October 2019 – Member News

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HSS in Utrecht
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Congratulations 2018 DHST Dissertation Prize Laureates
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Q&A with Anita Guerrini
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My Job in Five Objects
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In memoriam
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News from the HSS
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Member News
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News from the Profession
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Catherine Abou-Nemeh (Victoria University of Wellington) replaced Prof. Stephen Gaukroger as editor of Springer’s book series, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, in June 2019. Springer Press and the editorial board members thank Stephen for his unwavering dedication and stewardship of the series over the past years.


Neptune’s Laboratory: Fantasy, Fear, and Science at Sea

Antony Adler (Carleton College) published Neptune’s Laboratory: Fantasy, Fear, and Science at Sea (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2019).


The Collectors of Lost Souls

Warwick Anderson (University of Sydney) published an updated edition of The Collectors of Lost Souls (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019) with an extensive afterword. The first edition was awarded the William H. Welch Medal of the AAHM, the Ludwik Fleck Prize of 4S, and the NSW Premier’s award for General History.

He has also published with James Dunk, Tony Capon and David S. Jones, “Human Health on an Ailing Planet,” in The New England Journal of Medicine 381 (2019): 778-82. This is a historical article on medical responses to climate change.


After the FloodLydia Barnett (Northwestern University) published After the Flood: Imagining the Global Environment in Early Modern Europe (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019).


Joe Bassi (University of Texas at El Paso) was elected a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.  Also, he will be a visiting fellow this fall and winter at Clare Hall of Cambridge University.


Peter Bowler (Queen’s University Belfast) is working with the University of Chicago Press in preparing a second edition of his and Iwan Morus’ Making Modern Science: A Historical Survey to appear in mid-2020. All chapters in this new edition have been updated to include references to recently-published research and two new chapters on ‘Science and Empire’ and ‘The Calculation Revolution.’


Luis Campos (University of New Mexico and HSS secretary) was appointed as Regent’s Lecturer at UNM, a special honor bestowed by the university on selected tenured faculty members in recognition of their accomplishments as teachers, scholars, and leaders both in university affairs and in their national professional communities.


Tamara CaulkinsTamara Caulkins (Central Washington University) teaches classes at the William O. Douglas Honors College of Central Washington University including “Sites for Science: A History of Laboratories” and, with biologist Fabiola Serra, a co-taught course called “The Nature of Beasts: Animals in History and Science.”

In July, she gave a talk to the Centre for the Humanities & Medicine at the University of Hong Kong on “Understanding Nature through Graphic Representations: Maria Sibylla Merian and Alexander von Humboldt in the Long Eighteenth Century.” She has written about her experience in Hong Kong on her blog.


H. Floris CohenH. Floris Cohen (Utrecht University) was honored by the King of the Netherlands and is now a member of the Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw (Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion). The honor is given to persons who have distinguished themselves by exceptional achievement in the arts, in the sciences, and in innovation. The Ridder in de Orde recognizes Floris’s service as Editor of the History of Science Society, his many years of teaching, and his numerous publications. (Photo by Desiree Capel)


Frederick “Fritz” Davis (Purdue University), R. Mark Lubbers Chair in the History of Science, is now Head of the Department of History.


Jim Endersby (University of Sussex) has been appointed visiting professor of the history of science at Gresham College, London. His first series of free lectures (which will be live-streamed and then available on YouTube) will be on Utopian Gardens.


On Trial for Reason: Science, Religion, and Culture in the Galileo AffairMaurice A. Finocchiaro (University of Nevada-Las Vegas) published On Trial for Reason: Science, Religion, and Culture in the Galileo Affair (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), which will be released in November.


Jim Fleming (Colby College) is an invited guest speaker at MIT’s annual PAOC (Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate) retreat in the mountains of western Massachusetts. PAOC is a subset of graduate students, postdocs, researchers and faculty in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at MIT. The theme of this year’s retreat is History of Climate: Climate’s Current and Historical Impact on Cultural, Political, and Social Development. Jim will be discussing his work, including Historical Perspectives on Climate Change, The Callendar Effect, and Inventing Atmospheric Science.


