July 2015 – Member News

Hanne Andersen has been named Head of the Department of Science Education at the University of Copenhagen, and he looks forward to promoting the many fruitful connections between history and philosophy of science and science education.


The 2015–16 Fellowship in Aerospace History has been awarded to Colleen Anderson, PhD candidate in the Department of History at Harvard University, for her project “‘Two Kinds of Infinity’: East Germany, West Germany, and the Cold War Cosmos.” See more at: http://blog.historians.org/2015/05/2015-aha-nasa-jameson-fellowships-awarded/#sthash.g7YkW2R9.dpuf


Jessica Barnes and Michael R. Dove (Yale) have published Climate Cultures: Anthropological Perspectives on Climate Change (Yale University Press, 2015). The volume contains eleven cross-cultural case studies of climate change and human society, most from scholars with Yale ties, and it concludes with an afterword by the noted British climate scientist Mike Hulme.


Roland Boucher (Independent researcher) recently presented “The Pendulum, Three Standards that Measured the Ancient World and the Mystery of the Parthenon” to his local Sigma Xi chapter in Orange County California and at the 96th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Division of the AAAS in June.


Emily Brock has published Money Trees: The Douglas Fir and American Forestry, 1900-1944 (Oregon State University Press, 2015). She has recently taken a position as research scholar in Department III at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.


Stephen Brush’s (University of Maryland, emeritus) book Making 20th Century Science: How Theories Became Knowledge was published by Oxford University Press in March 2015. On May 20 he was given an honorary doctorate at the commencement ceremony of the University of the Sciences-Philadelphia. His granddaughter Jennifer Roberts received her bachelor’s degree in physics at the same ceremony.


Richard Duschl (Pennsylvania State University) was honored recently for his significant contributions to science education research with the Distinguished Contributions Award at the 2015 awards luncheon for the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST). You can read more at: http://news.psu.edu/story/352630/2015/04/14/academics/waterbury-chair-awarded-highest-honor-narst-ceremony


In 2014 Matthew Daniel Eddy (Durham University) was elected to serve on the executive council of the British Society for the History of Science. In 2016 he will be a research fellow at Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study. His project focuses on the kinds of scientific evidence used to reconstruct and analyze the everyday experiences of 18th and 19th-century childhood.


Treasure Your Exceptions. The Science and Life of William Bateson by Alan G. Cock and Donald R. Forsdyke (Queen’s University, Kingston) was published in 2008. The publishers (Springer, New York) began monitoring electronic chapter downloads in 2011. The following are the yearly download figures since the records began: 2011, 278; 2012, 274; 2013, 579; 2014, 2336. Over the same period, Forsdyke’s Evolutionary Bioinformatics had 14,806 chapter downloads, of which 6576 were in 2014.


Monica H. Green (Arizona State University) together with 17 historians, bioarcheologists, and anthropologists, recently published a volume of essays, Pandemic Disease in the Medieval World: Rethinking the Black Death. This initially appeared open-access as the inaugural issue of The Medieval Globe in November 2014: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/medieval_globe/1/

As of late May, the volume has been downloaded over 4600 times. The volume is also available in hardback, published by Arc-Medieval Press (Kalamazoo, MI and Bradford, UK, 2015), where it appears with a new preface by Green, “The Black Death and Ebola: The Value of Comparison.” Green will be taking up a fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin in Fall 2015, where she will be working on her new book, “A Global History of Health.”


William deJong-Lambert (CUNY Bronx Community College) has been awarded a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society to work in the Haldane family papers at the National Library of Scotland.


Bert Hansen is retiring after forty years of full-time teaching, becoming Professor Emeritus after twenty-four years at Baruch College of CUNY, where he taught and published mostly in American history and the history of medicine. He began teaching at SUNY-Binghamton, with later stints at the University of Toronto and NYU and fellowships at Harvard and the Institute for Advanced Study. His Picturing Medical Progress from Pasteur to Polio about popular culture imagery in America appeared in 2009. An illustrated booklet with a condensed version of his lecture examining the place of the fine arts in Pasteur’s career is available in pdf format courtesy of the University of Alabama Medical School, as “Louis Pasteur and the Pleasures of Art,” at http://www.uab.edu/reynolds/past. Hansen has recently published three articles about an overlooked aspect of Pasteur’s biography, namely the great chemist’s numerous close friendships with leading painters and sculptors and the mutual interactions between his career and theirs. These articles were co-authored with a former student, Richard E. Weisberg (1943-2011).

  • Weisberg and Hansen, “Collaboration of Art and Science in Albert Edelfelt’s Portrait of Louis Pasteur: The Making of an Enduring Medical Icon,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 89:1 (Spring 2015), 59-91.
  • Hansen and Weisberg, “Louis Pasteur’s Three Artist Compatriots —Henner, Pointelin, and Perraud: A Story of Friendship, Science, and Art in the 1870s and 1880s,” Journal of Medical Biography (printed issue forthcoming; pre-prints available at http://jmb.Sagepub.com).
  • Hansen and Weisberg, “Louis Pasteur (1822–1895), His friendships with the Artists Max Claudet (1840–1893) and Paul Dubois (1829–1905), and His Public Image in the 1870s and 1880s,” Journal of Medical Biography (printed issue forthcoming; pre-prints available at http://jmb.Sagepub.com).

