July 2016 Member News

The Proceedings of “The Transformation of Chemistry between the 1920s and the 1960s”, an International Workshop on the History of Chemistry held in Tokyo on 2-4 March 2015 and described by Pnina G. Abir-Am in the July 2015 issue of the HSS Newsletter, as “IWHC-2015-Tokyo: An Enchanted Conference I Almost Missed” have just been published in both hard cover (May 2016) and online, with generous funding from the Japanese Society for the History of Chemistry. (President: Yasu Furukawa)

HSS members who have essays in these Proceedings include: (in alphabetical order) Pnina G. Abir-Am (Chemical Heritage Foundation), Ronald Brashear (Chemical Heritage Foundation), Kevin Fujitani (Ohio State University), Evan Hepler-Smith (Princeton), Jeremiah James (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München), Jeffrey Johnson (Villanova University), Victoria Lee (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science), Mary-Jo Nye (Oregon State University), Carsten Reinhardt (Chemical Heritage Foundation) and Galina Shyndriayeva (King’s College, London). The Proceedings, which also include essays by historians of science from Japan, Korea, Australia, and Europe, were edited by Masanori Kaji, Yasu Furukawa, Horoaki Tanaka, and Yoshiyuki Kikuchi.

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In May, Lindsay Alberts (Boston University) received her PhD from Boston University’s Department of History of Art & Architecture. Her dissertation, entitled “From Studiolo to Uffizi: Sites of Collecting and Display under Francesco I de’ Medici,” examined the political uses of collecting in late Renaissance Florence employed by the avant-garde alchemist and natural philosopher Grand Duke Francesco I. She looks forward to continued university teaching in the fall and devoting time to her first book project, which examines the Cappella dei Principi at San Lorenzo in Florence. In October, she will present a paper related to this project at this year’s Southeastern College Art Conference in Roanoke, Virginia.

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Melinda Baldwin (Harvard University) will be an ACLS Oscar Handlin Fellow for 2016-2017 in Washington, D.C.

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The U.S. Fulbright Program has awarded Darryl E. Brock (Central Connecticut State University) a Fulbright Scholar Award for the National University of Singapore (NUS) for spring semester 2017. Teaching as part of the NUS “Empire in Asia” thrust, he will focus on the history of science as related to modern China and global imperialism.

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Janet Brown (Harvard University) and the History of Science Department at Harvard University are delighted to announce that three new faculty members will soon be joining the department.

Professor Gabriela Soto Laveaga will join in the fall of 2016 from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Gabriela’s research focuses on Latin American medicine and public health, and she will participate in an important realignment of the department in thinking more globally about our field.

They also welcome two early career scholars. Dr. Hannah Marcus (Stanford), will join in the fall of 2017 as Assistant Professor, with a focus on Early Modern Science; and Dr. Ben Wilson (MIT, and currently MPI) will also join in the fall of 2017, as Assistant Professor in Modern Physics.

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Harold Burstyn is now Of Counsel at Furgang & Adwar LLP. He participated in the joint Arizona State University and Marine Biological Laboratory seminar in the History of Biology 18-25 May 2016 in Woods Hole.

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Stephen Case (Olivet Nazarene University) represented the International Planetarium Society in April as the 2016 American ambassador for the Society’s “Two Weeks in Italy” teaching exchange program. Stephen presented a teacher workshop, public lectures, and twenty-two student lessons on the history of stellar astronomy to over 480 Italian high school students in classrooms and planetariums in Assisi, Brescia, and Gorizia over the course of two weeks.

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Renaissance Ethnography and the Invention of the Human: New Worlds, Maps and Monsters by Surekha Davies (Western Connecticut State University) was published by Cambridge University Press (UK) on 2 June 2016. Davies was awarded the Board of Regents of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system-wide Faculty Research Award for 2016. She will be a Visiting Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin) for three months in summer 2017.

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Pascal Duris (University of Bordeaux, France) has published a book titled Quelle révolution scientifique? Les sciences de la vie dans la querelle des Anciens et des Modernes (XVIe-XVIIIe siècles) (What Scientific Revolution? Life Sciences during the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns (16th-18th centuries)) (Hermann, 2016). He demonstrates that the “Quarrel” between the Ancients and the Moderns not only implicated writers and artists, but also concerned scientists: doctors, physiologists, naturalists, mathematicians, physicists, astronomers, & so on. The book helps scholars take a fresh perspective on the conditions for the emergence of modern science in the late 16th century and through the 17th century and provides insights into concepts such as “novelty,” “truth,” “reason,” and progress.”