Inventing Polymer Science: Staudinger, Carothers, and the Emergence of Macromolecular ChemistryYasu Furukawa (SOKENDAI) received the 2018 Morris Award from the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry, and presented his Morris Award Lecture, “Exploring the History of Chemistry in Japan,” during the 12th International Conference on the History of Chemistry held in Maastricht in August 2019. He is the author of Inventing Polymer Science: Staudinger, Carothers, and the Emergence of Macromolecular Chemistry (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998) and The Chemists’ Kyoto School: Gen-itsu Kita and Chemistry in Japan (in Japanese) (Kyoto: Kyoto University Press, 2017).


Developmental BiologyScott F. Gilbert (Swarthmore College) received the Service Award for Education and Outreach from the Pan-American Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology.

He also published:

Developmental symbiosis facilitates the multiple origins of herbivory” in Development and Evolution (July 2019)

“Towards a developmental biology of holobionts” in Perspectives on Evolutionary and Developmental Biology: Essays for Alessandro Minelli, edited by Giuseppe Fusco, 13-22 (Padova University Press, 2019)

With Barresi, Michael J.F. Developmental Biology, 12 ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019).

He is now retired and living in Portland, Oregon.


Christopher M. Graney (Vatican Observatory and Jefferson Community & Technical College) published “As Big as a Universe: Johannes Kepler on the Immensities of Stars and of Divine Power” in Catholic Historical Review 105, no. 1 (Winter 2019): 75-90.


The Anthropocene as a Geological Time UnitJacques Grinevald (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies) published “History of the Anthropocene Concept” in The Anthropocene as a Geological Time Unit, eds. Jan Zalasiewicz et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), 4-11.


Shireen Hamza (Harvard University) had the opportunity to participate in a teacher’s institute in Washington D.C. called “The Global Enlightenment,” where she gave a talk about teaching a more global and just history of science. The audience of fifty secondary school teachers who regularly teach courses on World History were incredibly engaged and deeply informed. The institute was organized by Dr. Susan Douglass, a giant in the realm of curricular reform, who is now developing an open-access resource for teachers on the topic. She is looking for more academics who are interested in collaborating with teachers on this project, and would no doubt welcome participation from more historians of science. Hamza, too, would love to connect with others who are doing this work.

Past projects that Dr. Douglass has worked on:


Bert Hansen (Baruch College of CUNY), professor emeritus of history, published two articles about art and the history of science and medicine:

Hennig Brandt and the Discovery of Phosphorus” in Distillations, magazine of the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, July 30, 2019.

Medical History as Fine Art in American Mural Painting of the 1930s” in Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin canadien d’histoire de la médecine 36, no. 1 (Spring 2019), 80-111.


Albert Einstein: Philosopher-ScientistHans J. Haubold (United Nations) would like to place a reminder that 70 years ago, A. Einstein celebrated his 70th birthday and that at this occasion in 1949, a book was published that offers the unique opportunity to encounter one of the greatest minds of all time: Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, ed. Paul Arthur Schilpp, Evanston, The Library of Living Philosophers, 1949.

The book contains Einstein’s only existing autobiography, his “Autobiographical Notes” are among the most outstanding intellectual reflections ever written. Additionally, 25 contributors, among them Niels Bohr, Max Born, Wolfgang Pauli, and other luminaries, discuss some critical aspect of Einstein’s work to which Einstein replies in a final chapter of the book.

