HSS Promo Utrecht 2019Twitter Stream

 

 

 

History of Science Society

Annual Meeting 2019

Program

 

 

Tuesday, 23 Jul 2019
13:00 - 13:30
Drift 21, Hall & Rm. 006
HSS 2019 Officially Begins
13:00 - 13:30
Drift 21, Rm. 004, Antichambre
Registration Opens
13:00 - 15:00
Drift 21, Rm. 003
Luggage Drop Off
Arriving before check in? You can drop your bags in Drift 21, Rm. 003.
13:00 - 17:30
Drift 21, Rm. 004, Antichambre
Registration
13:00 - 17:30
Drift 21, Hall & Rm. 006
Book Exhibit & HSS Cafe
13:00 - 17:30
Drift 21, Rm. 003
Meeting Point
13:00 - 17:30
Drift 25, Rm. 104
Quiet Space
A quiet room is available for conference attendees. Quiet rooms are designed to provide a quiet, calm, alcohol-free space away from the noise, lights, and business of the general conference environment. Our goal is too keep the room at a very low level of stimulus, so remember to keep meetings and conversations elsewhere.
13:00 - 17:30
Janskerkhof 13, 113
Nursing Mother's Room
Privacy and other accommodations available for nursing mothers. Visit the registration desk for the key.
13:00 - 17:30
Drift 25, Rm. 004
Meditation Room
Format : Essentials
18:00 - 19:30
Janskerk, Janskerkhof 26
Plenary Session: Getting Engaged: Ways of Being an Engaged Historian of Science
Format : Special Event
Track : Tools for Historians of Science
Speakers
Benjamin Franta, Stanford University
Sheila Jasanoff
Edna Bonhomme, Max Planck Institute For History Of Science
Joppe Van Driel
Moderators
Lissa Roberts, University Of Twente
As historians of science, we are all somehow engaged – whether it's with our research, our teaching, the dynamics of our field, or thinking about how our expertise might be brought to bear on the myriad of challenges facing our world today. This year's plenary session explores what it currently means to be an engaged historian of science with an eye toward inviting further conversation with our audience and within the history of science community more broadly. The session will feature a small number of young colleagues whose research and related activities exemplify creative forms of engagement both within and beyond our discipline. This will be followed by a presentation by Sheila Jasanoff, in which she draws on her broad expertise to reflect on how engaged scholarship deepens our understanding of the roles of science in society and of society in science.The plenary is being supported by the Elizabeth Paris Endowment for Socially Engaged History and Philosophy of Science. The Endowment honors the life of Elizabeth Paris, a scholar who was committed to integrating the intellectual side of the history of science with its social, institutional, and policy aspects. Learn more about Elizabeth Paris.Organized by Lissa RobertsDoors open 17:30
19:30 - 20:30
Janskerk, Janskerkhof 26
Opening Reception
Light hor d'oeuvres and cash bar. Cash and credit cards accepted.PIN likely required for credit cards. You can set this up with your credit card company before traveling. If you have doubts, bring cash (€ euros)!Opening reception sponsored by University of Chicago Press, Journals Division
20:00 - 21:45
Janskerk, Kapittelkamer
Mentorship Meet and Greet
Format : Special Event
Track : Tools for Historians of Science
Moderators
Sarah Naramore, Sewanee: The University Of The South
Kristine Palmieri, University Of Chicago
Hosted by HSS President Bernie Lightman in the Kapittelkamer (adjacent to the opening reception in the Janskerk Room), this event gives you the opportunity to "pick the brains" of established and senior academics in a casual and convivial environment.ALL Graduate Students and Early Careerists are welcome to take advantage of this unique opportunity. But space is limited! To reserve your spot e-mail hss.gecc@gmail.com by July 20th.Food and beverages provided during the opening reception I the Janskerk Room will be available to participants of the Mentorship Meet and Greet.Graduate and Early Career CaucusHSSGECCHSSGECC
Wednesday, 24 Jul 2019
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 25, Rm. 004
Meditation Room
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 21, Rm. 004, Antichambre
Registration
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 21, Hall & Rm. 006
Book Exhibit & HSS Cafe
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 21, Rm. 003
Meeting Point
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 25, Rm. 104
Quiet Space
A quiet room is available for conference attendees. Quiet rooms are designed to provide a quiet, calm, alcohol-free space away from the noise, lights, and business of the general conference environment. Our goal is too keep the room at a very low level of stimulus, so remember to keep meetings and conversations elsewhere.
08:00 - 17:30
Janskerkhof 13, 113
Nursing Mother's Room
Privacy and other accommodations available for nursing mothers. Visit the registration desk for the key.
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 21, Rm. 109
GECC Welcome Room
In 2018, our inaugural diversity survey revealed a strong desire amongst graduate students and early career scholars for a designated space in which we could congregate. You asked for a space that would serve as a meeting point for junior scholars and those new to HSS, which could also provide a venue for those looking to step away from conference momentarily in order to collect their thoughts (or make some final changes to a presentation). At this year's conference in Utrecht the GECC Welcome Room will provide that space. The room is open from 8:00-17:30 on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.Assorted snacks will be provided by GECC on the morning of Wednesday, July 24, from 8:30am. (available while supplies last!)Graduate and Early Career CaucusHSSGECCHSSGECC
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 101
Beyond Eradication: Global Entomological Narratives
Format : Organized Session
Track : Biology
Speakers
Sabine Clarke, University Of York, UK
Yubin Shen, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
Aaron Van Neste, Department Of The History Of Science, Harvard University
Marin Coudreau, Research Associate At Center For Russian, Caucasian And Central European Studies (CERCEC), Paris.
Alejandro Martinez, Universidad Nacional De La Plata, Argentina
Moderators
Susan Jones, University Of Minnesota
Most histories of entomology have analyzed insect eradication strategies in Europe, the U.K. and the U.S.A. This session brings together scholars conducting new research on twentieth-century entomology in multiple places, many of them settler societies: provincial China, U.S.S.R., Malaysia, Kenya and Argentina. These studies reveal how insect population management was entangled with new visions of anthropogenic 'natural' and agricultural landscapes, pastoral indigenous peoples' perceptions and activities, and the development of global networks of like-minded entomologists. Alejandro Martinez analyzes perceptions of 'natural' insect control as part of creating 'balanced' ecological landscapes in early-20th century Argentina. Yubin Shen explores the multi-national network of entomologists (mostly U.S.-China) that created the Jiangsu Provincial Bureau of Entomology in the 1920s. Sabine Clark tells the story of cautiously-applied locust control measures in Kenya after 1945, highlighting Kenyan herdsmen's concerns about their cattle being poisoned. Marin Coudreau analyzes the entanglement of insect management regimes with militarized forced migrations and state management of the agricultural peasantry in the late Russian empire-early Soviet Union. Aaron Van Neste details an entomologist's importation of the African palm weevil from Cameroon to Malaysia as a palm-tree pollinator in the 1970s-80s, and the novel multi-species ecologies and labor histories that were generated as a result. Together these five case studies show how both non-scientific workers and global networks of entomologists helped to shape (and sometimes subverted) visions and transformations of natural and agricultural landscapes in South America, Africa, eastern Europe and Asia.Organized by Susan Jones
Pick Your Poison: Insecticides and Locust Control in Colonial Kenya
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Sabine Clarke, University Of York, UK
Literature on the use of insecticides in the tropics after 1945 is preoccupied with the WHO’s Malaria Eradication Programme. This scholarship describes a form of technological hubris in which scientists rushed to deploy the quick fix of DDT on the widest possible scale, fuelled by belief in the power of Western science and buoyed by Allied victory. This paper focuses on trials to control locusts in Kenya after 1945 using synthetic insecticides to tell a different story. It shows that discussion about synthetic insecticides in Britain’s African colonies was not characterised by calls for rapid and far-reaching application of new chemicals. Caution arose in part because of concern about the costs of new programmes. This reflected the weaker economic position of Britain in comparison to the USA, backers of the WHO programme, but more importantly, new locust control substances such as gammexane were evaluated in Kenya against pre-existing ones. In other words, the notion that DDT and related chemicals were wonder weapons of such power that they marked a radical departure from past measures, and rendered all previous insect control methods obsolete, is not borne out by this study. The use of the new insecticides was dependent upon calculations of advantage versus cost in comparison to well-established existing methods. In addition, previous experience with arsenic bait and pyrethrum shaped the testing and deployment of gammexane in significant ways, including evaluation of its toxicity. The perception of the new chemicals as part of a continuum of poisons also informed the attitudes of Kenyan herdsmen. Their suspicion of gammexane was not merely the result of a distrust of Western science and the colonial government, but arose directly from the experience of seeing their cattle poisoned by arsenic bait during the interwar years.
"Beginning of the Entomological Enterprise in China": Jiangsu Provincial Bureau of Entomology and Its Locust Control, 1922-1931
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Yubin Shen, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
Following the model of the Bureau of Entomology of the United States Department of Agriculture, Jiangsu Provincial Bureau of Entomology was founded in 1922 by western-trained Chinese entomologists with support from agricultural merchants, the provincial government and American specialists. As the first Chinese research institute and governmental agency responsible for pest control, Jiangsu Bureau played an important role in promoting applied entomology in China. This paper discusses origins and development of Jiangsu Bureau within such local, national, and transnational contexts during the 1920s and 1930s. What is more, by focusing on Bureau entomologists’ locust control (in particular the case of adapting the Chinese traditional practice of mobilizing ducks to eliminate locusts), my paper also examines how techniques of western applied entomology were introduced, practiced, modified, and innovated to meet Chinese realities.
Mechanization by Insect: Multi-Species Ecologies in the Malaysian Plantationocene
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Aaron Van Neste, Department Of The History Of Science, Harvard University
This paper explores the human-assisted transoceanic migration and resettlement of the African Palm Weevil in Malaysia and S.E. Asia, and the consequent environmental and social upheaval that emerged at the intersection of biological symbiosis, neocolonial labor policies, accelerating economic change, and biodiversity heritage. In the 1960s and 70s, as Malaysia was transitioning away from rubber plantations and towards palm oil, British planters conjectured that yields were lower in SE Asia than in the palm's native West Africa due to the absence of a native pollinator. Funded by Unilever, a Pakistani entomologist, R.A. Syed, traveled to Cameroon and received permission from the Malaysian government to import African Palm Weevils, which he had discovered to be obligate pollinators and symbiotes of oil palm. Within a few years of the insects' release, Malaysian palm oil production became both more efficient and economically dominant, and deforestation and biodiversity loss accelerated. The predominantly female human labor force who had been hand-pollinating the palms before found their jobs replaced by an insect, in what can be alternately viewed as a form of biotechnological automation or an alteration of the plantation ecosystem.
War and Insect Control in Russia / Soviet Union, 1900-1940
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Marin Coudreau, Research Associate At Center For Russian, Caucasian And Central European Studies (CERCEC), Paris.
The Bolsheviks seized power during the Great War and built their dictatorship through a “continuum of crisis” (Holquist), channeling the violence of total war inward. The forced collectivization of agriculture, an unprecedented and cataclysmic experiment attempting to “modernize” the countryside in the context of a looming “inevitable war,” would trigger another wave of ruthless state violence against the peasantry. I analyze the overlap of armed conflicts and “natural” disasters in the long sequences of war, revolution, and civil war and through the forced collectivization and its aftermaths. Discursive and action categories, regimes of mobilization, and imaginaries and technologies expanded from the waging of war to the management of nature. The porosity between war and natural disasters remained starkest in the margins of the Imperial/Soviet territory. Environmental and rebel threats came to be interrelated in the peripheries, where “militarized” practices of pest control and successive “disinhibiting” (Fressoz) toxic experimentations were adopted in emulation with European colonial practices. The Stalinist “revolution from above” worked as an incubator of the military-scientific experiments and practices of the 1920s.
Locust Pests and Biological Control in Argentina during the First Half of the Twentieth Century
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Alejandro Martinez, Universidad Nacional De La Plata, Argentina
In the first decades of the twentieth century, the so-called “mechanical” and "chemical" means were the most frequent answer when locust swarms threatened the crops. Different governments and administrations around the globe resorted either to the use of traps, barriers, fire or to digging up eggs along with poisoned baits or insecticides to eradicate this "natural threat". The history of these means in the fight against locusts -and other agricultural pests- have received much attention from scholars, especially in the case of insecticides. This tendency, however, cast a shadow on the history of the “biological” methods. At the end of the nineteenth and beginnings of the twentieth century, this enterprise was taken up enthusiastically by entomologists and other scientists worldwide and numerous trial introductions were made in the following decades under various degrees of scientific control. This implied a global circulation not only of knowledge, technologies, peoples, and instruments but also of different kind of organisms. The new field presented the promise of a natural, pest-free future for agriculture although the results obtained were controversial, particularly for combating locusts. This perspective underlined that insect pests were a consequence of an ecological/environmental disorder and its solution entailed to restore "the balance of nature". Not just to eradicate or manage a particular "plague" but to control nature. Here I will focus on this subject through the study of different experiences on locust biological control and its narratives in Argentina during the first half of the twentieth century.