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Pamela Flattau (Executive Director of Psychology of Science in Policy, Washington, DC), reported in the May/June 2016 issue of the Association for Psychological Science Observer magazine that the changes taking place in the structure of faculty appointments continue to fuel the emergence of multidisciplinary research and teaching in academia.

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Melinda Gormley’s (University of Notre Dame), latest article, “Pulp Science: Education and Communication in the Paperback Book Revolution” was published this past January in Endeavour.

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Anita Guerrini (Oregon State University) has been awarded a Standard Grant from the National Science Foundation for a new project on early modern skeletons and anatomical knowledge. She had three articles appear in March 2016: “The Ghastly Kitchen” in History of Science; “The Hermaphrodite of Charing Cross” in Humans in Experiments ed. Larry Stewart and Erika Dyck (Clio Medica series, Brill, 2016); and “The Human Experimental Subject,” in A Companion to the History of Science, ed. Bernard Lightman (Wiley, 2016). She will give a keynote talk, “Giants, Fossils, and Mythology in Early Modern France,” at the George Rudé Seminar in French History in Sydney, Australia in July.

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Gerald Holton (Harvard University) is co-author with David Cassidy and James Rutherford of the book, Comprendre la Physique, which was published recently in Lausanne by Presses Polytechnique et Universitaires Romandes. Holton also published his recollections of Thomas Kuhn in his new article, “Steve’s Question and Tom’s Last Lecture,” in the book Shifting Paradigms, edited by Alexander Blum et al. and published by Edition Open Access in 2016. Holton also reports that he was elected this year to the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

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Joseph E. Harmon (Argonne National Laboratory) along with Alan G. Gross recently published their book, The Internet Revolution in the Sciences and Humanities through the Oxford University Press.

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Kristin Johnson (University of Puget Sound) and Erik Ellis organized the Columbia History of Science Group’s annual meeting in March at the Friday Harbor Laboratories (FHL) on beautiful San Juan Island in Washington State. Patrick McCray delivered a captivating keynote address entitled “Re-Wiring Art: Engineers, Artists and the Forging of a New Creative Culture,” followed by a first-rate series of papers on Saturday, including Piers Hale (University of Oklahoma) on “William Benjamin Carpenter on the Metaphysics and Physiology of Morals.” The 2017 CHSG meeting will be at the FHL from Fri & Sat, 2-3 March. For more information on next year’s meeting visit columbiahistoryofsciencegroup.org.

Kristin Johnson has also completed a historical novel on the period leading up to the Scopes Trial designed for use in courses on science and religion, the history of biology, eugenics, and science in the US between the world wars. The book is available for free at thenaturalhistoriananovel.com. Please let Kristin know if you use the book in a class (kristinjohnson@pugetsound.edu).

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Dan Kevles (Yale University) retired from Yale at the end of last June and now lives and works in New York City. He was recently elected a fellow of the Linnaean Society of London. This past academic year Kevles published the following three articles: “Inventing the World: 1845,” Scientific American, Dec. 2015, pp. 40-52; “If You Could Design Your Baby’s Genes, Would You?” Politico, Dec. 9, 2015, online: “Spy Among the Atoms,” Times Literary Supplement, Oct. 23, 2015, pp. 5,7.

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Pierre Laszlo (The University of Liège, Belgium and École Polytechnique, France) has published two papers on the history of chemistry in recent years. One is the account of a study trip, taken in the spring of 1933 by graduating chemical engineering students from the University of Clermont-Ferrand, in Central France, led by their mentor, Professor Léonce Bert. (Proceedings of the SFHST conference, Lyon, 28-30 April 2014, in press). The other paper describes how professors in the Institute of Chemistry in Liège were able to fill a glass blowing technical position immediately after WWII. (Bulletin for the History of Chemistry, 2015, 40(2), 95-102.)

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Bruce Lewenstein (Cornell University), chair of the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell, has been elected as Faculty Trustee on the Cornell Board of Trustees, for a four-year term. He will also serve as chair of the AAAS’s Section on General Interest in Science & Engineering in 2017. He recently completed two years as Speaker of Cornell’s Faculty Senate.

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Bernard Lightman (York University) has edited a new introduction to the history of science entitled A Companion to the History of Science. It is published by Wiley Blackwell and contains forty chapters divided into four sections: Roles, Places and Spaces, Communication, and Tools of Science.