Einstein signed a limited edition of 760 numbered copies of this book with “Albert Einstein 49” on the flyleaf. A limited number of copies have been used as presentation copies from the series editor Paul Arthur Schilpp and contain inscriptions on the title page. In our copy, Number 34, dated September 17, 1968, New York City, it reads, “To two fine artists: Mary Louise and Kees Kooper with the deep appreciation of Madelon and Paul A Schilpp.”  Kooper was a professional Dutch violinist and concertized with his wife as the Kooper-Boehm Duo. What happened to all the signed copies of the book? While some hold pride of place in museums, libraries, and scientific institutions, many others are unaccounted for.

Interior page - bookParts of the book have already become classics, for example where Einstein discusses his views of quantum mechanics, including the Einstein-Podolski-Rosen Paradox. Already in this book, Einstein critically analyses, with a view to the contributions of Bohr, Born, and Pauli, the situation of two quantum-mechanically entangled systems. While that critique can hardly be upheld today, entanglement became the central concept in quantum information and quantum computation. Only recently the weird quantum effects of entanglement were experimentally observed with neutrinos traveling over hundreds of miles between neutrino facilities in Illinois and Minnesota. Readers of the book will enjoy the opportunity to encounter the arguments and excitement of the greatest minds of all time that can still be the source of enlightenment today.


Higher and Colder: A History of Extreme Physiology and ExplorationVanessa Heggie (University of Birmingham) published Higher and Colder: A History of Extreme Physiology and Exploration (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019). She was interviewed about this book by Michael F. Robinson for his podcast Time to Eat the Dogs, which has been syndicated to the New Books Network.


Marieke Hendriksen left her postdoc position with the ERC ARTECHNE project at Utrecht University on 1 October in order to take up a position as a researcher with the Humanities Cluster of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in Amsterdam.


Andrew J. Hogan (Creighton University) was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of History. Hogan has also received a joint appointment as Associate Professor in the new Medical Humanities Department in the Creighton University School of Medicine.


Eduard Kolchinsky (Russian Academy of Sciences) was elected a full member of the Academy by the Council of the International Academy of History of Science on 25 May 2019 (according to the results of the elections held in November 2018). During the Academy’s 90-year history, this is the first time that a historian of biology from Russia was nominated for a full member.

He also published “Russian editions of E. Haeckel’s works and the evolution of their perception” in Theory in Bioscience 138, no. 1 (May 2019): 49-71.


Ramunas Kondratas (Vilnius University Museum) was elected President of the Lithuanian Association for the History and Philosophy of Science. Currently, he is also serving as the President of the Association of the History and Philosophy of Science of the Baltic States. He was one of the organizers of the 29th Baltic Conference on the History of Science, which was held at Vilnius University on 19–21 September 2019.


Antoine Leveque (Université Paris 7) will be presenting brand new material at the New York History of Science workshop on 6 December 2019. His presentation will be about the uses of the (Cartesian) Coordinate System for the Advent of Moneytheism: A History of Neuro-Economy.

This presentation will be held at the Gallatin Center of New York University where he has worked as an adjunct lecturer teaching a class of Engineering Ethics at the Tandon Polytechnic School of Technology.

After having successfully defended his PhD dissertation at Paris 7 in January 2017, he is now working on a 250-page English version of his work “Racial Equality in Science (1750-1885).” He is currently looking at tentative post-doctoral positions and scholarships in Denmark.


Women in their Element: Selected Women's Contributions to the Periodic SystemAnnette Lykknes (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) and Brigitte Van Tiggelen (eds.) published Women in their Element: Selected Women’s Contributions to the Periodic System (Singapore: World Scientific, 2019).

This year we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev’s publication of the Periodic Table of Elements. The collective volume Women in their Element takes the opportunity of the anniversary to offer a fresh perspective on the history of the periodic system, one that spotlights some of the many women who have contributed to the history of the periodic system and to the history and knowledge of the elements. The aim of the book, however, is not to replace heroes with heroines; rather the stories of women’s contributions are used to shed light on the multifaceted character of scientific work centered on elements, and on the articulation of individual and sometimes almost imperceptible, but nevertheless crucial, steps within the greater scientific endeavor. By spotlighting women’s work, the editors aim to reveal a fuller picture of the nature of science and all the people involved in the scientific enterprise, from unpaid assistants and technicians to full professors and leaders of the laboratory.