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 201
Beyond Technical Aid: Cold War Scientific Cooperation in East Asia
Format : Organized Session
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Jaehwan Hyun, Max-Planck-Institute For The History Of Science
John P. DiMoia, SNU / Seoul National University
Christine Luk, Department Of The History Of Science, Tsinghua University
Gordon Barrett, University Of Oxford
Mary Augusta Brazelton, History And Philosophy Of Science, University Of Cambridge
Moderators
Mary Augusta Brazelton, History And Philosophy Of Science, University Of Cambridge
How international scientific cooperation played out in Cold War politics and knowledge production has been a central concern for historians of science. The connection between U.S. or Soviet technical assistance and the rapid development of science in East Asia has been noted in this context. This panel sheds lights on unexplored but central questions connected to this issue: What did "cooperation" mean to actors in the Cold War context? What socio-political conditions and material infrastructure made cooperation available or led to failure? Wasn't regional cooperation within East Asia important as much as aid from superpowers? Hyun examines how the notion of cooperation was contested, negotiated, and redefined between South Korean and the U.S. scientists conducting ecosystem ecology research in the Korean demilitarized zone during the 1960s. DiMoia illuminates how Japanese and South Korean parasitologists revitalized their colonial medical network in the name of development aid projects after the normalization of diplomatic relations in 1965. Luk looks at an international oceanographic project known as "Cooperative Study of the Kuroshio and Adjacent Regions" (1965–1978) and reveals the politics of international cooperation and competition between Chinese and Japanese scientists. Barrett explores the rhetoric and reality of regional cooperation in the planning and execution of the 1964 Peking Science Symposium, discussing China's efforts to establish itself as the central scientific power in the developing world. Bringing together diverse cooperative projects, this panel provides opportunities to rethink the nature of scientific cooperation in Cold War East Asia beyond the history of technical aid.Organized by Jaehwan Hyun and John DiMoia
Contested Cooperation: The US-South Korea Ecological Survey in the Demilitarized Zone, 1963-1968
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Jaehwan Hyun, Max-Planck-Institute For The History Of Science
This paper explores the planning, execution, and failure of the US-Korea Cooperative Ecological Survey project in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the 1960s. In this period, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) newly initiated bilateral scientific cooperation between the NAS and similar organizations in developing countries along the line of the developmental turn of the U.S. foreign assistance. The U.S. conservationists closely working with the NAS used this scheme to introduce nature conservation practices and the discipline of ecology to developing countries. In this context, by way of the NAS’s Pacific Science Board, Helmut K. Buechner (1918–1975), director of the Office of Ecology at the Smithsonian Institution, together with Yung Sun Kang (1917–1999) of Seoul National University, initiated the preliminary cooperative project at the DMZ in 1965. Korean and U.S. scientists soon began to realize that their collaboration was marked by dissonance. The different understandings between them over the nature of their cooperative relationship provoked a nationalist backlash from the Korean side, strengthened financial controls from the Smithsonian side, and finally led to the failure of the project. The paper will reveal that the conflict between two sides revolving around the notion of cooperation was deeply linked to the broader political debate on the role of leading Korean scientists as “knowledge brokers” among the U.S. aid authorities, American scientists, and Koreans themselves in this period. In doing so, it illuminates the contested nature of Cold War US-Korea scientific collaboration which hid behind consensual American hegemony.
Parasites and the Postcolonial: Renewed Japan-Korea Medical Collaboration and South Korean Developmentalism, 1964-Early 1970s
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
John P. DiMoia, SNU / Seoul National University
This paper (undertaken with Aya Homei of Manchester University) depicts how anti-parasite and family planning campaigns developed in Japan and Korea independently after the Second World War, as specifically domestic public health initiatives that directly contributed to the post-war reconstruction (Japan) and nation-building (South Korea) exercises, and examines how they were later incorporated into development aid projects from the 1960s. In the South Korean case, leading parasitologists, including Dr. Seo Byung Seol (1921-1991) of Seoul National University, re-engaged with their Japanese colleagues, while also reaching out to Southeast Asia as a mentor, and potential model. By juxtaposing domestic histories of Japan as a former coloniser, and South Korea as its former colony, the paper explores colonial legacies in post-war medical cooperation in East Asia. Furthermore, by clarifying how Japanese and South Korean development aid projects both grew from the links that existed in their respective domestic histories, the paper aims to highlight complexities engrained in the history and to shed new light into a historiography that often locates the origins of development aid in colonial history. If South Korean developmentalism dates its origins to this intense period of networking (late 1960s, early 1970s), the outreach remains distinct from the colonial period, even while containing uncomfortable resonances with it.
The Pacific’s Black Current: China, Japan, and the “Cooperative Study of the Kuroshio and Adjacent Regions” (CSK), 1965-1978
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Christine Luk, Department Of The History Of Science, Tsinghua University
The Kuroshio–––literally known as the “black current”––is the Pacific counterpart of the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic. It is a west-to-east flowing warm current in the Northeast Pacific region. During the Cold War, a 13-year international program known as the “Cooperative Study of the Kuroshio and Adjacent Regions” (CSK) was launched between 1965-1978, incorporating participation from British Hong Kong, (Republic of) China, Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Korea, the US, and the USSR. This paper explores the complexity of scientific cooperation manifested in the divergent interests held by Chinese and Japanese scientists in the CSK. Just as Japanese oceanographers held different sets of concerns and expectation over the CSK than their Soviet counterparts, the Chinese delegates of the CSK also expressed different interests than their Japanese colleagues. Through studying the national differences in the international survey of the Pacific current, this paper aims to shed light on the politics of oceanographic internationalism as intertwined along the Pacific coasts. I argue that the participation of China and Japan in the mid-twentieth century study of the Kuroshio seem to highlight their divergent commitments and motivation in approaching the Pacific’s black current.
Scientific Cooperation and Asian Socialism: Chinese Ambitions and Regional Cooperation in the 1964 Peking Science Symposium
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Gordon Barrett, University Of Oxford
The 1964 Peking Science Symposium was the largest international scientific congress held in the People’s Republic of China during the Mao Era. This event was the centrepiece of China’s strategic pivot in terms of its approach to international scientific outreach during the 1960s, away from existing structures and organisations like the World Federation of Scientific Workers and toward the creation of a new scientific order in which China would be a scientific superpower within the developing world. Accordingly, the event was open only to scientists from countries in Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Latin America, pointedly excluding those from other parts of the world. Yet for all that the Peking Science Symposium was a vehicle for Chinese ambitions toward increased influence in international science, the event was also ostensibly organised in close collaboration along with communist parties from North Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Japan. Attendance at the event itself reflected the centrality of these regional collaborators, with over 60% of the delegates came from these countries, while the influence of Japanese scientists and science, in particular, looming large in the proceedings. This paper examines the nature and significance of the involvement of regional collaborators – both scientific and political – in the Peking Science Symposium. In doing so, it elucidates both crucial vectors of influence from within Asia on Chinese science as well as the significance of regional collaboration in China’s drive to establish itself as a centre within the scientific world during one of the hottest periods of the Cold War.
Commentary: Beyond Technical Aid: Cold War Scientific Cooperation in East Asia
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Mary Augusta Brazelton, History And Philosophy Of Science, University Of Cambridge
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 204
Chemistry in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Chemistry
Speakers
Frank James, University College London And Royal Institution
Vanja Flegar, Institute For The History And Philosophy Of Science, Croatian Academy Of Sciences And Arts, Zagreb
Alison McManus, Princeton University
Christoph Maulbetsch, University Of Stuttgart
Gina Surita, PhD Candidate, Princeton University
Moderators
Lissa Roberts, University Of Twente
Sponsored by the Society of the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Constructing Humphry Davy's Biographical Image
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Frank James, University College London And Royal Institution
This paper, which is also a contribution to the somewhat understudied area of the history of biography, discusses a couple of short accounts of the life of the English chemist Humphry Davy (1778-1829) and the three major biographies published in the years following his death. These latter were an ‘anti-biography’ by John Ayrton Paris (1831) and two admiring biographies by Davy’s younger brother John Davy (1836, 1858). By examining the processes surrounding their writing and publication, including the involvement (or rather lack thereof) by his widow, Jane Davy, this paper will illustrate how Davy’s biographical reputation was constructed. Furthermore, this approach reveals how his surviving manuscripts and related documents came to be collected and preserved and so help us understand the effects they continue to exert on our understanding of Davy in particular and nineteenth-century science in general.
Mendeleev's Periodic System of Elements and Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Vanja Flegar, Institute For The History And Philosophy Of Science, Croatian Academy Of Sciences And Arts, Zagreb
The reception of the periodic system of elements in European countries has its specificity and differences. This paper will explore the first recognition of the periodic system of elements in Croatia after its publication (1869). Croatia was then a part of the Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia within Austria-Hungary. Chronologically, Croatian scientific community firstly recognized Mendeleev's work through Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts in 1882, electing him as its honorary member. The proposal for Mendeleev's election lists his published works but emphasizes that the discovery of the periodic system of elements (lex Mendeleev) alone would be enough to elect him as an honorary member. Thus, the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts became the first European science academy to honor Mendeleev. Circumstances regarding this election will be presented in the paper. Until the University in Zagreb, capital of Croatia, was restored (1874), chemistry in Croatia was only thought at a lower level, as a part of real-high schools curriculum. The discovery of the periodic system of elements and the following discoveries that lead to its confirmation occurs simultaneously with the development of the chemistry curriculum at Zagreb University. The first University professors were also the members of Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts that elected Mendeleev as its honorary member. The connection between the role of the Academy of Sciences and Arts and the implementation of the periodic system in the educational process in Croatia will also be explored in the paper.
The Object of Secret Science: Censoring Hormone Herbicides in the Second World War
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Alison McManus, Princeton University
In the final year of World War II, scientists advising the U.S. government on hormone herbicide research struggled to develop censorship practices that blended conventional modes of publication with the comparatively draconian model of atomic secrecy. Botanist Ezra J. Kraus encountered this dilemma in his capacity as referee for the Advisory Committee on Scientific Publications (ACSP), under the aegis of the National Academy of Sciences. Officially, his task was to review manuscripts prior to their publication and to withhold those of military significance. In practice, particular features of hormone herbicide research, including its disciplinary affiliations and preexisting publication practices, rendered Kraus’s project difficult. This paper examines Kraus’s work with the ACSP in the context of his own herbicide research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, chemical weapons research at Camp Detrick, and his advocacy of prompt publication following V-J Day. By restoring Kraus’s project of censorship to its proper disciplinary and institutional context, I demonstrate that decisions on censorship were not exclusively questions of civilian versus military applications but rather intersected with a desire to preserve priority for military-contracted researchers after the war. These interlocking questions of dual use and priority claims came to characterize the 20th-century history of Agent Orange, the most infamous object of Kraus’s short-lived censorship committee.
Heuristics in Chemistry: Friedrich Paneth and Abductive Reasoning (Serendipity)
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Christoph Maulbetsch, University Of Stuttgart
When asked for the secret of his scientific success, Friedrich Paneth liked to refer to “serendipity”. This illustrious word had been introduced into the sociology of science by Robert Merton in the 1950ies. Since then it has become a vogue word for all kinds of accidental discoveries, but if it is used as a description of a logic of discovery it can serve as a historiographical tool. In this narrow sense “serendipity” implies making an unexpected observation, followed by a correct abduction. The discovery by Paneth in 1917 of bismuth hydride, which I will describe in some detail, is a conspicuous example of making use of abductive reasoning in chemistry. Notwithstanding its inherent fallibility I would like to suggest that the abduction pattern is one gateway to novelty in science. Among others, a candidate episode from the history of chemistry to corroborate this point may be Avogadro´s hypothesis.
