COVID-19: Lessons From History?, What the Plague Can Teach Us About the Coronavirus
We open this issue with two articles pertaining to the current pandemic crisis: one by a virologist and the other by a historian of science & medicine. Despite their differing perspectives the two pieces have a surprising number of things in common. Both contain an allusion to the same medieval work literature, and both highlight the practical value of our discipline in the wider world, serving as a timely reminder that we imperil ourselves when we ignore history.
Our interest in the history of food in relation to the history of science stemmed from our previous inquiries into the history of natural history, which led us to various eighteenth-century scientific forays into perfecting foods, experimenting with novel foodstuffs, and dramatically expanding what counted as appropriate or desirable nourishment. This pervasive interest in subjecting food to scientific scrutiny prompted many questions.
The HSS Newsletter is pleased to feature an interview with Megan Raby, author of American Tropics: The Caribbean Roots of Biodiversity Science, winner of the second annual Philip J. Pauly Prize, which was established in 2018 for the best first English-language book on the history of science in the Americas. For what the prize committee had to say about the book click here; read on to see what Megan has to share.
Humboldtallee! This street name—evoking the famous von Humboldt brothers, Alexander and Wilhelm—seemed to us to be just the perfect address!
Innovations in Education:
Teaching with the Isis Bibliography
I am the Society’s Bibliographer, but I also teach undergraduate and graduate classes in history of science. I have integrated the CB into my classroom in several ways and would like to encourage more of you to do the same. In a survey that I co-developed last year, we asked HSS members to tell us how useful they found the Isis CB in both its print and online forms. The questions about pedagogical use were divided into three distinct activities: course preparation, encouraging student use, and actual use by students.