The book consists of 38 chapters, each one featuring one woman or a group of women, and one or more elements—or work that has been important for the structure of the periodic system or our knowledge about atoms. The articles are scholarly informed, yet accessible in style, and target professional historians of science as well as historically interested, science-curious audiences. The volume benefits from a breadth in expertise, from the fields of chemistry or physics, history of science or science education, or from the practices as Wikipedians or activists. An extended introduction offers a history of chemistry with women’s contributions embedded.

The chapters include pre-periodic table contributions as well as recent discoveries, unknown stories as well as more famous ones. The main emphasis is on work conducted in the late 19th century and early 20th century, however women working on elements or discussing the nature of some of them in early modern times are also included, as are late 20th century and early 21st century figures.

A group of contributors with the pre-print of the volume, together for the 12th International Conference on History of Chemistry in Maastricht, the Netherlands, on 30 July. Left to right: Patrice Bret, Ignacio Suay-Matallana, Brigitte Van Tiggelen and Annette Lykknes (editors), Jeffrey Johnson, Gisela Boeck, Anders Lundgren and Matthew Shindell.

A group of contributors with the pre-print of the volume, together for the 12th International Conference on History of Chemistry in Maastricht, the Netherlands, on 30 July. Left to right: Patrice Bret, Ignacio Suay-Matallana, Brigitte Van Tiggelen and Annette Lykknes (editors), Jeffrey Johnson, Gisela Boeck, Anders Lundgren and Matthew Shindell.


The Pursuit of Parenthood: Reproductive Technology from Test-Tube Babies to Uterus TransplantsMargaret Marsh (Rutgers University) and Wanda Ronner published The Pursuit of Parenthood: Reproductive Technology from Test-Tube Babies to Uterus Transplants (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019).


Maimonides On the Regimen of HealthMichael R. McVaugh (University of North Carolina) published Maimonides On the Regimen of Health, ed. and trans. (Arabic and Hebrew) Gerrit Bos, (Latin) Michael R. McVaugh (Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2019).


Staffan Müller-Wille (University of Exeter) will join the University of Cambridge as University Lecturer in History of Life, Human and Earth Sciences in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science in January 2020.


Memelihara Jiwa Raga Bangsa: Ilmu Pengetahuan, Kesehatan Rakjat dan Pembangunan Indonesia di Zaman SoekarnoVivek Neelakantan’s recent monograph Science, Public Health and Nation-Building in Soekarno-Era Indonesia (2017, Cambridge Scholars) was translated into Bahasa Indonesia and published Memelihara Jiwa Raga Bangsa: Ilmu Pengetahuan, Kesehatan Rakjat dan Pembangunan Indonesia di Zaman Soekarno (Jakarta: KOMPAS, 2019). Neelakantan is an independent scholar based primarily in India.


Don Opitz (DePaul University) published:

Cupcakes and Chemical Composition: Ida Freund’s Legacy” in Women in Their Element: Selected Women’s Contributions to the Periodic System by Annette Lykknes and Brigitte Van Tiggelen (London: World Scientific, 2019), 457-467

On, onward still, by Science urged, the Endeavour speeds her way” in Endeavour 43, nos. 1-2 (March-June 2019): 1


Jessica Otis and Lincoln Mullen (George Mason University) of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media were awarded a $324,773 Level III Digital Humanities Advancement Grant from the NEH for their new project, DataScribe.

DataScribe will be an open-source software module for Omeka S that allows scholars to take historical records that have an inherent data structure—including bills of mortality, probate records, and census tables—and transcribe them into datasets that can be computationally analyzed or visualized. DataScribe will help scholars tap into large collections of historical sources that are not yet available in digital form.