The Power of Phosphate: Energy and the "Cellular Economy" in Twentieth-Century Biochemistry
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Gina Surita, PhD Candidate, Princeton University
This paper will examine an oft-overlooked development in the history of twentieth-century biology: the rise of bioenergetics, or the study of energy transformations in living organisms. Through a case study of the work of biochemist Fritz Albert Lipmann and his associates, this paper will describe the changing role of the molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in bioenergetic research. In the course of his work on phosphate metabolism, Lipmann developed the notion of the “high-energy” or “energy-rich” phosphate bond, which he symbolized by the “squiggle” notation, or ~P. According to Lipmann, ~P’s stored large amounts of energy that could be released when these bonds were broken; for example, in a molecule of ATP, which has three phosphate groups next to each other. Lipmann’s work on ~P suggested that energy from carbohydrate breakdown could be “captured” in the phosphoanhydride bonds of ATP, which biochemists increasingly began to refer to as the universal “energy currency” of the cell. The “currency” of ATP circulated within a metaphorical “cellular economy,” in which energy-requiring metabolic reactions were often linked to energy-releasing metabolic reactions. Building upon recent work on the history of metabolism, this paper aims to articulate a new interpretation of twentieth-century biology by arguing that the bioenergetic metaphor of the “cellular economy” shaped the development of modern biology in ways distinct from the metaphor of “genetic information,” which has received a great deal of historiographical attention.
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 27, Eetkamer
Early Modern Science and Art in a Global Context
Format : Organized Session
Track : Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Speakers
Daniel Margocsy, HPS, University Of Cambridge
James Clifton, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation
Jose Ramon Marcaida, University Of St Andrews
Stephanie O'Rourke, Lecturer, University Of St Andrews
Surekha Davies, Utrecht University
Moderators
Surekha Davies, Utrecht University
In recent years, scholars of early modern science have emphasized the visual aspects of natural knowledge during the period that was once called the scientific revolution. This panel examines how images and knowledge circulated between painters, draughtsmen, printmakers, naturalists and scientific practitioners. Our chronological focus spans from 1500 to 1800, from the German artist Albrecht Dürer's musings on the limits of mathematizing the art of perspective to the visual accounts of James Cook's voyages to the Pacific. We interpret the development of early modern science in a global context, and investigate how European, Latin American and Asian practitioners interacted with each other, exchanging and producing textual and visual information in the process. We also critically examine the limitations of such an approach, paying a special attention to what factors hindered or completely blocked the circulation in the period, both across the globe and across different professional backgrounds. This panel is highly diverse, incl. speakers and commentators from the USA, the United Kingdom, Spain and Hungary, from four different institutions. The speakers range from art historians through museum curators to historians of science.Organized by Daniel Margocsy 
Stradanus' Nova Reperta: A Tory Interpretation of History
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Daniel Margocsy, HPS, University Of Cambridge
This article examines the reception history of Jan van der Straet (Stradanus)’ Nova reperta, the iconic visual account of the modern inventions of the scientific revolution. It reconstructs how contemporary publics responded to Stradanus’ prints within Europe and across the globe. As I argue, the Nova reperta had a rather limited reception compared to the rest of Stradanus’ oeuvre; modern inventions seem not to have been popular in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Interest in Stradanus was limited to the circles of the Medici in Florence, who used his prints to invent a tradition of supporting learnings and craftsmanship, and to a few humanists and antiquarians who used the Nova reperta within a highly religious framework. The talk focuses on two case studies: the French engraver Melchior Tavernier, who relied on the prints of the Nova reperta in a court case agains the booksellers’ guild in the Paris of the 1620s, and the Oxford antiquarian Thomas Hearne, who used the Nova reperta to learn more about the the early history of printing in order to criticize the 18th-century book trade in the wake of the Copyright Act of 1710. As these two cases reveal, the Nova reperta’s images were used for highly political purposes in this period, and were not taken to be as unproblematic accounts of artisanal or scientific work.
"Whenever the Rules... Should Fail, and Grow Tedious": On the Limits of Perspectival Representation
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
James Clifton, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation
In one of the six perspectival projections in The Practice of Painting and Perspective Made Easy (1756), Thomas Bardwell includes an ancient sculpture of an elaborately curved pair of ram’s horns. His long study of the rules of perspective and “puzzling after this mathematical Truth” notwithstanding, Bardwell was unable to render the form of the horns mathematically and determined that “whenever the Rules . . . should fail, and grow tedious, . . . I design immediately to settle the Affair at Sight of the Object.” Mathematicians who wrote on perspective acknowledged the complexities of perspectival rendering and described mechanical devices to aid in avoiding the difficulties for those who were not “willing to take the pains to open the Compass, nor to take the Rule for to draw a line,” as Jean Du Breuil put it in 1642. Such devices were ingenious alternative responses to the challenge of rendering two-dimensional objects on a three-dimensional surface and themselves reached considerable levels of complexity, but the extent to which they were actually used by practicing artists remains unclear. This paper examines the tipping point between perspectival theory and practice, focusing on renderings of curved objects, especially musical instruments, from Albrecht Dürer’s famous woodcut of two artists using a device to depict a foreshortened lute in his Underweysung der Messung (1525) to the elaborate still lifes by Evaristo Baschenis and Bartolomeo Bettera in the next century.
Nature, Ingenuity, and Invention in Seventeenth-Century Spanish Thought: The Writings of Juan Eusebio Nieremberg (1595-1658)
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Jose Ramon Marcaida, University Of St Andrews
This paper explores the intersection of ideas about nature, ingenuity (“ingenio”) and invention in seventeenth-century Spanish thought through an examination of the natural historical and natural philosophical writings of the Jesuit scholar Juan Eusebio Nieremberg (1595-1658), the first holder of the Chair of Natural History at Reales Estudios of the Jesuit Colegio Imperial in Madrid (founded in 1629). The paper places particular emphasis on instances of human and animal inventive and ingenious behaviour in the early modern American context: from the unique comportment of certain creatures to various cunning practices involving artefacts and materials. Through a number of books written and published between the late 1620s and the early 1630s, Nieremberg’s writings offer a rich corpus of information on European and American natural history, including a substantial portion of the materials gathered during the so-called ‘Francisco Hernández expedition’ to New Spain (1570-1577). The paper’s aim is to situate Nieremberg’s take on invention and ingenuity within a larger debate on issues like the fabric of the natural world, the nature of God’s craftsmanship, the moral and cultural dimensions of human and animal behaviour, and their natural philosophical and theological implications.
The Kangaroo and Other Natural Wonders: Picturing Pacific Exploration ca. 1770
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Stephanie O'Rourke, Lecturer, University Of St Andrews
In 1773, visitors crowded one of London’s preeminent exhibition venues in order to see two recent paintings by George Stubbs. Portraying a dingo and a kangaroo, these images were among the first to depict recently-discovered Pacific flora and fauna for a European audience. Yet Stubbs – whose paintings of animals were valued for their anatomical precision rooted in direct observation – had never actually seen these creatures. The evidentiary authority of the images rested, instead, on their relation to the work of a rarely discussed but crucially important figure: the Scottish natural history illustrator Sydney Parkinson, who had died while serving as an artist on Captain Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific. This paper examines the tension between observation and invention in the visual culture of scientific discovery from Cook’s first expedition. The paintings and prints that circulated in Britain following Cook’s return deployed a number of competing – and at times even contradictory – pictorial strategies to shore up their scientific credibility and to enhance their popular appeal. Situated between specimen and spectacle, this paper will show, these images created a framework for visualising Pacific exploration that shaped not only how British audiences imagined the remote region but also how scientific knowledge about it was disseminated to a wider public.
Commentary: Early Modern Science and Art in Global Context
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Surekha Davies, Utrecht University
09:00 - 11:45
Janskerkhof 2-3, Rm. 013
Flashtalks
Format : Special Event
Speakers
Claire Conklin Sabel, University Of Pennsylvania
Daniela Sclavo, Recently Graduated MSc History And Philosophy Of Science At University College Of London
Isabel Van Paasschen, Yale University
MARIANA SOLER, IHC - CEHFCi - University Of Évora
Pamela Mackenzie, Ph.D. Candidate, University Of British Columbia
Marziyehsadat Montazeritabar, Institute For The History Of Natural Sciences, Chinese Academy Of Sciences
Ashley Gonik, History, Harvard University
Hugo Soares, CIUHCT, New University Of Lisbon
Marianne Jennifer Datiles, University College London (UCL), UK
Hiroto Kono, Tokyo Institute Of Technology / JSPS Research Fellow / UC Berkeley (Visiting Student Researcher)
Ana Rita Melo, Coimbra University, Portugal
Julia Marino, Princeton University
Moderators
Johan Schot
Marsha Richmond, Wayne State University
Bernard Lightman, York University
The Flashtalks initiative was begun by Janet Browne (then President of the HSS) in 2017, who partnered with John Krige, then president of SHOT. She and John co-chaired the session at the annual HSS meeting in Toronto and John invited Janet to co-chair the session at SHOT in 2018. The original concept was to provide one full session for graduate students to present a five-minute talk on their thesis project followed by a five-minute question period. (If anyone goes over their 5 minute presentation time they lost the time from their 5 minute question period.). Graduate students were invited to submit proposals on their topic and these proposals were evaluated by Janet and John. The meeting program chairs were not involved in the selection process but were asked to find a morning slot for the session. The Executive Office managed the announcement inviting proposals and was responsible for collecting them for the presidents. The fourteen best were selected to be presented at the Flashtalks session. It was thought that having the presidents co-host the session would add lustre to the Flashtalks and indicate how important graduate student participation was for the annual meeting. This session generated a lot of interest and encouraged graduate students to participate in the HSS meeting. They were permitted to also present a paper in a session if it was accepted.Bernard Lightman (Janet's successor), Tom Misa (incoming president of SHOT), and Marsha Richmond (president of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology [ISH]) were the co-hosts in 2018. Marsha was invited in order to attract more proposals. We had about ten more proposals than we had spaces. The session was a success, attracting a healthy audience and the graduate students who participated appreciated the feedback.The Flashtalks will again take place in Utrecht for the July annual meeting, co-hosted by the HSS president (Lightman), and representatives of ISH and SHOT, though not the current presidents of those societies. It does not appear that SHOT has set up flashtalks for their 2019 conference. At their spring meeting in 2019 the Executive Committee suggested that presidents, or their representative societies, should only be invited when there were joint meetings. 
"The Most Noble of All Commodities": Mineral Trade and the Earth Sciences in the Early Modern World
09:00 - 09:10
Presented by :
Claire Conklin Sabel, University Of Pennsylvania
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 valuable commodities. The trade in precious stones between Europe and Southeast Asia offers one slice through the seventeenth century’s global trade in minerals that included gunpowder, dyestuffs, and many other materials destined for a wide range of artisanal and industrial applications. This flashtalk will situate gemstones in seventeenth century natural philosophy and commercial networks across the Indian Ocean. I argue that the trade routes that linked these two domains of activity reveal an underappreciated preoccupation with precious minerals in early modern earth sciences.
"We need to talk about Richard Owen"
09:10 - 09:20
Presented by :
Daniela Sclavo, Recently Graduated MSc History And Philosophy Of Science At University College Of London
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 (1827-1856) – a period that remains in the shadow of Darwinism. In this work, Moral Economy is used as an analytical tool to illustrate the non-monetary resource management that Owen undertook in a specific social context in order to achieve his ambitions of institutionalising the field of Comparative Anatomy and being Britain´s most eminent naturalist. Through the study of Owen´s growth and expenditure of socio-political, intellectual, and emotional capital, a more humane and neutral portrayal of this controversial figure is exposed. As a little-explored arena, the former is particularly discussed. Owen´s historiography has focused particularly on his professional correspondence with men. However, Owen´s personal letters to his wife, mother and sisters reveal a different emotional expression. In that sense, Owen´s emotional capital touches on how his intimate relationship with his family provided a space where he privately curated his other capitals and how this had a direct impact on his professional development. Together with an analysis of his socio-political and intellectual capitals, this paper offers a synthetic approach where single behaviours are not over-interpreted, but normalised. Therefore, it challenges the long-held vision of an overwhelmingly defensive and power-centred naturalist.
At Home in the Museum: the Collection of Frederik Ruysch
09:20 - 09:30
Presented by :
Isabel Van Paasschen, Yale University
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 anatomical knowledge. To date, a significant body of scholarship exists on Ruysch’s life and work: Ruysch’s specimens have been analyzed from medical, artistic, and even commercial perspectives. However, the objects in his collection have often assumed center stage; Ruysch’s house-museum as a space has received little attention. This paper seeks to place Ruysch’s objects in context: it excavates the space they occupied, as it was socially and physically constructed. To do so it draws on two previously understudied sources. First, it conducts a detailed analysis of the visitors recorded in Ruysch’s guest books. This source reveals an intimate social environment which revolved around personal relationships. Secondly, Ruysch’s estate inventory allows for the detailed reconstruction of each room in the house. A virtual tour of Ruysch’s home reveals that the collection was deeply embedded in family life; learning spaces and living spaces were indistinguishable. Thus, while museums are thought to have become increasingly public in the 18th century, Ruysch’s house offers a compelling example of a museum that was in fact private, and highly domestic. By recovering the domestic context of Ruysch’s collection, this paper further emphasizes the household as a crucial site for the transmission and creation of knowledge.