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Adrienne Mayor (Stanford University) recently published three articles, “Ancient Amazons: Warrior Women in Myth and History,” World Financial Review (March 25, 2016); “Bio-Techne: Replicants and Robots: What Can the Ancient Greeks Teach Us?” Aeon, May 16, 2016; “The Eagle Huntress: Ancient Evidence and New Generations, Part I and II,” AncientOrigins.net, 5-6 April 2016, reprinted in BUST 16 April 2016.

Her book The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World received the 2016 Sarasvati Prize for Women in Mythology.

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James E. McClellan III (Stevens Institute of Technology) has been appointed Professor Emeritus of History of Science in the College of Arts and Letters. He is hard at work on his last scholarly work, History and Numismatics: The Jetons of Old Regime France.

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Ronald Mickens (Clark Atlanta University) and Charmayne Patterson have published a new article, “What is Science?Georgia Journal of Science, Volume 74, Article 3 (2016).

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In February 2016, Edward K. Morris (University of Kansas) founded the Center for the History of Behavior Analysis. Its vision is to advance behavior analysis, nationally and internationally, through its history and historiography. Its goals are to cultivate and nurture the education and training, enrich and improve them, and communicate and disseminate them to behavior analysts, other scientists and scholars, and the public at large.

In May, the Center received a small grant from the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, “Digital Scholarship: Skinner and Watson,” to develop a searchable and retrievable collection of the works of B. F. Skinner and John B. Watson. The purpose is to encourage, foster, and promote research on their contributions—and the sources of their contributions—to the scientific, conceptual, and historical foundations of behavior analysis and psychology in general.

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Carla Mulford (Penn State University) has recently received an award for excellence in teaching: the Malvin and Lea Bank Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Liberal Arts. She has also recently been promoted to Professor for English after being on sabbatical this year to work on her book manuscript in progress, Benjamin Franklin’s Electrical Diplomacy.

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Agustí Nieto-Galan (Centre d’Història de la Ciència (CEHIC)) has published two new books: Science in the Public Sphere. A History of Lay Knowledge and Expertise (London: Routledge, 2016) and Barcelona: An urban history of science and modernity (1888-1929) (London: Routledge, 2016) (co-edited with Oliver Hochadel).

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Laura Otis (Emory University) has published a new book, Rethinking Thought: Inside the Minds of Creative Scientists and Artists (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016). Rethinking Thought presents qualitative research on how the conscious experience of thinking varies from one individual to another, especially with regard to visual mental imagery and verbal language. The study features interviews with scientists, writers, and artists such as Temple Grandin and Salman Rushdie, as well as critical analyses of recent scientific studies on visual mental imagery and the relationship between language and thought.

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On 1 April 2016, Thomas Potthast (University of Tübingen) took up office as Full Professor for Ethics, Philosophy and History of the Biosciences at the University of Tübingen, Germany.

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As part of her Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellowship at the Museum, Lynette Regouby (American Philosophical Society Museum) was the lead curator on the exhibition, “Gathering Voices: Thomas Jefferson and Native America,” which opened 15 April at the American Philosophical Society (APS) Museum in Philadelphia.

In the fall, Dr. Regouby will join the Humanities Institute at the New York Botanical Garden as a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow for the academic year 2016-2017.

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Joy Rohde (University of Michigan) has published “Social Science and Foreign Affairs,” in The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, ed. Jon Butler (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016). The article provides a synthetic history of the role that social science has played in US foreign policy from the mid-19th century to the present. It is part of a new online, peer-reviewed initiative designed to provide rigorous long-form overview articles useful to researchers and instructors.

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Martin Rudwick (University of Cambridge) has been given one of the “Science Excellence Awards” for 2016 by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). It is the Vladimir V. Tikhomirov Award, which is made, on the recommendation of the International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences (INHIGEO), for “outstanding original contributions to this field of Earth Sciences.” It is named in honour of a distinguished Russian pioneer in the history of the geological sciences and one of the founders of INHIGEO.

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Jim Secord (University of Cambridge) has been awarded the 2015 Founders’ Medal of the Society for the History of Natural History. The Founders’ Medal is awarded to persons who have made a substantial contribution to the study of the history or bibliography of natural history.

In receiving the award Jim said, “It is a great honour to be awarded the Founders’ medal, as I have always aspired to the union of historical, bibliographical and scientific insight encouraged by the Society. The list of previous winners is remarkable. Several of them—particularly Joan Eyles, Martin Rudwick, and Gordon Herries Davies—I met as a fledgling historian of the earth sciences at the Charles Lyell Symposium in 1975, the very first academic conference I ever attended. I have come to know many of the others through meetings of this Society, through their writings, and as friends. It is of course a particular pleasure for me to remember Frederick Burkhardt, founder of the Darwin Correspondence Project. Fred always knew that natural history was for Darwin a cooperative enterprise, and for historians it needs to be the same.”