Theodore M. Porter (University of California, Los Angeles) received the 2019 Cheiron PrizeGenetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human Heredity, awarded annually for an outstanding monograph in the History of the Social/Behavioral/Human Sciences for Genetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human Heredity (Princeton University Press, 2018).


Seth Rasmussen (North Dakota State University) launched a new history of chemistry book series with Springer, entitled Perspectives on the History of Chemistry. He will serve as Series Editor for this new series, which will publish hardback books of 150-450 pages on historical subjects covering all aspects of chemistry, alchemy, and chemical technology. For more information and to submit book proposals, see here.


Republic of Numbers: Unexpected Stories of Mathematical Americans Through HistoryDavid Lindsay Roberts (Prince George’s Community College) published Republic of Numbers: Unexpected Stories of Mathematical Americans Through History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019).


Neeraja Sankaran (HSS Newsletter editor) will be an International Visiting Fellow Centre for History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) at the University of Leeds for one semester commencing in January 2020.

Recent publications include:

Macfarlane Burnet: The Concept of Self” in Inference: International Review of Science 4, no. 4 (July 2019)

Anderson W., Sankaran N. (2019) “Historiography and Immunology” in Dietrich M., Borrello M., Harman O. (eds), Handbook of the Historiography of Biology: Historiographies of Science, volume 1 (Springer, 2022).


The Last Man Who Knew Everything: The Life and Times of Enrico Fermi, Father of the Nuclear AgeEnrico Fermi. Ostatni człowiek, który wiedział wszystko. Życie i czasy ojca ery atomowejDavid N. Schwartz (Independent Scholar) wrote a biography of Enrico Fermi, The Last Man Who Knew Everything: The Life and Times of Enrico Fermi, Father of the Nuclear Age (Basic Books, 2017), which was translated and published in Poland as Enrico Fermi. Ostatni człowiek, który wiedział wszystko. Życie i czasy ojca ery atomowej (Copernicus Center Press, 2019). He visited Krakow and Warsaw to talk about the book in late May and will be speaking about the book in Boston at the IDEA Boston Festival on November 2.


Jonathan Seitz (Drexel University) received two awards from Drexel University, the Hornum Award for Teaching Excellence and the Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching. He was also promoted to (full) Teaching Professor in the Department of History.


Carlos Eduardo Sierra C. (Universidad Nacional de Colombia) published “Raíces de las ideas bioéticas en la Antigüedad Tardía y el Medioevo: Génesis de las sociedades industriales” in Bioética Plural III, edited by Francisco Luis Ochoa et al., 13-43 (Medellín: Editorial CES, 2019).


The Scientific Conference: A Social, Cultural, and Political HistoryGeert Somsen (Maastricht University) is involved with a new research project that started on 31 May 2019, “The Scientific Conference: A Social, Cultural, and Political History.” Funded by the EU’s humanities scheme HERA, it involves a collaboration of four European partners: Sven Widmalm (Uppsala), Jessica Reinisch (Birkbeck), Charlotte Bigg (Centre Alexandre Koyre) and Geert Somsen, three postdocs and a PhD student. The project will run for three years and investigate the phenomenon of international scientific conferences in the 20th century. It will consider aspects of setting, ritual, geopolitics, and social inclusion and exclusion. The HSS annual meeting in Utrecht (July 2019) featured a presentation session of first results.


Collecting Experiments: Making Big Data BiologyBruno J. Strasser (University of Geneva) published Collecting Experiments: Making Big Data Biology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019).


Darwin and His Bears: How Darwin Bear and His Galapagos Islands Friends Inspired a Scientific RevolutionFrank J. Sulloway (University of California, Berkeley) published Darwin and His Bears: How Darwin Bear and His Galapagos Islands Friends Inspired a Scientific Revolution (Amsterdam: Rubinstein Publishing, 2019).