Biodiversity on Display: Museological and Scientific Practices in Natural History Museums Exhibitions
09:30 - 09:40
Presented by :
MARIANA SOLER, IHC - CEHFCi - University Of Évora
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 influencing these changes. The increasing circulation of objects, bibliographies and professionals among European and American museums may also have influenced exhibitions design. Inasmuch as the history of museography in relation to its own circulation in natural history museums is still incipient, this thesis proposes to identify ways of display that represent museological and scientific practices in Brazilian and Portuguese natural history museums, by analyzing five contemporaneous exhibitions in which "biodiversity" is a central concept. After reviewing the literature on history of science and museology, we constructed a matrix with indicators which allowed us to recognize different expographic patterns, from the nineteenth century until nowadays. We identified overlapping of ways of display, once in the same exhibition there were different types of representations of scientific practices and concepts. Our preliminary results show that even exhibitions designed after 2010 still have specimens displayed according to design patterns typical of the previous centuries. Although we noticed the importance of researchers and their practices in the conception of exhibitions, different patterns in the same space and narrative indicated the existence of other factors affecting the ways of display. Identifying the origin of these factors will allow us to establish a panorama of influences on science representation in museological institutions.
Mapping and the Microscope
09:50 - 10:00
Presented by :
Pamela Mackenzie, Ph.D. Candidate, University Of British Columbia
“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 mountainous regions, no lakes or valleys. Instead, the place he described consisted of roots, seeds, vessels and membranes. Nehemiah Grew was one of the earliest people to conduct a detailed exploration of plant life with the use of a microscope. The things he discovered had he had no language to describe. In the presentation of his research, Grew borrowed freely from other knowledge systems in development at that time, including bookbinding, the study of animal anatomy and his own vitalist metaphysics. One of the most striking features of how he framed his research was in the language of territorial expansion. Grew's reference to the imperialist project was more than simply a rhetorical appeal by Grew; rather it was central to both the discursive and visual language he developed around his work. The engravings that accompanied Grew’s publications were necessarily abstract, resembling less the tradition of botanical illustration than a series of maps or mathematical diagrams. I will trace the visual form of Grew’s illustrations through the tradition of cartography and consider the implications of this way of imagining the microscopic world geographically – as a place to be surveyed and conquered.
Natural sciences in the thought of Jabir ibn Hayyan
10:15 - 10:25
Presented by :
Marziyehsadat Montazeritabar, Institute For The History Of Natural Sciences, Chinese Academy Of Sciences
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 scholars who have sought for knowledge, and performed original scientific works. The study of nature was one of the branches of knowledge at that time, which had considerable progress in association with other branches of knowledge. But it should be noted that the science of nature among the golden age scholars was highly dependent upon their philosophical views on nature. One of the Muslim pioneers of this arena is Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayyan, polymath and alchemist of the eighth century AD. Here we will explain the study of nature in the works of Jabir in terms of the concept of nature, and the principles and methodology of natural sciences.
Printing Between the Lines: A Sixteenth-Century Historical Table
10:25 - 10:35
Presented by :
Ashley Gonik, History, Harvard University
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 will focus on the ostensibly restrictive—but actually quite fluid—boundaries of the table's rows, columns, and cells in terms of their intellectual foundation and bibliographical construction. The printed sixteenth-century historical table is an artifact designed to be absorbed in a glance, yet it rewards the attentive viewer who lingers and zooms in.
Science Policy in Portugal: The Instituto Nacional de Investigação Científica (INIC)
10:35 - 10:45
Presented by :
Hugo Soares, CIUHCT, New University Of Lisbon
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 transnational policies and practices. These transformations accelerate from 1976 onwards, with the Carnation Revolution (1974), when the country transitioned from the Estado Novo fascist regime to a democratic system. These transformations were shaped by a plethora of State Institutions with distinct missions and objectives (often overlapping or conflicting) through a very dynamic and complex process which ran parallel with the maturation of the Portuguese democratic political system. In my dissertation, I follow one of these institutions, the Instituto Nacional de Investigação Científica (INIC), that, in light of the Actor-Network Theory Framework can be seen, not as a mere intermediary, like current historiography portrays it but, as an influential mediator, deeply entangled and influential in the complex institutional dialogue from which the present Portuguese Scientific Research System emerged.
Specimens of Trade: Medical Treatments and Knowledge from Herbal Texts over Time and Space
10:45 - 10:55
Presented by :
Marianne Jennifer Datiles, University College London (UCL), UK
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 and time. The plant knowledge exchanged will be considered within both the sociocultural contexts of the indigenous medical systems and political climates in which they were documented and the context of this knowledge transfer over time. To demonstrate this, an ethnobotanical database was created from archival sources. The traditional uses, preparations, and scientific evidence for selected species of this ongoing project will be presented as reflections of the individuals responsible for their documentation and case studies of the circulation and exchange of medical knowledge.
The Making of a Science of Substance after Quantum Mechanics in Japan : the Emergence of "Busseiron" around 1940
11:05 - 11:15
Presented by :
Hiroto Kono, Tokyo Institute Of Technology / JSPS Research Fellow / UC Berkeley (Visiting Student Researcher)
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 substance. Given their rapid developments and significant impacts on the society, the sciences of substance have enough reasons to attract historical interests. In Japan, a discipline called "busseiron" was formed around 1940, and this was one of the emerging sciences of substance—studies or theories ("ron") of properties ("sei") of matter or substances ("butsu"). This newly formed science contained the contents from the various fields, such as statistical mechanics, solid-state physics, chemical physics, quantum chemistry, and so on, but corresponded to none of the above—this discipline became an epistemological research frame unique to Japan; there is no word corresponding to "busseiron" in other languages. In this talk, I will briefly present the historical process of the formation of "busseiron", considering the context of making of sciences of substance after quantum mechanics—this formation was guided mainly by the physicists in the University of Tokyo under the strong influence of Japanese way to accept quantum mechanics and the tension among the existing research traditions, such as metallography, metallurgy, spectroscopy, nuclear physics, and so on.
The Slow Appearance of Radiation Risk Perception
11:15 - 11:25
Presented by :
Ana Rita Melo, Coimbra University, Portugal
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 entertainment, beauty and other industries rapidly unveiled radiation hazards such as skin burns, cancer and ultimately death. Nonetheless, factors such as the immediacy, certainty, transparency and obviousness of the benefits of radiation applications, together with people’s confirmatory bias, delayed the appearance of radiation risk perception among the scientists and the public. Perception about radiation thus went through an evolving process with varying velocities, from an unknown phenomenon to suddenly being a miraculous cure of all ailments and then from being a danger, in the sense of something that is out of people’s control, to entailing a risk that can be measured and prevented through implementation of protective actions. Today, radiation risk is one of the most thoroughly studied among all health risks. The present proposal intends to give a snapshot of what experts knew about radiation risk during the initial stages of research and use of ionizing radiation. Finally, the talk aims to show briefly the evolution of the scientific knowledge about radiation risk illustrated by dose limits.
The Struggle Over Politicized Scientific Facts in a Post-Truth Age: The Union of Concerned Scientists’ Altercations with Presidential Science Advisors, 1969-2008
11:25 - 11:35
Presented by :
Julia Marino, Princeton University
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 Advisor shifted from serving as a technical expert in the executive branch to working primarily as a public relations spokesman, bolstering the president’s credibility as an objective scientific voice in the public eye. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a group of researchers, emerged in 1969 at MIT to protest the militaristic policies of the Nixon administration and criticized Science Advisor Lee Dubridge. The UCS was a continuous thorn in the side of subsequent presidential administrations and competed with the Science Advisor to set the terms of public debates over science. Historians have not fully explored the role of Science Advisors and the Union of Concerned Scientists since the Nixon administration and instead have focused largely on the role of Science Advisors in the early Cold War period. Drawing on archival material from five different repositories, this flashtalk will explore three specific instances of conflict between the Union of Concerned Scientists and the presidential Science Advisor in the Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush administrations over nuclear policy, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and climate change respectively. I argue that Science Advisors and the UCS have competed to shape public language and priorities for science in the past fifty years.
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 21, Rm. 005
Gendering Development
Format : Organized Session
Track : Tools for Historians of Science
Speakers
Barbara Pohl, Yale University
Susanne Schmidt, Freie Universität Berlin
Lan Li
Soha Bayoumi, Harvard University
Eli Nelson
Moderators
Charu Singh, Adrian Research Fellow, Darwin College, University Of Cambridge
Sponsored by the Women's CaucusFeminist scholars of science and technology studies (STS) have revealed the manifold ways in which differences of sex, race, and gender structure the production of knowledge. They show how binaries – including feminine and masculine, male and female, active and passive, emotional and rational – imbue scientific practice with local meanings. And they show how gendered commitments shape global concepts like nature, body, and mind. Our panel adds development to this list. Relying upon various insights from feminist STS, each panelist will think through case studies in the history of medicine and the human sciences. Collectively, we explore the cross-cultural ways that gender organizes the scientific study of developmental processes. We foreground a transnational network of scientists who studied how cultures, bodies, and identities changed over time. Barbara Pohl begins in early twentieth century, examining how feminist anthropologists used "gender-critical" methods to understand cultural development in the American southwest. Lan A. Li moves to the mid-twentieth century, recounting how acupuncture analgesia disrupted developmental assumptions about the human body in greater China, Germany, and the United States. Susanne Schmidt lands in the late twentieth century, exploring the anti-feminist commitments of Euro-American developmental psychologists and psychoanalysts. Soha Bayoumi ends in contemporary Egypt, considering how "popular" sexologists have approached questions of modern femininity. Eli Nelson will provide a synthetic commentary, bringing insights from postcolonial and queer feminist STS to our discussion. Together, we will use gender to reinterpret developments in the history of science and medicine.Organized by Barbara Pohl
Changing Minds: Feminist Methods in Anthropology
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Barbara Pohl, Yale University
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Anglo-American anthropologists conducted field expeditions to disparate regions. Some of these anthropologists contributed to the social reform efforts of a trans-Atlantic community of Progressive experts. Within this highly populated landscape, a small field of feminist anthropologists emerged with a distinctive set of ethnographic methods. My paper will trace the empirical practices of one such figure: Elsie Clews Parsons. Parsons formed queer kinships with a disparate group of cultural anthropologists who straddled the socialist-pacifist salons of Greenwich Village, the settlement houses of Chicago, the academic departments of Columbia and U.C. Berkeley, and the artist colonies of Sante Fe. With ample personal connections and financial means, Parsons conducted fieldwork with the Pueblos of New Mexico and Arizona. In 1918, after revitalizing the cultural anthropology program of Franz Boas, she began to experiment with ethnographic writing. She learned how to bring the changing minds of indigenous subjects into the cultural foreground, thereby capturing the development of human personalities. This interpretive skill, I argue, emerged from her encounters with several "men-women" and Zuni women conducting domestic labor. Parsons, while writing about these experiences, denaturalized gendered norms circulating within Pueblo culture. She then turned these observations back onto her own culture, leading her to generalizations about the dynamics of power and mind. This conceptual practice -- what Sarah Richardson might term a "gender-critical" method -- sustained her identity as a feminist anthropologist. My exploration of Parsons places feminist science studies into historical relief.
Women’s Place in Developmental Theory: From Androcentrism to Anti-Feminism
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Susanne Schmidt, Freie Universität Berlin
This talk highlights the relevance of gender in American and European accounts of identity development in the latter half of the twentieth century. Going beyond existing analyses by Carol Gilligan and other relational psychologists, feminist social scientists and writers, who have read dominant theories of individuation as androcentric, I argue that these were based on normative assumptions about women’s selves and capacities. Reconsidering the implications of male-centered perspectives in the social and human sciences changes our understanding of anti-feminism. More than just an extreme opinion, anti-feminist positions structured basic constructions of the self and social order. Not simply implying that Man was the measure of all people, Erik Erikson, Benjamin Spock, Daniel Levinson, and other social and developmental psychologists, practitioners, and psychoanalytic thinkers also exempted women from personal development. Their theories applied to boys and men almost exclusively, whose growth and self-realization they described. Yet despite their focus on men, these developmental models were primarily directed at women. The formulations and effects of identity theories in social policy as well as public debates about work and the family show that they provided a guideline for wives and mothers, describing as the primary task of women to produce, even embody a “facilitating environment” (Donald Winnicott) for male development. When women challenged these directions, experts responded by barring them from redefining their lives and seeking self-fulfillment outside the home. By arguing that women’s liberation hindered men from releasing their full potential, they used the notion of identity to defend traditional gender roles.
