities site.

New Book Series: Why the Sciences of the Ancient World Matter, Springer

We have the pleasure to inform you that we have launched a new book series, Why the Sciences of the Ancient World Matter, which is published by Springer.

The following four titles have already been published:


  • Mathematics, Administrative and Economic Activities in Ancient Worlds. Editors: Cécile Michel and Karine Chemla

Other titles are in preparation.

Should you wish to submit a project, or even a manuscript, to this collection, you are welcome to get in touch with any of us, or, alternatively, to download and fill out a form from the webpage of the book series.

Sincerely yours,
Karine Chemla, Agathe Keller and Christine Proust, editors of the series

CFP: 2020-21 Working Groups, CHSTM

The Consortium’s working groups bring together scholars for monthly meetings in specialized fields related to the history of science, technology and medicine to share their works in progress. All interested scholars are welcome, either in person at the Consortium’s offices in Philadelphia, or online via web conferencing software. We are currently soliciting paper proposals for the 2020-21 academic year in the following working groups:

Scholars interested in sharing a draft article, dissertation chapter or book chapter for discussion should submit, as a single PDF, a proposal of no more than 1000 words including:

  • a description of the paper
  • what you hope to gain from discussion with the group
  • relevant biographical information

The Omohundro Institute and the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library

Today [April 15, 2020] the OI joins with its publishing partner for books, the University of North Carolina Press, in a limited agreement for our books to appear in the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library.  We do this as a good faith effort to engage with the IA’s work and with the fervent hope that a greater commitment to and understanding of the holistic production of scholarship will mark that work going forward.

The COVID19 crisis has created new and variable needs for the OI’s community of authors, readers, and learners.  In response, we have created access and aggregated resources on our website, including freely accessible OI publications book chapters and William and Mary Quarterly articles as well as early American collections, presentations, and transcription projects from lots of different individuals and organizations.  We have also worked with our publishing partners and platforms at JSTOR, Project MUSE, and UNC Press to further open up OI publications.


Last month the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library acted unilaterally to open content.  This move cuts against one of the core values of the OI, which is respect for and transparency about the intensive collaborative and skilled work that makes scholarly publishing possible.  OI executive director Karin Wulf wrote about the NEL for The Scholarly Kitchen, “The Internet Archive Chooses Readers.”


“What seems most discordant to me is that, if there is a theme to the coronavirus crisis, it is the recognition of integrated social systems. We are more aware of, and more articulate about, our interdependence. The news is more attentive to supply chains and the people who staff them, from food suppliers and retailers, medical providers including hospital janitorial staff, and public school counselors and teachers. It is this human infrastructure that is, as should have been obvious all along, irreplaceable.  The dramatic loss of income in the food service, hospitality and travel industries, and the crushing blow to small businesses that make up our communities, from bookstores to nail salons, is flashing red lights around the importance of fair, regular and reliable paid labor for the skills and to the people that make up the fabric of society.


Thus it does seem supremely odd, and quite out of step with the moment, for the Internet Archive to prioritize the needs of readers as if they can be disaggregated from the systems in which reading material is produced. If you think something should be free, you likely don’t have a very good grasp of what it costs to produce — and who needs to be paid in the course of that production. Knowledge is not found under a tree. It is not a natural but a human product, born of labor but also of talent and training. It requires investment, often from individuals, but almost always from organizations.”


This week the Internet Archive’s founder, Brewster Kahle, wrote a blog post acknowledging that “In our rush … we didn’t engage with the creator community and the ecosystem in which their works are made and published. We hear your concerns and we’ve taken action: the Internet Archive has added staff to our Patron Services team and we are responding quickly to the incoming requests to take books out of the National Emergency Library. While we can’t go back in time, we can move forward with more information and insight based on data the National Emergency Library has generated thus far.”


It is the invocation of “the creator community and the ecosystem in which their works are made and published” on which we hang our agreement.  Starting with authors, but including archivists, designers, editors, metadata creators, marketers and so much more-bringing publications into the world is a full ecosystem of labor.  The language of “free” and the practice of “open” all too often ignores this labor, and the critical importance of compensation.


“The OI has accrued a well-deserved reputation among Early Americanists and scholars more generally for building intellectual infrastructure,” says OI Editor of Books Catherine Kelly.  “In the wake of the pandemic, it has become clear that maintaining and protecting that infrastructure is every bit as important as constructing it in the first place.  Our goal in offering limited-time access to our publications on digital platforms, including the Internet Archive’s NEL, is to help meet the immediate needs of our multiple constituencies even as we look out for their long-term interests.”