Frank J. Sulloway’s Darwin and His Bears is being published by Rubinstein Publishing (Amsterdam) for the benefit of the Charles Darwin Foundation, to celebrate the foundation’s 60th anniversary. The Darwin Foundation supports research and conservation work by the Charles Darwin Research Station in the Galápagos Islands. Thanks to the generosity of the COmON Foundation in the Netherlands, which is partnering with the Darwin Station in its conservation efforts, 1000 copies of the book in English and another 1000 copies in Spanish have been donated to the Darwin Foundation. These copies will be used for fundraising and to promote the Darwin Foundation’s mission in the Galápagos. A Dutch-language version of the book is also available.

Darwin and His Bears interweaves the story of how Darwin became an evolutionist, as a result of his famous Galápagos visit during the Beagle voyage, with other pivotal moments in his life and scientific career.  The story also incorporates key developments in evolutionary theory since Darwin’s time, as well as ongoing conservation efforts in the Galápagos to save these islands from invasive species. Darwin and His Bears is intended for young and old readers alike, and is dedicated to distinguished evolutionary biologist and conservationist Edward O. Wilson whose theories of island biogeography are given prominence in the book. For additional information (or copies) contact Renee Monroe, Chief Development Officer at the Charles Darwin Foundation (renee.monroe@fcdarwin.org.ec).


Susan E. Swanberg (University of Arizona) published “Wounded in Mind: Science Service Writer, Marjorie Van de Water, Explains World War II Military Neuropsychiatry to the American Public” in Media History (August 2019).


A Solitary Smile: A Novel on EinsteinDavid R. Topper (University of Winnipeg) published A Solitary Smile: A Novel on Einstein (Beeline Press, 2019).


Richard Taibi (independent scholar) published “A Tale of Three Telescopes: The John A. Brashear Company and its 46-cm Objective of 1893” in Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage 22, no. 2 (August 2019): 265-283.


Alain Touwaide (University of California, Los Angeles) received the Edward Kremers Award from the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy (AIHP). The award honors the memory of Edward Kremers (1865-1941), a pioneer of American pharmaceutical education, distinguished American historian of pharmacy, and one of the founders of the Institute. The Award is given for a specific original publication, or a series of related publications, written by a citizen of the United States, pertaining to historical or historico-social aspects of pharmacy, and exhibiting the highest standards of research, interpretation, and presentation. Touwaide was nominated on the basis of his large body of published work on materia medica and pharmaceutical practice in Antiquity, Byzantium, the Arabic world, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance.


Mad Dogs and Other New Yorkers: Rabies, Medicine, and Society in an American Metropolis, 1840-1920Jessica Wang (University of British Columbia) published Mad Dogs and Other New Yorkers: Rabies, Medicine, and Society in an American Metropolis, 1840-1920 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019).


Stefan L. Wolff (Deutsches Museum München) published “Als Chemiker unter Physikern. Der Chemiker Fritz Haber (1868-1934) spielte auch in der Physik eine wichtige Rolle” in Physik Journal 17, no. 12 (December 2018): 30-34 and “Fritz Habers letzte Amtshandlung” in Kultur und Technik 43, no. 3 (July 2019): 56-59.


Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood MarkCecelia Watson (Bard College) published Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark (New York: Ecco, 2019).


John Locke: Literary and Historical WritingsRichard Yeo (Griffith University) contributed to a recent volume, John Locke: Literary and Historical Writings, edited by J. R. Milton, in collaboration with Brandon Chua, Geoff Kemp, David McInnis, John Spurr, and Richard Yeo (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2019). He worked (with John Milton) on a section that will be of interest to members of the Society: Locke’s anonymous publication of his ‘Méthode nouvelle…’ in the Bibliothèque universelle et historique of July 1686 in which he explains the method of note-taking used in many of his notebooks, including those containing medical and scientific information. The volume includes printed editions of the various manuscript versions of this article.