Bloated Bellies and Bleeding Thyroids: Needling at Gendered Bodies in Acupuncture Anesthesia (1950-1970)
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Lan Li
Acupuncture analgesia seemed relatively straightforward. The patient lay awake as a practitioner needled selected sites on the body to induce numbness for surgery. Numerous reports emerging from China in the 1970s featured women and men resting on operating tables, smiling into the camera, surrounded by doctors who attended to the excised region—the esophagus, brain, belly, heart, or lungs. Readers were as amazed as they were skeptical. To one critic, acupuncture analgesia worked, but it only worked on Communist Chinese bodies. Beyond the ontological debates that surrounded how needling actually worked, was the curious ways in which the patient and practitioner both participated in a choreography of knowledge production. Needling-induced numbness allowed the patient to lie awake during the operation. She could ask questions, drink tea, eat fruit as nurses reached into her body to remove an ovarian cyst. This paper argues that the choreographed epistemology of the operating room, or “improvised medicine” as Julie Livingston would put it, re-constituted dualities that defined expertise, indigenous knowledge, and gender. Between the patient and practitioner, zhongyi (“Chinese” medicine) and xiyi (“Western” medicine), and feminine and masculine bodies were the multiple effects of needling that challenged assumptions about how responses to pain changed over time. Those who tested the effects of needling-induced numbness in Singapore, Hong Kong, Michigan, Berlin, and Shanghai hoped that its universalizing effects could reflect the universal properties of needling—that it could temper the idiosyncratic nature of the body and collapse conceptual differences. By drawing on literature in transnational feminism and postcolonial STS, this paper offers a cultural history of neuroscience through the queering effects of needling in the operating room.
Egypt’s TV Sexologists and the Politics of Modern Femininity
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Soha Bayoumi, Harvard University
Since Foucault’s History of Sexuality, sexology has been viewed by historians of science and medicine as a marker of sexual modernism, a category of biopower and an apparatus of discipline and social control. Postcolonial historians of medicine, including historians of the Middle East, have complicated our understanding of sexology as both an instrument of imperial control and a potential tool of social critique and resistance to colonial assumptions. More recently, feminist historians of medicine have highlighted the roles played by women sexologists as a way of countering the historical narrative that viewed women and their sexuality solely as objects of study and control by a male-dominated medical establishment. Modern interest in the scientific study of sexuality in the Middle East can be traced back to the mid-nineteenth century. This interest manifested in various ways during the colonial period and over the course of the twentieth century. Most recently, new media allowed for the proliferation of sex education TV programs, websites, YouTube Channels and social media accounts. In this paper, I aim to contribute to the growing scholarship on sexology by examining the role played by contemporary women sexologists in Egypt and their role in cultivating ideals of modern, bourgeois feminine sexuality. Turning to two “popular” female sexologists and sex educators, Heba Kotb and Alyaa Gad, I aim to historically contextualize these popularized iterations of the scientific discourse on sexuality and how they approach questions of modern sexuality in relation to other discourses, such as religious and moral discourses.
Commentary: Gendering Development
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Eli Nelson
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 102
Historical Perspectives on Citizen Science for the “Post-Normal” Age
Format : Organized Session
Track : Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Speakers
Bruno STRASSER, University Of Geneva
FA-TI FAN, State University Of New York At Binghamton
Deborah Coen, Yale University
Vanessa Sellers, New York Botanical Garden, Humanities Institute
Sigrid Schmalzer, University Of Massachusetts Amherst
Moderators
Sally Shuttleworth, Ms
Over the past two decades, STS scholars have argued that the high-stakes, low-certainty conditions of much contemporary scientific research imply an urgent need for new ways of doing science. They have proposed variants such as "Mode 2 science" and "post-normal science," which would draw policy-makers and concerned citizens into the process of designing and evaluating research. Their stated aim is to democratize the knowledge-making process and orient it more firmly towards users' needs. More recently, scientists themselves have begun to echo these recommendations. They emphasize the value of public engagement for a variety of purposes, from gaining legitimacy for their research, to mining big data, to ensuring that their conclusions will be taken up by policy-makers. This reorientation is evident, for instance, in recent initiatives arrayed under the banner of "citizen science," such as the Cornell bird count or Galaxy Zoo. But how novel are these modes of scientific research? Assessing the degree to which these initiatives depart from "normal science" requires historical and epistemological analysis. Accordingly, participants in this session will analyze past experiments in participatory research in a range of sciences (seismology, climatology, astronomy, biomedicine, and scientific agriculture) and in various transnational historical contexts (from the Progressive Era to the post-Cold War), in order to generate critical historical perspectives on contemporary modes of participatory research. What can history teach us about the promise and limitations of these endeavors?Organized by Deborah Coen
Science, Democracy, and the Pursuit of Aliens
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Bruno STRASSER, University Of Geneva
Jérôme Baudry, Swiss Federal Institute Of Technology, Lausanne
In 1902, a contributor to Popular Science affirmed that “The era of the amateur scientist is passing; science must now be advanced by the professional expert.” Throughout the twentieth century, amateurs have been increasingly excluded from the production of scientific knowledge. But since the 1990s, under the banner of “citizen science”, a growing number of initiatives have involved, once again, amateurs in science, with the goal of democratizing science, promoting scientific literacy, and solving big data problems. The creation of SETI@home at UC Berkeley in 1998 embodied all these aims. Within six month, it had attracted more than one million participants analyzing radio signals from space on their personal computer searching for signs of extraterrestrial life. The initiators of the project and the media constructed the image of the participant along the lines of an imagined amateur scientist making discoveries outside of scientific institutions, while contributing to the making of a global scientific citizenship. Infused by libertarian, countercultural, and cyber-utopian ideals, SETI@home seemed to capture the scientific aspirations of a new generation. But the tens of thousands of online biographical sketches left by the participants present a more nuanced picture. These traces offer a unique window into the self-fashioning of the participants into different kinds of “amateurs”, “volunteers”, and “hobbyists” with various views about professional science and its place in society. These sources helps us better understand the recent reconfigurations of the amateur scientist and, more generally, the struggles over the legitimacy of professional expertise.
Citizen, Science, and Citizen Science
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
FA-TI FAN, State University Of New York At Binghamton
The term “citizen science” has become very popular among scholars as well as the general public. The rapid expansion of citizen science, as a notion and a practice, has spawned a plethora of meanings. One of the most common usages today refers to voluntary lay participation in the production of scientific knowledge, often in the form of “crowd sourcing” on an Internet platform such as Zooniverse. So here lies the issue: the notion of citizen science is both very diffuse and very specific. To address that issue, this paper tries to do two things. First, it argues that it is necessary to situate what is called “citizen science” in the relevant historical currents/contexts. “Citizen science” draws on and derives from various historical traditions of knowledge production. It has not come from nowhere. With a historical perspective, we will be able to see the genealogy of citizen science and the limits of a presentist, ahistorical definition of citizen science. And, second, this paper suggests that a fruitful – and politically relevant – way to understand citizen science is through the concept of citizenship. The existing literature has focused more on the “science” rather than the “citizen” part of citizen science (while admitting that they are mutually constituted). It tends to take for granted the political/communal framework in which such scientific activities are designed and conducted. This paper proposes a new perspective that will allow us to better interpret various modes of citizen science in different times and societies.
Climate Science By and For Citizens
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Deborah Coen, Yale University
It is widely recognized that achieving sustainability in the twenty-first century will require a reorientation of scientific research towards “usable” knowledge, particularly when it comes to climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for instance, was created to translate science into policy, but it has focused on long-term predictions of global temperature, rather than on shorter-term, regional-scale predictions that could help guide local policies. Generating actionable climate science will require incorporating the knowledge, experience, and values of those impacted by climate change into the process of producing and evaluating new research. This reorientation is already in progress—evident, for instance, in recent initiatives to incorporate the knowledge, experience, and values of “users,” “stakeholders,” and indigenous communities into the process of producing knowledge about the impacts of anthropogenic climate change. Strong claims are being made for the novelty of these modes of generating climate knowledge, but with little attention to history. In fact, the precedents for involving non-experts in scientific research date back to the very birth of professional science in the eighteenth century. This presentation considers the history of “co-production” in the earth sciences in order to identify the contingent assumptions and limitations of our own ways of doing science. I conclude that usability needs to be defined more broadly. In fact, conceptions of “useful knowledge” drawn from the past can help point the way forward.
Plant Research in the Age of Public Engagement
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Vanessa Sellers, New York Botanical Garden, Humanities Institute
The creation of The New York Botanical Garden, an International Plant Research Center at the heart of New York City—and the programs of study that followed since the 1890’s—have helped lay the foundation of ecology as a discipline in America. The Garden now connects an ever larger community of individuals to plants through citizen science programming. Active public involvement by ‘amateur naturalists,’ is ever more essential today to document the planet’s rapidly decreasing biodiversity. What can we learn from past and present approaches to environmental scholarship? Public engagement plays an indispensable role in the democratization of science by involving an increasingly diverse force of global and regional participants in a common effort to advance environmental knowledge and stewardship. The citizen science movement is reflective of wider societal forces and trends of interconnectedness: it encourages the establishment of new communities of activists that find common purpose to rally around local issues that may address broader environmental, legal and humanities concerns. This movement is supported by easily accessible new technologies—from extensive computer networks to cell phones with sophisticated apps, such as iNaturalist which the New York Botanical Garden uses for its EcoQuests; a program challenging New Yorkers to become citizen scientists and sustain nature in the City. Today’s rapidly evolving online social networks sharing observations on plants across the globe benefit Big Data and meta-analyses. Increased plant awareness in the public sphere has important consequences: it helps to mitigate plant blindness and catalyzes much needed further conservation action.
Maoist “Mass Science” and Participatory Action Research: A Case Study in the Global History of Participatory Knowledge-Making
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Sigrid Schmalzer, University Of Massachusetts Amherst
Today in China publicly minded social scientists are enthusiastically employing the methods of participatory action research, a form of engaged scholarship most famously associated with Brazilian philosopher of education Paolo Freire. Chinese social scientists typically treat participatory action research as a refreshing foreign paradigm that became accessible to China with the increasing academic exchanges made possible during the post-Mao Reform Era. However, anyone familiar with the discourse and practices of Mao-era science will recognize the profound similarities between the “mass science” of socialist China and participatory action research. And, indeed, participatory action research emerged during the 1960s and 1970s, when radical intellectuals around the world were studying the epistemological writings of Mao Zedong. This paper will explore the movement of ideas about participatory knowledge-making between China and other parts of the world during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. As such it represents one step in the process of mapping—across temporal, geographical, ideological, and geopolitical boundaries—the larger global-historical context within which “citizen science” and other understandings of popular knowledge production have gained significance.
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 301
Manuscripts, Instruments, Tables and Computation in Alfonsine Astronomy
Format : Organized Session
Track : Physical Sciences
Speakers
Nicholas Jacobson, CNRS SYRTE
Laure Miolo, CNRS SYRTE
Samuel Gessner, CNRS SYRTE UMR 8630
Laura Fernández Fernández, Universidad Complutense De Madrid ERC ALFA, Spain
Matthieu Husson, Paris Sciences Et Lettres Research University- CNRS
Moderators
Rich Kremer, Dartmouth College
Alfonsine astronomy flourished in Latin Europe from the second half of the 13th to the middle of the 16th century. It is arguably among the first European scientific achievements and shaped a scene for well-known actors like Regiomontanus or Copernicus. There has been, however, little detailed analysis of its comprehensive development. ALFA (2017-2022) is a European Research Council-funded research project, addressing this lacuna by studying Alfonsine tables, instruments, mathematical and theoretical texts in a methodologically innovative way, drawing on approaches from the history of manuscript cultures, history of mathematics, and history of astronomy. For example, rather than focusing simply on individual texts, we are studying manuscript codices as physical objects and computation with such objects as performance. The roles of different instruments and visual representations in relation to manuscripts in various astronomical practices is also addressed. The goal of this symposium is to present to a wider audience some of the first results of the project by bringing together young scholars from Paris, Madison, Madrid, and Lisbon.Organized by Matthieu Husson
Time, Sense Perception, and Experiential Knowledge in John of Saxony’s Epochs of Nations
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Nicholas Jacobson, CNRS SYRTE
During the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, the calculating techniques described by the canons found in the Alfonsine Tables became a topic of general epistemological interest at the University of Paris and other major centers of learning in Latin Europe. Scholars and ecclesiastical administrators, such as Nicole Oresme (d. 1382), Pierre d’Ailly (d. 1420), and Nicholas Cusanus (d. 1464) correlated these iterative and approximating methods of calculation with practical modes of knowing, which they associated with a distinct realm of human experience and political action. Drawing on Aristotelian natural philosophy, these scholars often questioned the reliability of the data established in the tables for being based on conjecture and the particularities of sense perception rather than the exact, invariable principles necessary to establish universally accurate predictions. In this paper, I argue that the early Parisian astronomers who shaped the Alfonsine Tables in the 1320s may have already been aware of these epistemological judgments, and sought to mitigate such criticisms in their canons with recourse to Aristotelian definitions themselves. We see this particularly in the first two propositions of John of Saxony’s 1327 canons, which provided instructions for converting epochs of different nations contained in the tables. In these propositions, John of Saxony cited Aristotle’s treatment of the commensurability of time and physical motion, the infinite divisibility of continua, and the importance of observational experience in order to establish the certainty and convertibility of different epochal radices.
