January 2015 Member News

Ana Barahona (National University of Mexico, UNAM) has received the 2014 National University Award (Premio Universidad Nacional 2014) for her outstanding contributions to science and technology studies (S&TS), in particular, the history of genetics and evolution, the history of science in Mexico, and her remarkable teaching activity. This award is the highest recognition that the UNAM gives to professors who have had a distinguished career; the accolade is given in seventeen different specialities. Her award was for the Teaching of Natural Sciences (Docencia en Ciencias Naturales).


Daniela Bleichmar, (University of Southern California) has been awarded the Adams Prize by the American Historical Association for her book Visible Empire: Botanical Expeditions and Visual Culture in the Hispanic Enlightenment (Univ. of Chicago Press). The American Historical Association offers the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize annually for a distinguished book published in English in the field of European history. More importantly, Visible Empire also won the HSS’s Levinson Prize for best history of science book in natural history. See the prize citation under the list of prize winners.


Ronald Brashear (Chemical Heritage Foundation) was elected Chair-Elect of the American Chemical Society’s Division of the History of Chemistry. He will begin his two-year term on the Division’s Executive Committee on 1 Jan 2015 and then become Chair on 1 Jan 2017.


Víctor Navarro Brotons (Universitat de València) published Disciplinas, saberes y prácticas. Filosofía Natural, Matemáticas y Astronomía en la sociedad española en la época moderna, Universitat de València, Valencia, 2014.


José Chabás and Bernard R. Goldstein (Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh), have published Essays on Medieval Computational Astronomy. Leiden: Brill, 2015.


Frederick Rowe “Fritz” Davis (Florida State University) has published Banned: A History of Pesticides and the Science of Toxicology, Yale University Press. http://yalebooks.com/Book.asp?isbn=9780300205176


Amy A. Fisher (University of Puget Sound) will replace Catherine Westfall as chair of HSS’s Physical Sciences Forum (PSF), having been nominated and elected chair at HSS’s Chicago Meeting. She is interested in hearing PSF members’ thoughts on future sessions and workshops and, more generally, on the ways in which the PSF can better serve the community. You can contact her at afisher@pugetsound.edu.


Building on the seminal studies of “organic memory” by Laura Otis (1994) and Daniel Schacter (2001), Donald Forsdyke (Queen’s University, Canada) describes contributions of Darwin’s research associate, George Romanes, to evolutionary psychology in ‘“A Vehicle of Symbols and Nothing More.” “George Romanes, Theory of Mind, Information, and Samuel Butler” (History of Psychiatry 2015; SAGE Publications, in press). A preprint version may be accessed at http://post.queensu.ca/~forsdyke/mind02.htm, and a corresponding lecture may be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezcdIrR9r-w.


Jacob Darwin Hamblin (Oregon State University) has been awarded the Paul Birdsall Prize by the American Historical Association for Arming Mother Nature: The Birth of Catastrophic Environmentalism, Oxford, 2013.


Jennifer Michael Hecht’s latest book, Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against It (Yale, 2013) is coming out in paperback in January 2015.


On 4 Feb 2014, Pamela Henson was awarded the Smithsonian Institution Secretary’s Gold Medal for Exceptional Service. This is a singular award presented by the Secretary at a private ceremony and reflects the very important role Pam plays as Historian of the Smithsonian where she works with visitors and staff to understand the ongoing role of this institution in American intellectual and cultural life. Secretary G. Wayne Clough noted that Pam has kept the historical record straight for forty-two years since starting at the Smithsonian in the early 1970s and anticipates her doing so well into the future. http://siarchives.si.edu/blog/and-award-goes


Dieter Kempkens, has published “Der Erfolg der Prognostica auf dem Buchmarkt in der Frühen Neuzeit,” in Jahrbuch für Kommunikationsgeschichte 16 (2014) pp. 5-27. Link to the complete summary: http://www.steiner-verlag.de/programm/jahrbuecher/jahrbuch-fuer-kommunikationsgeschichte/jkg-162014.html


John Krige (Georgia Tech University) has been elected SHOT president for 2017–2018, vice president for 2015–2016.


Robert (Jay) Malone (History of Science Society) was recently elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


In November, Adrienne Mayor (Stanford University) was invited to give public lectures about her new book, The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World (Princeton University Press, 2014) at Brooklyn College; Philadelphia’s Penn Museum; and the Smithsonian in Washington DC. She also gave a “Talk at Google” at Google Cambridge MA, which was livestreamed to Google Mountain View, as well as an after-dinner talk at The Brook, New York City. Her co-authored article “Making Sense of Nonsense Inscriptions Associated with Amazons and Scythians on Athenian Vases” was published in Hesperia (Journal of the American School of Classical Studies) in September 2014; she also published “Who Invented Trousers?” Natural History magazine (October 2014) and “When Alexander Met Thalestris” History Today (January 2015).


Arthur Murchison has published War before Science: Sir Roderick Impey Murchison’s Youth, Army Service and Military Associates during the Napoleonic Wars, Academica Press, 2014.


Naomi Oreskes (Harvard University) has been awarded the Feis Award by the American Historical Association. This prize is offered annually to recognize distinguished contributions to public history, broadly defined. The prize is named in memory of Herbert Feis (1893–1972), public servant and historian of recent American foreign policy, with an initial endowment from the Rockefeller Foundation. http://www.historians.org/awards-and-grants/awards-and-prizes/herbert-feis-award. She and John Krige have edited Science and Technology in the Global Cold War (MIT Press, 2014) and the film version of her book Merchants of Doubt (co-authored with Erik Conway) is being released by Sony pictures on 6 March 2015. http://sonyclassics.com/merchantsofdoubt/


Peter Pesic has been named the director of the Science Institute at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM, which offers intensive, week-long seminars on important texts in science and mathematics. These seminars center on discussion between participants, including hands-on work with equipment and demonstrations; they are meant particularly to be helpful to teachers interested in promoting thoughtful discussion of scientific topics, but are also welcome to all serious participants. In summer 2015, the sessions will concern “A Tale of Two Geometries: Euclid and Lobachevsky” (June 29–July 3) and “Understanding Relativity: Texts by Albert Einstein” (July 6–10). For further information, please contact ppesic@sjc.edu.


