Abstracts Archive

Mineral commodities were an important topic of inquiry in early modern earth sciences that have largely been overshadowed by debates over the age of the earth. Besides fossils, many other minerals stimulated profound questions about the earth’s material composition and provided evidence for theories of matter formation and the distribution of val...

Earth and Environmental SciencesFlashtalk

Exhibitions are social constructions in which information and archives are selected by professionally diverse teams, whose work may be influenced by institutional and financial contingencies. In natural history museums, expography has drastically changed during the last two centuries. Scientific and museological practices are fundamental factors in...

BiologyFlashtalk

Johann Funck's "Chronologia" was one of the most popular tabular chronologies of the early modern period with several editions following its original 1545 publication in Nuremberg. In my presentation, I will display an opening from the 1554 Basel edition of the same work to highlight the instability of the historical table in its printed form. I wi...

Thematic Approaches to the Study of ScienceFlashtalk

It is well known that the appearance of quantum mechanics caused drastic changes in sciences of substance in many aspects, such as their methodologies, objects, and disciplines. By the mid of 20th century, some disciplines—solid-state physics, chemical physics, and quantum chemistry, for example—had been made in the field of sciences of substan...

Physical SciencesFlashtalk

The historiography of Richard Owen has focused on certain aspects of his character; from his difficult personality, rivalries, keenness on power to his museum enterprise and his standing-point on transmutation. However, an integral understanding of him still lacks in the literature. More specifically, of his years in the Royal College of Surgeons (...

Aspects of Scientific Practice/OrganizationFlashtalk

“We are come ashore into a new World,” declared Nehemiah Grew in the dedication to his 17th century publication commissioned by the Royal Society. The world he went on to describe, however, did not include any of the typical features one might expect from a treatise on the exploration of new territory. There were no coastlines there – no moun...

Thematic Approaches to the Study of ScienceFlashtalk

Like many of its European counterparts, the Portuguese Scientific System went through a radical transformation throughout the 20th Century. To a limited extent, these changes were a response to some internal pressures (Higher Education and Colonial Enterprises) and in tune with the international/European tendency for the development of transnationa...

Aspects of Scientific Practice/OrganizationFlashtalk

After the discovery of X rays and radioactive elements in the turn of the 19th century, the deleterious health effects of radiation were greatly ignored. Most experiments regarding the physiological effects of radiation were about the possibilities of their therapeutic use. Radiation widespread application in medicine, along with its use in enterta...

Medicine and HealthFlashtalk

The Dutch anatomist Dr. Frederik Ruysch is best known for his artfully embalmed anatomical specimens. Between roughly 1689 and 1731, Ruysch displayed this collection inside his family home in Amsterdam. Ruysch’s house museum attracted international attention, and became an important space for the creation and dissemination of scientific and anato...

Medicine and HealthFlashtalk

When Islamic civilization dawned by the emerge of Islam in the seventh century AD, the seed of knowledge was fertilized in the Islamic realm and it was after about a century (i.e., the eighth century AD) that it yielded. This is the beginning of a period of flourishing of Islamic sciences, known as the Islamic golden age. This era is full of schola...

Thematic Approaches to the Study of ScienceFlashtalk

Recent research in the area of drug discovery highlights both the value and challenges of utilising historical botanical sources to identify plant species with pharmaceutical potential. Focusing on herbals, this paper reflects on the use of digitisation in research that seeks to trace the exchange of food and medical plant species across cultures a...

Tools for Historians of ScienceFlashtalk

Who defines the terms of American public discussion over science issues such as nuclear policy, healthcare, and climate change? Exploring the conflicts between presidential Science Advisors and the Union of Concerned Scientists between 1969 and 2008 provides a window into this question. During the Nixon administration, the president’s Science Adv...

Physical SciencesFlashtalk