Theory and Practice of Eclipse Computations by John of Genoa in the 1330s
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Laure Miolo, CNRS SYRTE
Before 1332 in Paris, John of Genoa elaborated an original table of Lunar and Solar hourly velocities combined with a table of the radii of the Sun, the Moon and the shadow of the earth, including a column for the variation of the shadow of the earth – variatio umbre – used as a function of the motion in anomaly. This table was probably composed for renewing two tables embedded in John of Lingères’s set of tables (1321). It is the starting point of a whole project focused on eclipse theories and calculations. Indeed, John of Genoa wrote a canon associated with his table, and then eclipse canons entitled Canones eclipsium (1332). The climax of his work was a thorough computation of the solar eclipse of the 3rd March 1337. It is the most detailed calculation of the late Middle Ages. Three manuscripts contained this work, which is an important witness for the history of calculation practices. In this paper, I will compare the calculation provided for the 3rd March 1337 with the methods for establishing a calculation of eclipse that John of Genoa described in his Canones eclipsium. With this analysis, I will consider the link between theoretical knowledge and a real practice of computation.
Embedding New Theory in Brass: Alfonsine Trepidation Spheres
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Samuel Gessner, CNRS SYRTE UMR 8630
The slow changing position of the fixed stars with respect to the vernal point, directly observable through the stars’ changing ortive amplitude, were accounted for by diverging models during the Middle Ages. Ptolemy assumed a linear increase of stellar longitude over time. A text on the movement of the Eighth Sphere (the sphere of the fixed stars), sometimes attributed to Thābit ibn Qurra, circulated in the West and described a back-and-forth movement. In the Latin world this movement of “access and recess” was termed trepidation. The Toledan tables (11th c.) included this same movement of trepidation. In the Castilian Alfonsine tables (ca. 1270) trepidation of the Eighth Sphere is also considered. In Parisian Alfonsine astronomy those secular changes are described by combining a linear change (one revolution in 49000 years) with a trepidation movement. Very few spatial, material representations of these aspects of astronomical theories are known: today only about a dozen surviving armillary spheres are modelling the phenomenon of trepidation. Some such trepidation spheres from the 16th century are signed by the famous G. Arsenius. A systematic description and comparison of these spheres is still lacking. An outline of such a comparative study will here be proposed. It will have to tackle the relationship between competing theories, astronomical tables and canons on the one hand and visual representations, including diagrams and material models, like armillary spheres, on the other.
The Visual Culture of Alfonsine Astronomy: The Case of Getty Museum, Ludwig XII.7
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Laura Fernández Fernández, Universidad Complutense De Madrid ERC ALFA, Spain
The constellations pictured in the manuscripts commissioned by ‘Alfonso X el Sabio’ (Lapidario, El Escorial, RBME, Ms. h-I-15, Libro del saber de astrología, Madrid, UCM BH, Ms. 156, Libro de astromagia, Città del Vaticano, BAV, Ms. Reg. Lat. 1283a) stem from the figurative cycle illustrating the text of al-Sufi´s Kitab Al-Kawakeb Al-Thabita, the Book of the Fixed Stars. This repertoire adapted Classical representations of the constellations, adding specific elements from the Islamic and the Bedouin tradition. Al- Sufi´s forms also changed the Classical aesthetic and attributes and adapted them to the Eastern fashion, just as the figures of the Alfonsine manuscripts later added a Western touch, more suited to the cultural context and the audience for which this visual repertoire was designed, while simultaneously respecting al-Sufi´s iconographical structure. The Ludwig XII.7 manuscript, nowadays preserved at the Getty Museum, a scientific miscellany provably made in Oxford in the last quarter of the 14th century, has a direct relationship with the Alfonsine production. One of its parts seems to be inspired by a fragment of the Libro de las estrellas fixas, the first treatise of the Libro del saber de astrología, keeping the same iconographical features than the Alfonsine manuscript, documenting the circulation and preservation of the visual culture of Alfonsine astronomy in other territories and chronologies.
Commentary: Manuscripts, Instruments, Tables and Computation in Alfonsine Astronomy
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Matthieu Husson, Paris Sciences Et Lettres Research University- CNRS
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 103
Mastering Natural Knowledge in the Portuguese Empire: Transforming Bodies, Exploring Nature, Governing Space
Format : Organized Session
Track : Tools for Historians of Science
Speakers
Catarina Madruga, CIUHCT, University Of Lisbon
Marta Macedo, University Of Lisbon
Sara Albuquerque, Universidade De Évora
ANGELA SALGUEIRO , ANGELA SALGUEIRO
Patrícia Martins Marcos, Patrícia Martins Marcos
Hugh Cagle, University Of Utah
Moderators
Hugh Cagle, University Of Utah
Quite unlike other European empires, Portugal's was marked by the persistence of a manuscript culture well into the age of print, by the decentralization of its imperial investigative institutions, and by colonial medical challenges that gave metropolitan physicians particular influence over imperial political and economic affairs. This panel explores these dimensions of Portugal's empire and their consequences for medicine and natural history at the height of European colonialism. The focus on disparate scientific protagonists, chronologies, and colonial spaces, allows each paper to explore how natural knowledge came to be perceived as a solution to the difficult problem of colonial government at a time of fierce inter-imperial competition – from the 1750's to the early twentieth century. If it was unquestionable to naturalists, physicians, as well as to both colonial and metropolitan administrators that the effective government of empire entailed reaping the formidable natural fecundity of Portuguese colonies, this goal remained enduringly elusive. Through an examination of visual and material culture, natural and anthropological collections, labor regimes and power structures, this panel reflects on the importance of natural landscape, built space, travel, and material circulations for the production of knowledge. Rather than choosing between object-centered or human-centered histories, we consider the crucial role of both subjects and objects to knowledge making in the context of Portugal's imperial desiderata. From the Brazilian sertão, to the Angolan hinterlands , São Tomé's cocoa plantations, and the Lisbon National Museum, we explore how natural knowledge was concomitantly used to transform bodies, explore nature, and govern space. Organized by Patrícia Martins Marcos
"To Study What Is Ours": Scientific and Political Representations of Africa in the Lisbon Zoological Museum, 1862-1881
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Catarina Madruga, CIUHCT, University Of Lisbon
Between 1862 and 1881, the director of the Zoological Section of the Museu Nacional de Lisboa, José Vicente Barbosa du Bocage (1823-1907), launched and consolidated a research program to study national fauna supported by the addition of new collections. The characteristic fauna of Portuguese land and seas should no longer be unknown in the rest of Europe neither misrepresented in the existing national collections. The scope of the national fauna considered metropolitan territories as well as imperial possessions and, according to Bocage, all of these geographical regions should be studied by “our own” instead of foreign naturalists and explorers. Lacking the resources of larger museums, Bocage leaned on the individual participation of collaborators both at home and distributed along the many distant outposts of the Portuguese empire. The nationalistic tone set by Bocage gradually yielded results and the work with the new collections allowed for an active new museum which in turn enabled the publication of tens of new species, with a particular emphasis on Angolan vertebrate fauna. The descriptive taxonomic work in the Lisbon museum relied on local information, indigenous names, and specimens gathered from Portuguese colonial officials and collectors on the field. This paper considers this particular form of taxonomic and zoogeographical knowledge as a political field that substantiated the national rhetoric of appropriation and justification in the construction of the Portuguese African empire.
Medical Practices in Early 20th Century São Tomé’s Cocoa Plantations
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Marta Macedo, University Of Lisbon
This paper aims to discuss the medical practices in the cocoa plantations of São Tomé, a Portuguese colony in the Gulf of Guinea. As in other contexts, São Tomé’s plantations were dependent on large contingents of displaced black laborers, framed by different institutions from slavery to indentureship. When in the early 1900s the territory became the world’s most important cocoa producer, local mortality rates reached 20% and the island’s coercive and deadly labour system caught international attention. By then, white physicians came to occupy a prominent position. Framing plantations as specific repertoires of imperial power, this text argues that those experts were important actors in the maintenance of its racial politics of difference. Attributing the persistence of and susceptivity to diseases to degenerated black bodies and black cultures became a common trope. Physicians established a correlation between specific diseases, such as pneumonia and dysentery, and black’s “immoderate habits”, such as alcoholism and dirt eating. Also “nostalgia for the motherland” was framed as a pathological condition leading to suicide. Medical authority over what were conceived as racial constituted diseases, deviant behaviors and psychological weakness demanded institutions and spaces of surveillance and confinement. Along with hospitals, the redesign of plantation housing quarters became part of these professionals tasks. As such, I will try to show how physicians brought together a focus on bodies and on the plantation built environment, connecting racialized biological and spatial practices in a single narrative.
Encounters in Africa: When Livingstone Met Welwitsch
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
ANGELA SALGUEIRO , ANGELA SALGUEIRO
Sara Albuquerque, Universidade De Évora
From 1851 onwards, coinciding with a period of relative political stability, Portugal achieved the necessary conditions for the development of its imperial plan. The Portuguese Government believed in the wealth of its African possessions, despite several public discussions about the future of the territories in the 1860s. The expedition Iter Angolense (1853–1860), led by Friedrich Martin Joseph Welwitsch (1806–1872) an Austrian doctor and botanist, occurred at a time when the imperial plan became established. Welwitsch was sent by the Portuguese Crown to what is known today as Angola. The objective was to collect data, plants, animals, and minerals for scientific analysis and to ascertain their economic potential. On 3 September 1859, Welwitsch was the first European to describe the famous Namib Desert plant, later named Welwitschia mirabilis in his honour. During this expedition, the botanist met David Livingstone (1813–1873), the famous explorer, doctor, geographer and missionary. Although the fact Welwitsch and Livingstone met while they were in Angola is recognized, this encounter has hitherto been studied in depth. These famous explorers met at Golungo Alto in 1854, and this encounter would affect both of them in different ways. This work in progress intends to explore the networks of knowledge and the impact of this encounter in a period that preceded the formation of the Society of Geography, Lisbon (1875) and the Scramble for Africa.
From Place to Race: Medicine, Natural Philosophy, and Human Diversity in Eighteenth-Century Brazil
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Patrícia Martins Marcos, Patrícia Martins Marcos
To the early modern imagination, Brazil was a land of natural and human wilderness. I investigate this metonym by focusing on the centrality of human beings and their bodies to Portuguese projects of imperial expansion. I trace changes between Aristotelian views of humanity ascribed to Jesuit missionaries, compare them to emergent secular ideas on the pliability of human nature, and contrast both these models to Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira’s (1756-1815) effort of applying the Linnaean grid of natural classification to Brazilian nature and its naturals. Portuguese emphasis on agricultural labor and miscegenation hinged on the body as a key to colonization. My study of the Directório dos Índios law (1758-1798) explores how after the 1750 border expansion, Amerindians were redefined as royal vassals with the aim of augmenting the population and settling the new imperial border. Stress on natural improvement drew from medical-humoral ideas positing that uncivilized Índios could harvest their new Portuguese natures by farming the land and rationally transforming their natural environment. Additionally, focus on monogamy and miscegenation redefined the female indigenous body as the epicenter of a new colonial frontier. Contrary to the Directório’s project of human transformation, Ferreira’s Amazonian journeys (1783-1792) foreshadowed the emergence of a racialized discourse. Ferreira’s focus on accommodating Brazilian nature to a Linnaean taxonomy intimated a schematic view of botanical and human nature. Bodies were no longer porous and subject to fluidity or modification because their place in the system of nature was now fixed to a set of essential, immutable corporeal characteristics.