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Carlos Eduardo Sierra C. (Universidad Nacional de Colombia) has recently published three new articles and presented at three recent conferences. The three articles are “La energía en la historia de la guerra: Antigüedad y Alto Medioevo,” in Revista Universidad de Antioquia (Colombia). N° 323 (January-March 2016); “New articles on history of Astronomy,” in Circular de la Red de Astronomía de Colombia. Nos 833, 835, 837, 839,841, 843; and “La evanescencia del legado de Cajal,” in Revista Serrablo: Instituto de Estudios Altoaragoneses, Año XLV, N° 174 (March 2016). (Spain). The conference presentations, all of which are available on YouTube, were John Harrison y el cronómetro marítimo de alta precisión, Sociedad Julio Garavito para el Estudio de la Astronomía (Medellín), 16 April 2016 and Ciencia y tecnología en el Imperio Bizantino, Sociedad Julio Garavito para el Estudio de la Astronomía (Medellín), 6 February 2016; Ética e idoneidad científica en Clair Cameron Patterson: Un paradigma de la responsabilidad social del científico, Sociedad Julio Garavito para el Estudio de la Astronomía (Medellín), 11 June 2016.

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Leo Slater (NSF) was recently appointed to the position of the National Science Foundation historian.

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For the fall semester of 2016, David Spanagel (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) has been awarded his first sabbatical leave of his career, which he will be spending as a Visiting Researcher affiliated with Harvard University’s Department of the History of Science.

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Frank W. Stahnisch (University of Calgary, Canada) was recently promoted to the rank of Full Professor in the Cumming School of Medicine as well as in the Faculty of Arts. He is jointly appointed in the Department of Community Health Sciences and the Department of History and holds the Alberta Medical Foundation/Hannah Professorship in the History of Medicine and Health Care. In the summer of 2015, he also became a Research Fellow at the Centre for Military, Security, and Strategic Studies (an inter-departmental research center based in the Faculty of Arts, University of Calgary). For more information, see https://cmss.ucalgary.ca.

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Einstein for Anyone: A Quick Read by David Topper (University of Winnipeg, retired) is the compact story of this famous man, from the smiling contrarian in his grade school picture to the nonconformist adult who refused to groom his hair. As such, it fills a gap: the need for a very short book on Einstein that gives a brief but up-to-date story of his life and thought, with a simple explanation of what he contributed to 20th century physics and beyond. Vernon Press 2015, 88pp, 9781622730391 Special discount for members quoting MBRDSCNT.

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Virginia Trimble (University of California, Irvine) has been added to the editorial boards of the Journal for Astronomical History and Heritage and the Springer Historical Astronomy book series. Her recent talks on the history of science include: (1) Origins of Relativistic Astrophysics (28th Texas Symposium, Geneva, December 2015), (2) Proto-history of Dark Matter (UCLA Dark Matter Conference, February 2016), (3) General Relativity During the Great War (American Astronomical Society, Kissimmee Florida, January 2016), (4) Who Got Moseley’s Prize? American Chemical Society (March, San Diego), (5) How Big was the Universe? (MPI Heidelberg, March 2016), (6) Impact of World War I on Science (Orange County Sigma Xi, Far West Section of American Physical Society, U. California Irvine Dept. colloquium).

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Peter D. Usher’s (Penn State University) paper “Lancelot’s Nosebleed” (Notes & Queries 261:3, 2016; in press) shows that a passage in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, which previously had been glossed as gibberish, is really a compliment to the Gregorian and Hebrew calendars.

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The University of Pittsburgh Press has just published Park Hyung Wook’s (Nanyang Technological University) new book: Old Age, New Science: Gerontologists and Their Biosocial Visions, 1900-1960 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016).

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Richard Yeo has been awarded the title of Emeritus Professor at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.

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stephen-weldonStephen Weldon, HSS Bibliographer, Promoted to Associate Professor at OU

The University of Oklahoma’s Department of the History of Science proudly announces that effective 1 July 2016, Dr. Stephen Weldon has been promoted to Associate Professor.

