Member News – April 2020

Ellen Abrams (Cornell University) has won the British Society for the History of Mathematics Taylor and Francis Early Career Prize. The prize is awarded every two years to the author of an essay on any aspect of the history of mathematics. The winning essay, “‘An Inalienable Prerogative of a Liberated Spirit’: Postulating American Mathematics,” was commended for “its combination of strong research and accessible style, noting in particular the author’s ability to contextualize mathematics without loss of readability.”

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The Making of Modern Physics in Colonial IndiaSomaditya Banerjee (Austin Peay State University) will publish The Making of Modern Physics in Colonial India (Routledge, 2020).

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Jean De Groot (Catholic University of America) will spend the academic year, 2020–2021 as a Fellow at the Dumbarton Oaks Libraries and Collections in Washington DC writing a book on the history of mechanics in antiquity.

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David DeVorkin, Steven J. Dick, Stephen McCluskey, Sara Schechner, Woodruff Sullivan, and Virginia Trimble, all members of the History of Science Society, were recently appointed as Fellows of the American Astronomical Society.

The American Astronomical Society (AAS), the major organization of professional astronomers in North America, has established a new accolade, Fellow of the AAS, to honor members for extraordinary achievement and service. AAS Fellows will be recognized for original research and publication, innovative contributions to astronomical techniques or instrumentation, significant contributions to education and public outreach, and noteworthy service to astronomy and to the Society itself.

An initial group of more than 200 Legacy Fellows has been designated by the AAS Board of Trustees. These include past recipients of certain awards from the AAS or its topical Divisions, distinguished AAS elected leaders and volunteer committee members, and previously unrecognized individuals with long histories of outstanding research, teaching, mentoring, and service.

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Ryan Feigenbaum (Society Coordinator, History of Science Society) delivered a talk, “The Limits of Force to Explain Life,” at the Form-und Bewegungskräfte Conference, as part of the DFG-Kolleg-Forschungsgruppe “Imaginarien der Kraft.”

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Melinda Gormley (University of California, Irvine) shares her career path from history of science PhD to Research Development Officer with the University of California, Irvine’s School of Biological Sciences, and her perspectives on federal funding for scientific research.

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Edward Gosselin (Emeritus Professor, California State University, Long Beach) completed papers on “‘You Barbarous Dog’: Bruno’s Opening Poem to ‘The Ash Wednesday Supper’ as a Guide to The Meaning of Bruno’s Italian Dialogues” and “Starry Messengers: Chapters and ‘Excursi’ on Exact Mathematical Astronomy from 350 BCE to 1905 CE, with a Look into the State of Earth under Peril and the Future of the Human Condition.”

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Judy Grabiner (Professor Emerita, Pitzer College) and her work were celebrated in an article: Dumbaugh, Della and Adrian Rice. “A Template for Success: Celebrating the Work of Judith Grabiner.Notices of the American Mathematical Society 67, no. 3 (March 2020): 336-44.

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Clandestine Philosophy: New Studies on Subversive ManuscriptsMargaret Jacob (University of California, Los Angeles) co-edited Clandestine Philosophy: New Studies on Subversive Manuscripts (University of Toronto Press).

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Gladys Kostyrka (Independent scholar, Paris) and Neeraja Sankaran (editor, HSS Newsletter),  published “From Obstacle to Lynchpin: The Evolution of the Role of Bacteriophage Lysogeny in Defining and Understanding Viruses,” in Notes and Records of The Royal Society. The paper is currently available online and is slated to appear in December as part of a special issue on bacteriophages, which grew out of a session held at the 2017 HSS meeting in Toronto.

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Franklin & Washington: The Founding PartnershipEdward J. Larson (University Professor, Pepperdine University) published Franklin & Washington: The Founding Partnership (New York: HarperCollins, 2020).

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Eternal City: Infrastructure, Topography, and the Culture of Knowledge in Late Sixteenth-Century RomePamela O. Long’s Engineering the Engineering the Eternal City: Infrastructure, Topography, and the Culture of Knowledge in Late Sixteenth-Century Rome (University of Chicago Press, 2018) has been awarded the Sidney M. Edelstein Prize from the Society for the History of Technology; the Bridge Book Award (category American non-fiction) by the Casa della Letteratura (Rome) and the Center for Fiction (New York); and the Howard R. Marraro Prize awarded by the American Catholic Historical Association.

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Rachel Maines (Columbia University Seminar in the History and Philosophy of Science) published, “Socks at War: American Hand Knitters and Military Footwear Production for the World Wars.Studia Historiae Oeconomicae 37, no.1 (Dec 2019): 67-92. “Socks at War” is about the intersections among military medicine, producer logistics, and home front handcraft production.

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Beyond Bakelite: Leo Baekeland and the Business of Science and InventionJoris Mercelis (Johns Hopkins University, Department of History of Science and Technology) published Beyond Bakelite: Leo Baekeland and the Business of Science and Invention (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2020).

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Tiffany Nichols (Harvard University) was awarded a National Science Foundation NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant for her research on the history of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the epistemology of gravitational wave signals. Tiffany was also awarded a 2020 American Physical Society (APS) Five Sigma Physicist Award for her advocacy work in support of the passage of the Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act of 2019 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Heraclitus Redux; Technological Infrastructures and Scientific ChangeJoseph Pitt (Virginia Tech) published Heraclitus Redux; Technological Infrastructures and Scientific Change (London: Rowman and Littlefield, 2020).

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Traveling with the Atom: A Scientific Guide to Europe and BeyondGlen Rodgers (Allegheny College) published Traveling with the Atom: A Scientific Guide to Europe and Beyond (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2020).

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Mark Solovey (University of Toronto) has three new publications. First, he and Deborah Weinstein are editors of “Living Well: Histories of Well-Being and Human Flourishing,” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 55, no. 4 (Fall 2019): 272-372. Second, with Deborah Weinstein, he published, “Introduction: Histories of Well-being and Human Flourishing,” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 55, no. 4 (Fall 2019): 275-281. Finally, he has a forthcoming book with MIT Press, Social Science for What? Battles over Public Funding for the “Other Sciences” at the National Science Foundation (July 2020).

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Frank W. Stahnisch (University of Calgary) received the 2020 Dimitrije Pivnicki Award in Neuro and Psychiatric History from McGill University, Montreal, PQ, Canada.

A New Field in Mind: A History of Interdisciplinarity in the Early Brain SciencesHe also published an encompassing monograph, titled A New Field in Mind: A History of Interdisciplinarity in the Early Brain Sciences (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020), which examines the neglected organizational and research origins of the first interdisciplinary centers for the brain sciences.

Bedside and Community: 50 Years of Contributions to the Health of Albertans by the University of CalgaryHe also published, with Diana J. Mansell and Paula Larsson, an edited collection Bedside and Community: 50 Years of Contributions to the Health of Albertans by the University of Calgary. It is an inside story of fifty years of healthcare and health research at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

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Simon Werrett (University College London) has won the Paul Bunge Prize.

The following in an excerpt from the official press release:

Thrifty Science: Making the Most of Materials in the History of ExperimentSimon Werrett convinced the jury with his work Thrifty Science: Making the Most of Materials in the History of Experiment, which calls for a rethink of the way experimental science deals with materials and equipment. The author looks at the history of scientific instruments and apparatus in a new way and describes the material cycles of the early modern period (“thrifty science”—“economical and economical natural research”). Back then, science reused materials, repaired or rebuilt equipment, and used instruments and materials for purposes other than intended. Werrett presents the contrasting cycle of instruments and materials of industrial equipment today—devices are supplied ready for use and instruments that are no longer required are discarded.