Commentary: Mastering Natural Knowledge in the Portuguese Empire: Transforming Bodies, Exploring Nature, Governing Space
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Hugh Cagle, University Of Utah
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 27, Rm. 032
On the Move: Animal Histories Unleashed from the Cabinet of Curiosities
Format : Organized Session
Track : Biology
Speakers
Marianna Szczygielska, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
Shira Shmuely, Tel Aviv University
Tamar Novick, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
Sijia Cheng, Universität Heidelberg
Lukas Rieppel, Brown University
Moderators
Harriet Ritvo, MIT
Animals, as defined by Aristotelian terms, are actualized in connection to their movement, potential, and purpose. Our knowledge of animals in the history of science, furthermore, as developed from this historiography, has been constrained by foci upon specific charismatic animals at work or in motion. In order to enrich our understanding of animals in the history of science, this panel takes movement as its central point of investigation. It examines the relations between various types of movement, from mechanical motion to geographic translocation, and the knowledge of animals' lives, bodies, and excretions. The panel explores a layered concept of animal movement through these questions: How have people tried to understand animals and their physical movements? What kind of scientific knowledge has been produced in relation to animals as they are introduced or re-introduced to various localities? The presenters specifically look into animals as mobilizers of scientific knowledge. Marianna Szczygielska focuses on the movement of elephants into Eastern European circuses and zoos during the colonial period, in order to delve into connections between veterinary science and concepts of zoological species, race, and identity. Shira Shmuely offers a critical analysis of Alfred Russell Wallace's adopted baby orangutan in order to shed light on the malleable boundaries between natural history, hunting, pet-keeping, and experimentation in physiology and anatomy. Sijia Cheng excavates the development of chemistry in late 19th and early 20th century China that emerged from debates over the political control of seabirds and their guano. Tamar Novick examines the 1944 outbreak of African Horse Sickness as the roles of animals as global migrant-laborers began to shift and thus fostered new thoughts about epidemiology and agriculture. Together, these papers offer a critical if not also complementary response to mobility studies from the history of science perspective by investigating how actions connected to the movement, re-rooting, and thus re-contextualizing animals generate new productive tensions among different ways of knowing.Organized by Lisa Onaga and Tamar Novick
Elephant Empire beyond the Colonial Frontier
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Marianna Szczygielska, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
Animal trade constitutes one of the key factors of animal mobility beyond their natural habitats. Exotic specimens found their way to menageries and zoos following the routes of colonial conquest and possession of land and natural resources. Whereas zoological gardens and animal collections in North America and Western Europe are well researched, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the history and legacy of these modernizing institutions in Eastern Europe. In this presentation, I investigate the traffic in exotic animals to this region with a focus on a particular species. Historically, elephants have been considered prime symbols of power and triumph of the colonial empire, and thus were often the jewels of colonial animal collections across Europe (Ritvo 1987). I explore how the colonial origin of elephants as both big game (being hunted for ivory, taxidermy, meat) and charismatic megafauna (spectacular mammals on display) translates into a geopolitical context without direct overseas colonies, in order to trace the material links between species, race, transnational commodity networks, and structures of identity formation. From this vantage point I suggest that studying public zoos in Eastern Europe offers a unique insight into a physical presence of colonial imperialism (via traffic in exotic species) in an area without overseas colonies, through a site where modernist models of citizenship, nationhood, and Europeanness are forged at the interface between science, education, and transnational politics.
Alfred Wallace’s Baby Orangutan: A Game, a Pet, a Specimen
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Shira Shmuely, Tel Aviv University
British naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace was a freelance collector. During his expedition to the Malay Archipelago he had collected 125,000 specimens, mostly insects and birds, thousands of them previously unfamiliar to European naturalists. Wallace dried, labeled, preserved and packed the specimens and periodically shipped them to his London agent for sale. In the morning of 16 May 1855 Wallace picked up a young orangutan from a swamp in the island of Borneo, Southeast Asia. He carried the little creature home, and for a while lived with the orangutan in his “bachelor establishment.” The relations Wallace had cultivated with the young orangutan are peculiar in the context of hunting tradition. Read on the backdrop of imperial hunting, the encounter between the naturalist and the orangutan is an anomalous, a momentary breach of the hunters’ agenda. However, when re-contextualized in the history of animal experimentation, Wallace’s treatment of the orangutan joined other incidences in which scientists observed their pet animals, occasionally even subjected them to experiments. Drawing from historian of science Donna Haraway’s Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science (1990), I’ll argue that the encounter between Wallace and the baby orangutan is of special analytical value as it is situated at the juncture of hunting narratives, per ownership, colonial bioprospecting and laboratory culture. The entrance of the baby orangutan into Wallace’s home provides an early example for the future complex attitudes towards primates in research, intertwining ideas about family life, care, use and abuse.
The “African Horse Sickness” and the Threat of Movement
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Tamar Novick, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
This talk centers on the “African Horse Sickness” that plagued the Middle East for the first time in 1944, resulting in the termination of thousands of animal lives. In that context, equines were cardinal to agricultural work and economy, to connecting rural and urban areas as transporters of goods, but also to the governing rule and its policing powers under the Mandate system. The disease hit the region in a transformative period, moreover, as the role of animals as global migrant-laborers was shifting. Soon after, automated machines relieved their burden, and transformed the relations between farmers, veterinarians, the state, and the global market. Debates about the nature and management of this disease, which never threatened human lives, but influenced them in fundamental ways nevertheless, ultimately contributed to new ideas about energy, work, and migration, and to studies in epidemiology and agricultural production.
More Than Just Poop: Guano in Late 19th and Early 20th Century China
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Sijia Cheng, Universität Heidelberg
This paper investigates how the Chinese started to know about the agricultural value of guano and search for their own potential guano islands in late 19th and early 20th Century. Since the early nineteenth century, because of its nitrate-rich quality, guano has been recognized by chemists worldwide as the finest fertilizer. It became a highly valuable resource and hot commodity desired and harvested by Western and Japanese powers. Since the second half of the nineteenth century, many Chinese intellectuals also realized the value of guano as an effective fertilizer through Western books. They started to regard it as the best fertilizer, even more valuable than human and animal manure, which had been applied to enrich the soil fertility in China for centuries. Two opposite opinions towards this previously unknown resource emerged. One acknowledged the unavailability of guano due to the lack of seabirds' islands and suggested to look for other alternative manure. Based on their understandings of chemical knowledge, many Chinese intellectuals started to argue for suitable manure that contain vital elements (such as nitrogen and phosphorus). The other opinion urged the Qing government to defend the territorial sovereignty of some islands near Kanton from the Japanese occupation and reclaim the exploitation right of guano back. As the second opinion developed, rather than its agricultural value, bird excrement mattered greatly due to its economic and geopolitical significance. By looking at the fate of guano in China, this paper aims to shed some light on the entwined relations between knowledge of animals and social, economic and political power.
Commentary: On the Move: Animal Histories Unleashed from the Cabinet of Curiosities
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Lukas Rieppel, Brown University
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 105
Premodern Nature: Regularity, Exceptions, Manipulations
Format : Organized Session
Track : Physical Sciences
Speakers
Nicholas Aubin, Humboldt-University Berlin
Marienza Benedetto, University Of Bari, Italy
Nicola Polloni, Institut Für Philosophie, Humboldt Universität Zu Berlin
Yael Kedar, Tel-Hai College
Jeremiah Hackett, University Of South Carolina
Moderators
Elly Truitt, Bryn Mawr College
Premodern science considered nature through Aristotle's definition of an intrinsic principle, driving species and individuals towards perfection, in a less or more regular manner which allows scientific knowledge. However, sometimes things go wrong-nature incidentally makes mistakes. Can natural errors (like "monsters") be amended? This panel addresses the tensions between regularity and exceptions, description and manipulation of nature in premodern times. How did premodern thinkers justify the exceptions to the regularity of nature? What were the conditions for their assumption that an exception to that regularity was "unnatural"? How did they think they could achieve a manipulation of nature? By "manipulation" we mean the propelling of natural regulated changes towards a preconceived goal. Which presuppositions enabled them to consider the possibility of such manipulation? What was the metaphysical, epistemological, and theological frame that supported this kind of thinking? Nicholas Aubin explores the relation between nature, art, and medicine in the Muslim tradition as expressed in al-ʿĀmirī's thought. Marienza Benedetto addresses the birth of monsters in the Jewish tradition, as found in Maimonides medical works. Nicola Polloni examines patterns of regularity and irregularity of nature in Hermann of Carinthia of the Latin-Neoplatonist tradition. The Latin-Aristotelian tradition of the manipulation of nature is investigated by two papers, both focused on Roger Bacon. Yael Kedar speaks about Bacon's conception of natural legality, and asks whether this new conception fostered ideas of controlling nature, and Jeremiah Hackett investigates the theological aspect of Bacon's "experimental science".Organized by Yael Kedar
al-ʿĀmirī on Nature and the Arts
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Nicholas Aubin, Humboldt-University Berlin
This paper explores the view of Nature expounded by the tenth-century Muslim philosopher Abū al-Ḥasan al-ʿĀmirī (d. 992). al-ʿĀmirī’s understanding of Nature—concerning both its identity and its activity—is a hybridization of Aristotelian natural philosophy and Neoplatonic metaphysics. This background understanding informs his modal account of the beings and events which occur in the natural, i.e. sublunar world. al-ʿĀmirī’s natural world is characterized by ‘natural possibility,’ an imperfect regularity which falls short of the perfection and necessity of the heavens. al-ʿĀmirī presents a complicated network of relationships between the arts and Nature, and between (individual) nature and the soul. al-ʿĀmirī speaks of the arts as assisting Nature in its activity, as in the cases of agriculture and medicine. He also speaks of the influence of Nature on the arts, by engendering ‘natural’ dispositions in the artist. Elsewhere al-ʿĀmirī develops a view of soul and nature in the individual, according to which the soul of an especially spiritual individual will overpower the base nature within him, thus alleviating him of medical care altogether. I examine how his philosophical reflection on this point is connected to the Greco-Arabic medical tradition, its sources and practices. In particular, I consider the context of his view of ‘psycho-therapeusis’ by comparing it to popular Arabic medical accounts from the period, and contrast it with a medical work by Abū Sahl al-Masīḥī (d. after 1025) which emphasizes the dependence of psychological states on the body.
Monstrous Births in Medieval Jewish Philosophy
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Marienza Benedetto, University Of Bari, Italy
My paper engages with a rather specific and yet understudied case of natural irregularity: the phenomenon of monstrous births within the Medieval Jewish tradition. How did Premodern Jewish scientists and philosophers consider bodily defects that were evidently disagreeing with the regularity of Nature? What kind of justifications – if any – did Medieval Jewish thinkers provide in order to explain this particular phenomenon in its manifold expressions? Indeed, different theoretical justifications to the incidental irregularity of nature appear to have implied different practices to amend the corporeal exceptionalities of this kind of bodies. But what these practical measures were? And could they actually be implemented? My paper will discuss these central points, focusing in particular on the crucial contribution offered by Moses ben Maimon (Maimonides, c. 1134 – 1204) in his medical works.
Matter as Epistemic Object: Intellection, Manipulation, and Particularisation in the 13th Century
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Nicola Polloni, Institut Für Philosophie, Humboldt Universität Zu Berlin
The paper explores the richness of scientific and philosophical approaches to matter in the thirteenth century. The twelfth-century Arabic- and Greek-into-Latin translation movements provided, in a relatively short time, Latinate audience with different accounts of matter as epistemic object proper to diverse disciplines—natural philosophy, logic, metaphysics, as well as alchemy, medicine, and astronomy. I will discuss tensions and implications arising from a consideration of such a plurality of meanings and theories of matter and materiality in the thirteenth century.
Laws of Nature and Nature’s Use and Manipulation According to Roger Bacon (ca. 1220-1292)
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Yael Kedar, Tel-Hai College
The idea of a general legality in nature is found in the writing of Roger Bacon already in the thirteenth century. Bacon moved towards a new conception of nature by rendering natural regularities into laws. He wrote of the law of reflection, the law of refraction, the law of the gravity of water and the laws of stars. He explained dissenting phenomena by appealing to the law of universal nature, which overrules the laws of particular natures when necessary. In this paper I ask whether Bacon suggested ways by which the knowledge of the laws of nature can foster man’s control of nature and its manipulation. Indeed, the search for laws belongs, according to Bacon, to the practical part of science, since their application can enhance human lives. Specifically, he argued that according to the laws of reflection and refraction, a mirror can be shaped, so that one group of soldiers will appear as multiplied, and thus would terrify the enemy. He also suggested using the laws for the production of powerful weapons, such as consuming, unquenchable fire, defeating sounds, blinding flashes and poisons. Did the use of the laws of nature as suggested by Bacon bring him close to the early modern idea of dissecting nature, controlling and manipulating it? I argue that for Bacon the discovery of laws resulted in the idea of the usefulness of the knowledge; he did not, however, entertain yet the idea of a planned experiment in which nature is “forced” into “unnatural” situations.