From the beginning of Professor Weldon’s co-appointment as HSS Bibliographer and as Assistant Professor, it was clear that the production of the Current Bibliography was more than a contract assignment; it was a major undertaking that required both diligence and creativity. When he took on the project in 2002, Professor Weldon faced several major challenges. First, when he began as Bibliographer, he faced such an enormous backlog of work that he and his assistants had to produce, effectively, five annual bibliographies in less than three years. This challenge was made more difficult by the poor state of the various work processes and software involved in the production of the CB at that time. Thanks to Professor Weldon’s efforts, these processes and the software were revamped and modernized so that the CB soon matched the standards for other major bibliographic systems.

The second, and in many ways more difficult, challenge was the fact that the CB was still operating under the disciplinary categories created by George Sarton in 1913, while the history of science had both reconceptualized itself and become a worldwide enterprise. Over the past fourteen years, Professor Weldon has renovated the CB to such an extent that it scarcely resembles the previous version: new categories of classification and analysis that reflect areas of scholarship that did not exist in the early twentieth century; a new organization of data that allows users to drill down to materials that would have been impossible to find under the previous data design; new architecture standards that coordinate the History of Science, Technology and Medicine database with other scholarly databases, thereby enabling the fruitful interplay of different disciplines and systems; and perhaps most importantly, greater accessibility to the data for scholars around the world, making the CB an open access tool that helps level the playing field for scholars in less-developed as well as developed countries. In short, Professor Weldon has made remarkable strides in transforming the CB into a global portal to the history of science, writ large. To this end, Professor Weldon won a $300,000 grant from the Sloan Foundation in 2014.

As in many disciplines, scholarship in the history of science is no longer defined by projects designed and undertaken by single scholars. For this reason, Professor Weldon’s long-term digital strategy has on the one hand drawn on the advice and contributions of practitioners around the globe and on the other hand sought to produce materials and tools that strengthen collaborative work in the future. This is particularly true of the World History of Science Online project (WHSO), in which Professor Weldon plays a vital role, and the use of social media as a means for historians of science to share materials and collaborate.

These are exciting projects that expand the research of every historian in our fields, but they also bring special challenges to master new techniques that take full advantage of the resources Professor Weldon and his colleagues have produced. For the Department, the challenge spotlighted a new problem that many of our fellow institutions face: how to measure and assess novel forms of research that do not fit the criteria that long have prevailed as standards in academic life. In response, the Department created the University of Oklahoma’s first policy on digital scholarship, covering projects that range from new ways to publish otherwise traditional texts to “born digital” multimedia and interactive works that are impossible to publish in print form. We now use this policy as a touchstone to encourage undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty to consider digital scholarship in future work.

Most historians of science, technology, and medicine know Professor Weldon as the Society’s Bibliographer, and that project has been his central labor. HSS Executive Director, Jay Malone, who remembers well Professor Weldon’s hire as Society Bibliographer, commented on the outstanding improvements that Weldon has brought to the CB. “He had to follow in the footsteps of the legendary John Neu, who worked on the CB for decades,” said Malone, “and has truly ushered the CB into the 21st century. The Society is indeed fortunate to be able to call on his many talents.” But those who focus on science and religion, particularly in the modern American context, also know that he is a distinguished contributor to that field. Despite the major time obligations in producing the CB, and despite a near-full teaching load, Professor Weldon recently completed his monograph on The Scientific Spirit of American Humanism, which is under contract with Johns Hopkins University Press. The Department anticipates that once it appears, it will be an authoritative treatment of humanism, from its roots in nineteenth century Unitarianism to its discussion of current humanism.

Congratulations, Stephen!

Hunter Heyck
Professor and Department Chair, History of Science

Steven J. Livesey
Brian E. and Sandra O’Brien Presidential Professor, History of Science

The Isis Current Bibliography—In His Own Words

[HSS’s Bibliographer Stephen Weldon describes the future of the CB]

“My vision for the IsisCB is to transform a print bibliography into a research environment where users can explore the history of science from many different facets; eventually people should be able to go to the IsisCB and understand more about both the history of science and the discipline of history of science. In essence, I am rethinking “bibliography” in an age of linked open data, and I’ve even taken the word “bibliography” out of the name because I am building something more than a citation index. Of course, anyone looking at “IsisCB Explore” now will not see this yet because it still looks like a standard online bibliographic service. However, under the hood, it contains a structure that takes advantage of the current interactive, linked-data environment. It allows users to explore the network of internal relationships among people, institutions, publications, concepts and subjects—I will be making the information about that network much more visible in the coming revisions. Collections of citations make it possible to build maps of the intellectual and social contours of the discipline. So, what do I hope people will be able to do beyond bibliographical searching when the project is completed? …Quickly find out about authors, publishers, journals, and subjects with automated analytics showing such things such as publication timelines, disciplinary genealogy graphs, tables of institutional subject area strengths, and diagrams of author networks… See daily updates… Create their own profiles and add internal and external links… Comment on and tag objects in the system. In the end, it will be a curated research tool with community collaboration.”