F. Jamil Ragep’s (McGill University) Canada Research Chair in the History of Science in Islamic Societies was renewed for seven years. The term is 2014–2021. http://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/channels/news/six-new-canada-research-chairs-mcgill-239586. He and Faith Wallis (McGill) have edited The Herbal of al-Ghāfiqī: A Facsimile Edition with Critical Essays (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014). http://www.mqup.ca/herbal-of-al-ghafiqi–the-products-9780773544758.php


Sally P. Ragep successfully defended her dissertation, “Mahmūd ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Umar al-Jaghmīnī’s al-Mulakhkhas fi ‘ilm al-hay’a al-basīta: An Edition, Translation, and Study,” at the Institute of Islamic Studies and Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill University in October.


Naomi Rogers has been promoted to full Professor of the History of Medicine at Yale University, where she teaches medical students and residents in the School of Medicine, and undergraduate and graduate students in the Program in the History of Science and Medicine, in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and in History. Her book Polio Wars: Sister Kenny and the Golden Age of American Medicine (Oxford University Press, 2014) has been awarded the 2014 Lavinia L. Dock Award by the American Association for the History of Nursing.


Pamela H. Smith (Columbia University) is PI on a National Science Foundation Research Grant #1430843 “The Role of Tacit Knowledge in Experimentation,” awarded to support The Making and Knowing Project http://scienceandsociety.columbia.edu/research-clusters/from-the-workshop-to-the-laboratory/.

She has also just published the following edited volumes:

  • Christy Anderson, Anne Dunlop, and Pamela H. Smith, eds., The Matter of Art: Materials, Practices, Cultural Logics, c. 1250-1750, Manchester University Press, 2015, which explores attitudes to matter and materials in the early modern world, as well as the meaning, use, and production of materials for building, mining, and various types of artistic production.
  • Pamela H. Smith, Amy Meyers and Harold J. Cook, eds., Ways of Making and Knowing: The Material Culture of Empirical Knowledge, Bard Graduate Center/University of Michigan Press, 2014, which examines the relationship between making objects (crafts) and knowing nature (the natural sciences) in Europe and its colonies from about 1450 to 1850.

Laura Smoller moved in August from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and is now in the Department of History at the University of Rochester.


Mark Solovey’s (University of Toronto) book Shaky Foundations: The Politics-Patronage-Social Science Nexus in Cold War America (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press) is coming out in paperback in March 2015. Mark served as a senior editor for the two-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology in America (New York: Oxford University Press), 2014. For this work he also contributed two entries: ”Social Science Research Council,” and “The Social Sciences in America, Post-1945.” With Alexandra Rutherford and Mike Pettit, Mark was a co-organizer of the Three-Day Workshop, “Social Science, Ideology, and Public Policy in the United States, 1960 to the Present” held at the University of Toronto, where he presented a paper “Reconstructing Social Inquiry, Social Inquiry for Reconstruction: Marcus Raskin, the Institute for Policy Studies, and the Critique of Scientism.” He also gave a paper “Social Science Funding under Siege in More Conservative Times: The Case of the U.S. National Science Foundation in the 1970s,” at the Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association Meeting.”


Frank W. Stahnisch (University of Calgary, Canada) recently co-edited a book with Thomas Hoffmann (University of Ludwigsburg, Germany) entitled: Kurt Goldstein. Der Aufbau des Organismus. Einfuehrung in die Biologie unter besonderer Beruecksichtigung der Erfahrungen am kranken Menschen (Fink Verlag in Munich, Germany, 2014). The preface is by Anne Harrington (Harvard) and the forward by Bernhard Waldenfels (Bochum). This introduced and edited version of German-American neurologist Kurt Goldstein’s (1878–1965) book is the first edition to appear with a German publisher, after Goldstein was forced to leave Germany under the Nazis. For more information see http://www.fink.de/katalog/titel/978-3-7705-5281-8.html.


Jeff Sturchio was appointed president & CEO of Rabin Martin, a global health strategy consulting firm, last July. He received the Powered by EF 2014 Leadership Award of the Entrepreneurs’ Foundation of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation last November for his contributions to global health and corporate responsibility. His recent essay on “Corporate purpose and social responsibility” (with Lou Galambos, Johns Hopkins University) appeared in Greg Urban, ed., Corporations and Citizenship (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014).


Kara Swanson’s (Northeastern University School of Law) book, Banking on the Body: The Market in Blood, Milk and Sperm in Modern America, was published by Harvard University Press in 2014. http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674281431


David Topper’s (University of Winnipeg) latest book, Idolatry & Infinity: Of Art, Math, & God was published by Brown Walker Press in September 2014.


James Voelkel is co-curator of a new exhibition at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, Books of Secrets: Writing and Reading Alchemy. The exhibition opened at CHF on 5 Dec 2014, and runs through 4 Sep 2015. More information about the exhibit can be found at http://www.chemheritage.org/visit/museum/exhibits/books-of-secrets.


Alex Wellerstein has begun a new appointment as Assistant Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Stevens Institute of Technology.


On 17 Nov 2014, Frederick G. Weinstein, MD, was appointed to the Institutional Review Board of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. The Greater Baltimore Medical Center is a community teaching hospital affiliated with The Johns Hopkins Medical School. He is also continuing to serve as the chairman of the Ethics Committee.