David K. Hecht (Bowdoin) has published Storytelling and Science: Rewriting Oppenheimer in the Nuclear Age (University of Massachusetts Press, 2015).


Ann Hibner Koblitz’s (Arizona State University) Sex and Herbs and Birth Control: Women and Fertility Regulation through the Ages (Kovalevskaia Fund, 2014) was just awarded the Transdisciplinary Book Award of the Institute for Humanities Research of Arizona State University. More information about the book can be found at www.kovfund.org/book.shtml or on the author’s blog at http://ahkoblitz.wordpress.com


Kenton Kroker (York University) is pleased to announce that he is taking up a four-year term as co-editor (with Erika Dyck, University of Saskatchewan) of the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin canadien d’histoire de la medicine.


Whitney E. Laemmli (University of Pennsylvania) has been awarded an ACLS/Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship for her project “The Choreography of Everyday Life: Rudolf Laban and the Analysis of Modern Movement.”


Ken Ludmerer (Washington University) received the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for his contributions to the history of medicine, with special reference to his latest book, Let Me Heal: The Opportunity to Preserve Excellence in American Medicine (Oxford, 2014).


Kristie Macrakis (Georgia Tech) has been awarded a Woodrow Wilson Center Fellowship in Washington, D.C. for 2015-16 to work on her new project on “Technology and the Rise of the US National Security State.” The paperback of her 2014 book Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies, Yale Press, was released in May 2015 and the first translation into Estonian in April 2015.


Victor K. McElheny (MIT), author of biographies of Edwin H. Land (Perseus, 1998) and James D. Watson (Perseus, 2003), and a general history of the Human Genome Project (Basic Books, 2010 and 2012), has begun a series, “Milestones of Innovation,” with the online innovation news service, Xconomy.com, based in Cambridge, MA. Items have covered such topics as the Frisch-Peierls uranium memorandum of 1940, Stephanie Kwolek’s 1965 invention of Kevlar, and Franklin Roosevelt’s 1940 summons of William Knudsen to join him in Washington in 1940 to work on “production matters.” The pieces are archived on the Xconomy.com site. McElheny was technology reporter for the New York Times and inaugural director of the Banbury Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory before founding the Knight Science Journalism program at MIT in 1982.


Carla Mulford (Pennsylvania State University) has published Benjamin Franklin and the Ends of Empire (Oxford University Press, 2015) and is currently working on a monograph titled “Benjamin Franklin’s Electrical Diplomacy.”


David Orenstein continues to pursue the rich research vein of the early international scientific congresses held in Canada. This has produced a formidable personal archive of research notes and photocopies that has led to many publications, ranging from minute to medium size, as well as several conference papers delivered across Canada. He will serve as a new executive member of Toronto’s Riverdale Historical Society (RHS) and will organize the Friday afternoon excursion when the Canadian Science and Technology Historical Association (which studies the history of Canadian science) holds it biennial conference at Toronto’s York University on 6-8 November 2015. He will serve as the Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Science’s representative on the Programme Committee for the Three Societies meeting at the University of Alberta next year.


Peter Pesic’s (St. John’s College) book Music and the Making of Modern Science (MIT Press and iBooks, 2014) received the 2014 American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE Award) in Music & the Performing Arts, presented by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers.


Elizabeth Petrick (New Jersey Institute of Technology) has published Making Computers Accessible: Disability Rights and Digital Technology (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015).


Raffaele Pisano served as co-editor (with Paolo Bussotti) of a special issue of Advances in Historical Studies titled “Exploring Changes in How the Histories of the Exact Sciences from the 18th to through the 20th Century Have Been Written: Interpreting the Dynamics of Change in these Sciences and Interrelations Amongst Them—Past Problems, Future Cures?”


Lawrence Principe (Johns Hopkins University) has won a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2015-2016. He will finish his book about the life and work of Wilhelm Homberg and the transformations of chemistry at the Academie Royale des Sciences, 1666-1730.


Raphael Rosen began work at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory as a science writer in February 2015. In this role he will write press releases about research papers published by Lab physicists and help manage and execute the Lab’s overall communications strategy. In 2014, he published Math Geek, a book about finding mathematics in everyday life. http://amzn.com/1440583811


Alexandra Rutherford (York University) has been awarded a grant from the Association for Psychological Science’s Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science grants program. The project, entitled “Gender Matters: Gendered Innovations in Teaching Psychological Science,” inspired by Londa Schiebinger’s Gendered Innovations initiative, will produce teaching materials exploring how gendering affects the design, conduct, interpretation, and communication of psychological science.