alan-rockeRetirement Celebration for Alan Rocke

Dozens of friends and colleagues gathered this past 5 May at the Allen Memorial Medical Library at Case Western University to celebrate Alan Rocke as he retired from CWU. The three words that came up again and again as speakers described Alan were “generous,” “distinguished,” and “kind.” Congratulations Alan!

The 2016 Joseph H. Hazen Lecture on the History of Science

On 27 April Joseph Dauben delivered the History of Science Society’s Joseph H. Hazen Lecture at the New York Academy of Science, titled “Science and Art in China: Li Matou (Matteo Ricci), Lang Shining (Giuseppe Castiglione), and the Influence of Western Geometry and Mathematical Perspective on Early Qing Dynasty Mathematicians and Artists.” Dauben is the Distinguished Professor of History and History of Science at Herbert H. Lehman College (CUNY) and a member of the PhD Program in History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has been a leader in the history of science community in New York for decades, and has led numerous scholarly collaborations in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Professor Dauben’s lecture described the efforts of Jesuit missionaries to use mathematics, science, and art to convert elites in Qing dynasty China. Some aspects of this story are fairly well known, such as the triumph of European astronomy in a showdown with the Chinese and Islamic calendars over a 1629 eclipse. Professor Dauben took his large audience deep into this Jesuit project of conversion via mathematics.

2016 Joseph H. Hazen Lecturer Joe Dauben

2016 Joseph H. Hazen Lecturer Joe Dauben, accompanied by Mary Lou Gleason. Photo by Eugene Cittadino.

The story was anchored by Matteo Ricci, who thought introducing Euclid to China would demonstrate the superiority of European mathematics and logic. It would follow inevitably that European religion must be superior, as well. Ricci and a local convert prepared a Chinese version of Euclid’s Elements, which had a mixed reception. Some parts seemed worth studying, though many of the axioms seemed absurd—how could a point (translated with a word meaning “brushstroke”) be a thing without any parts? Ricci’s mathematical evangelizing had the surprising result of stimulating the Chinese to pay more attention to their own mathematical tradition, instead of luring them to European ways.

Fascinatingly, the Jesuits also taught perspective drawing with a similar strategy. Mathematical perspective was unlike any existing Chinese artistic traditions, and it was thought that the ability to create depth on a flat surface would be a kind of mathematical propaganda. The Jesuits were particularly skilled in these techniques and used them extensively in the churches they built in China. This combination of mathematics and art would hopefully, like the calendar, show the superiority of all things Christian. Interesting tensions emerged, however. Perspective drawing was so different from Chinese traditions that it was seen as strange rather than impressive. Jesuit artists often modified their depictions of the gospel to remove shadows, for example, to make them seem more familiar to Chinese viewers. European perspective techniques do indeed appear in Chinese work of the time—though nearly only in paintings displayed within the Forbidden City. They were thus embraced, as the Jesuits intended, by the elites. But it was only by the elites, and European methods did not spread very far. The Jesuits saw the Emperor’s embrace of innovations such as perspective and the telescope as indicative of their power over him; the Emperor thought exactly the opposite. Mathematics was a useful tool, not a reason to change.

Professor Dauben closed with a reflection on how this story helps illuminate the classic “Needham question” regarding why modern science did not appear in China. The key, he said, was mathematics, though one needed to understand that mathematics was itself only one part of a complicated interplay of religion, social structure, pragmatic calculation, obscure translations, and artistic renderings. Indeed, it was exactly these connections that first drew Joseph Hazen to the history of science from his varied career in law, film production, and art collection. Professor Dauben’s presentation was a masterful illustration of the continuing relevance of the values supported by the Hazen lectureship.

The Joseph H. Hazen Lecture is made possible by a gift from Cynthia Hazen Polsky, daughter of Joseph Hazen. The lecture is supported by the History of Science Society; Metropolitan New York Section of the HSS; New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study; Columbia University’s Colloquium for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society and University Seminar in History and Philosophy of Science; City University of New York’s PhD Program in History, and History of Science Lecture Series; and the New York Academy of Sciences Section for History and Philosophy of Science.