Gildo M. Santos (University of São Paulo) has edited a special issue of the Brazilian electronic journal Labor & Engenho, focusing on the history of electrification in Southern Brazil. The link is http://www.conpadre.org/v9n12015.php


Claudia Schaefer (University of Rochester) had Lens, Laboratory, Landscape: Observing Modern Spain published last September 2014 by the State University of New York Press. It is being released in paperback on 2 July 2015. The volume explores competing views about the power of vision in Spain between the 1830s and 1950s. Placing Spain in the middle of a European cultural milieu, rather than fading it into the margins, the book moves from the work of the “father of neuroscience” Santiago Ramón y Cajal–both a scientist and a photographer–to Manuel de Terán’s cultural topographies, the “retinal vision” of philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, and Salvador Dalí’s notorious romance with quantum theory.


Robin Wolfe Scheffler will start as an Assistant Professor at the MIT Program in Science, Technology, and Society on 1 July, after completing a year as a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Jason L. Schwartz has joined the faculty at Yale University as an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the School of Public Health, with a secondary appointment in the Section of the History of Medicine in the School of Medicine. He was most recently the Harold T. Shapiro Fellow in Bioethics at Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania.


Carlos Eduardo Sierra (Universidad Nacional de Colombia) has published (with Steve Macraigne and Sergio Osorio) La bioética a la luz de las epistemologías de segundo orden I: el aporte crítico de Iván Illich y de Hans Jonas (Universidad Militar Nueva Granada, 2014). He also served as guest editor of La Revista Internacional Magisterio: No 71: Bioética y educación de future (Cooperativa Editorial Magisterio, 2014). He published many articles in 2014 and 2015, including “Polemoética: límites y posibilidades” in Revista de Bioética Latinoamericana, Vol. 14, No 1, 2014; “Tecnología bélica medieval: Giro en la historia de la tecnología” in Revista Universidad de Antioquia, No 315, 2014; and a series of articles on the history of astronomy in Circular de la Red de Astronomía de Colombia. Sierra was a researcher and evaluator for the National System of Science and Technology, Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (Colciencias), Colombia in both 2014 and 2015.


Pamela H. Smith (Columbia University) was selected as Vice President of the Renaissance Society of America. She will serve a 2014-16 term, then become President for 2016-18, and Past President 2018-20. She recently co-edited the following books: Christy Anderson, Anne Dunlop, and Pamela H. Smith (eds.), The Matter of Art: Materials, Practices, Cultural Logics, c.1250-1750 (Manchester University Press, 2015), a volume that 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, and Pamela H. Smith, Amy R. W. 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).

This volume explores the circumstances under which making constituted knowing, and, more specifically, it examines the relationship between making objects (crafts) and knowing nature (the natural sciences) in Europe and its colonies from about 1450 to 1850. It includes both museum and academic scholars in an attempt to draw the study of objects more centrally into history and the history of science.


Miriam Solomon (Temple University) has just published Making Medical Knowledge with Oxford University Press.


David Spanagel earned tenure and the promotion to Associate Professor this past winter at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.


Anthony N. Stranges (Texas A&M) has published Transforming America (Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2014). The book is a comprehensive survey of science in America from colonial times to the present.


David J. Stump (University of San Francisco) has published Conceptual Change and the Philosophy of Science: Alternative Interpretations of the A Priori (Routledge, 2015).


Arnold Thackray (Chemical Heritage Foundation) has co-authored (with David Brock and Rachel Jones) Moore’s Law: The Life of Gordon Moore, Silicon Valley’s Quiet Revolutionary (Basic Books, 2015), an account of Gordon Moore’s life and his role in the development of Silicon Valley. The 560-page biography has been ten years in the making.


Elly Truitt was granted tenure and promoted from Assistant to Associate Professor of History at Bryn Mawr College. Her book Medieval Robots: Mechanism, Magic, Nature, and Art was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in May 2015.


Glen Van Brummelen has been awarded the 2015 Distinguished Teaching award by the Mathematical Association of America’s Pacific Northwest section.


Mark A. Waddell (Michigan State) has published Jesuit Science and the End of Nature’s Secrets (Ashgate, 2015).


Kelly J. Whitmer has been promoted to Associate Professor of History at Sewanee: The University of the South. Her book, The Halle Orphanage as Scientific Community: Observation, Eclecticism and Pietism in the Early Enlightenment, appeared in May 2015 with the University of Chicago Press.


Polly Winsor (University of Toronto) has published “Considering Affinity: An Ethereal Conversation,” Endeavour 39 (1): 69-79, which uses an imaginary dialogue to explore issues in the history of systematics. Parts 2 and 3 of this project are currently in press.


Christine Yi Lai Luk has published a paper titled “Building Biophysics in Mid-Century China: The University of Science and Technology of China” in the Journal of the History of Biology, Vol. 48(2), pp. 201-235. Her dissertation-based monograph, A History of Biophysics in Contemporary China, was recently published by Springer Press.