Roger Bacon's Scientia Experimentalis as Technological Manipulation of Nature in Premodern Europe
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Jeremiah Hackett, University Of South Carolina
Roger Bacon's Scientia experimentalis is driven by a new apocalyptic Christian vision of reform and renovation on earth. It involves the manipulation of light and sight in the production of new technologies of war. It involves a new vision of Chemistry/ Alchemy in the renovation of the human body. Since the body is closely united to the intellectual soul, in a non-Platonic manner, the material, physical world is taken up and transformed in a renewed human world in its return to the divine. This Re-creation of life is the reditus side of the original creation.
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 13, Rm. 003
Slavery, Medicine, and Science in the Early Modern World
Format : Organized Session
Track : Tools for Historians of Science
Speakers
Lucia Dacome, University Of Toronto, Institute For The History And Philosophy Of Science And Technology
Carolyn Roberts, History Of Science And Medicine, Yale University
Kristen Block, University Of Tennessee
Tamraa Walker, Tamara Walker, University Of Toronto
Pablo Gómez, University Of Wisconsin-Madison
Moderators
Suman Seth, Cornell University
This session considers the place of slavery in early modern medicine and natural inquiry. It investigates both the many ways in which early modern medicine and natural inquiry supported the institution of slavery and the settings in which slavery was integral to the production of early modern medical and natural knowledge. At the same time, we aim at casting light on the epistemic role of enslaved communities in the histories of science, medicine and technology. In recent years, a growing body of scholarship has examined the institutional apparatuses of early modern imperial medicine, paying special attention to the mobility of individuals, knowledge, practices, objects and materia medica across the globe. However, the place of slavery in early modern processes of production, movement and transfer of natural and healing knowledge and practices has only started to be explored. This session will revisit historiographies and geopolitics of early modern medicine and natural inquiry by investigating their entanglements with slavery in different settings and regions, with a focus on Atlantic and Mediterranean worlds. While the investigation of natural/medical knowledge and slavery in the Atlantic and Mediterranean areas has largely developed along separate lines, this panel will adopt different scales of observation to start a dialogue among scholars working in these areas, and explore how the interwoven networks of slavery, science and medicine can shift our perspective on the way we tell "the stories of science".Organized by Lucia Dacome
Broken World Botany: Slavery and Natural Knowledge in the West African Slave Trading Zones
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Carolyn Roberts, History Of Science And Medicine, Yale University
Literature on the circulation of natural knowledge in the Atlantic world offers rich discussions regarding the significance of non-European peoples in the development of colonial and metropolitan science and medicine. The Americas has been a foundational geography in this scholarship. Historians have shown the intense epistemological struggles that ensued between Amerindians, Africans, creoles, and Europeans who lived, labored, and died together. However, one region that was pivotal in Atlantic knowledge networks remains largely absent — West Africa. This paper illustrates how the West African slave trading zones functioned as unique spaces in Atlantic itineraries of science and medicine. Frequently crumbling fortresses like Cape Coast Castle on the Gold Coast were transient, biocontact zones laced with violence, dehumanization, and disease. There were few long-term European residents; professional naturalists made only rare appearances; and bare-life existence often subsumed all else. As such, I argue that gathering natural knowledge was characterized by an eclectic empiricism that had limited institutional support and scarce resources. Using fragmentary evidence culled from travel narratives, correspondence, and merchants accounting records, I argue that slave traders often functioned as scientific scavengers, seeking to consume West African natural knowledge wherever such might exist – whether in the malnourished bodies of enslaved people who had been trafficked hundreds of miles, or among enslaved boys who grew physic gardens at slave factories. This paper problematizes early modern science and medicine by examining knowledge-making in a profoundly broken West African world.
Healing Waters of the Caribbean: Affliction and Hope in Creole Discourses on Water Cures
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Kristen Block, University Of Tennessee
Historians have debated the ways in which Old World cultures were transformed, merged, and informed one another in colonial spaces like the Caribbean. My research shows that healing rituals using water were part of creolized discourses that bridged physical and spiritual worlds. This paper uses both medical treatises from the eighteenth century and Africanist scholarship to argue that elemental substances like water served as loci for intercultural dialogue. Indeed, water cures were often recommended for the most stubborn of ailments, allowing popular beliefs in water's miraculous powers to flourish. Many corrosive skin ailments were linked to spiritual and humoral imbalances. European theories about water cures began to center on the idea of transpiration, the body’s permeability and its ability to take in healthful substances that could "relax" the sensible fibers of the body or correct humoral imbalances—afflictions that were themselves often-times caused by the environmental and emotional challenges of life in “the tropics.” They wrote about the power of natural springs such as the one in Bath in eastern Jamaica (named after the spa town in England) or the hot springs of volcanic islands like Guadeloupe. Yet some of the most powerful medicinal springs were discovered by maroons or enslaved healers who passed along that knowledge to Europeans. To convince afflicted persons to try a new cure, healers had to explain the power in ways that reflected local communities' shared fascination with the power of healing waters.
Piracy, Slavery, and Eating in the Southern Pacific, 1580s-1720s
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Tamraa Walker, Tamara Walker, University Of Toronto
My paper is set in the Southern Pacific, or the part of the ocean that connected East Asia to Central and South America, from the late-sixteenth to the early-eighteenth century. With merchant vessels loaded with American silver, African slaves, and global luxury goods circulating throughout the region, it was one of the most active commercial zones in the world. And for Spain's European rivals, it was an attractive target for incursions. Yet among the European pirates and privateers making their way into the region, satisfying hunger was a surprisingly difficult - and distracting - part of their experience at sea. With little knowledge of their own about what was safe to eat, they had to rely on outsiders to help them gain access to food. This group primarily consisted of black men and women taken captive during raids of slave ships, merchant vessels, and Spanish-American port cities, who possessed the local and scientific ability to determine which parts of which plants, fruits, and animals could be eaten or even treat diseases. In drawing upon the accounts of those Europeans, my paper centers the intellectual labor of African-descent men and women, highlighting the ways they deployed their knowledge in service to their captors, often against their will but also as a means to secure their freedom. It also considers the risks involved in such efforts, given the possibility of making mistakes that could endanger the health of their captors and in turn put their own lives in further danger.
Slave Trading and the Ideation of Quantifiable Bodies in the Seventeenth Century
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Pablo Gómez, University Of Wisconsin-Madison
This paper studies the development of novel ideas about the human body that appeared in Atlantic slave-trading circuits during the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Using governmental, corporate, and private records from archives in Spain, Portugal, France, England, the Netherlands, The United States, Brazil, Colombia and Cuba, the paper explores the emergence in Atlantic slave-trading societies of a new epistemology that conceived of fungible and universal bodies whose parts were measurable and comparable, as the diseases that affected them, in quantifiable and reproducible ways on the basis of normalized, constant, standards. I argue that these ideas about bodies, which scholars traditionally identify as related to the rise of the New Science and political and medical arithmetics in late seventeenth and eighteenth-century English, French and northern European learned circles, first emerged in sixteenth and seventeenth-century South Atlantic slave-trading societies. These transformations came about as a consequence of slave trading communities’ need for the quantification of the risks involved in trading and investing in human corporeality and its afflictions in a vast Atlantic network of increasingly complex, commercial, technical, political and legal dimensions. As a result, human bodies’ characteristics (height, gender, age, weight, among others), and diseases became quantifiable and normalized as groupable and predictable within a new language of commerce, and appraisal of the flesh. The history of the African slave body, thus, travels (and precedes by several decades) the same paths followed by the history of the quantifiable and universal bodies of public health, epidemiology, and biomedicine.
Captive Healthscapes: Slavery, Medicine, and Natural Inquiry in Early Modern Italy
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Lucia Dacome, University Of Toronto, Institute For The History And Philosophy Of Science And Technology
This paper explores the entanglement of slavery, medicine and natural inquiry in early modern Italy. It focuses on the healing spaces and practices that developed alongside the creation of a Bagno, a purpose built edifice that housed a large community of up to 3,000 (mostly Ottoman) slaves in the Tuscan port city of Livorno. In the early modern period, the presence of slaves in the Italian peninsula was largely related to the struggle between Ottoman and European powers for the control of Mediterranean territories. In recent years, scholars have started to shed light on the role of slavery in the economic and political strategies of early modern Italian states. However, little is known about the health-related practices and the processes of knowledge-making that were incidental to the presence of enslaved communities in the Italian territories. This paper explores how such practices and processes participated in shaping the early modern world of healing and medical and natural knowledge. On the one hand, it considers how physicians and natural inquirers were involved in maintaining and supporting the institution of slavery and relied on enslaved bodies to construct knowledge, authority, and reputation. On the other hand, it examines how Ottoman captives acted themselves as healers who provided for different constituencies, including the residents of the cities in which they were held in captivity. By interrogating the health and knowledge practices associated with the Bagno in Livorno, this paper will shed new light on the forms of encounter and conflict informing early modern healthscapes.
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 13, Rm. 004
What a Life Means: The Uses of Biography in the History of Science
Format : Organized Session
Track : Tools for Historians of Science
Speakers
Daniela Helbig, University Of Sydney
Lily Huang, The University Of Chicago
Roberto Lalli, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
Joan Richards, Brown University
Theodore Porter, Ted Porter
Moderators
Theodore Porter, Ted Porter
Biography appeals to historians of science again, but perhaps not in a form that most biographers would recognize. There are now biographies of animals, of inanimate objects and of concepts, of institutions, of landscapes. This flourishing of biographies in recent decades can be seen as our discipline's reinvention of a genre that has been critiqued as naively theory-resistant, conservative, and useful at best as a pretext for contextualisation of scientific work. But this reinvention demands methodological reflection: does biography survive only as metaphorical shorthand, or does it serve historiographical purposes of its own? This panel offers four perspectives on the historiographical functions of the genre, both in its new incarnations and in its more traditional form of the story of a life told by someone else. Joan Richards and Daniela Helbig foreground biography's potential for understanding science as part of the meaning of a lived life, as long argued for by our commentator Ted Porter. In contrast, Roberto Lalli and Lily Huang investigate the historiographical implications of studying other entities in biographical terms: institutions and metaphors. Our shared aim is to examine the different functions of biography as an analytic lens, and to question when and why the framing of a narrative as a life can produce a distinctive historical insight.Organized by Daniela Helbig
The Known and the Lived: Melitta Schiller-Stauffenberg
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Daniela Helbig, University Of Sydney
In the rapidly growing recent historical and literary scholarship on the genre of biography, a quote from Virginia Woolf has achieved classic status: "How can one make a life out of six cardboard boxes full of tailors' bills, love letters and old picture postcards?" It pointedly frames the biographer's unresolvable dilemma in terms of her sources. How to navigate between an empiricist faith in a subject speaking through these paper traces, and the constructivist awareness of the biographer's role in "making" this life? My contribution is concerned with how scientific practice changes the generic forms in which the biographical subject is traditionally taken to speak --- such as letters or diaries --- in the case of the German test pilot and physicist Melitta Schiller-Stauffenberg (1903-1945). The fragmented records of Schiller's life have left room for much biographical controversy about her work for the Luftwaffe as a woman of Jewish descent, and her potential involvement in her husband's family's resistance to Hitler. Placing her diary and other texts in the context of the recording and note-taking practices that were developed as part of the professionalization of scientific test flying, I argue that the construal of Schiller's predicament in terms of politicized ethnicity alone leaves aside her own understanding of her work in aviation research as epistemically and morally meaningful. Hers is a case where biography can serve to examine how scientific practice shapes the practitioner by reconfiguring older cultural technologies of self-articulation.
On Ways of Dying: Biographies of Metaphors and the History of Science
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Lily Huang, The University Of Chicago
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries metaphors acquired biologies, and then biographies. Emerson, in 1842, said “Language is fossil poetry”; modernist poets and critics gave criteria for what made a “healthy metaphor”; and it became possible for a metaphor to die. A dead metaphor is a once-figurative expression whose figure, vivid in the past, is no longer apparent. In contrast, the figure in a live metaphor is present and active, wrenching around the order of things. Some causes of death are ascertainable by literary scholars; others need to concern historians of science. This paper shows how historians of science are in a privileged position to observe the lives and deaths of metaphors. My main exhibit will be metaphors of perception in late-nineteenth-century psychology and physiology. These are metaphors whose differences once formed the basis of theoretical disagreements, about the contribution of the perceiver and the integrity of the perceived. Since that period of diversity and contest, these metaphors—such as the “stream of consciousness”—have incurred death by two counts: death by consolidation and death by banality. I show how science is implicated in these deaths, by the changing of scientific theories and, equally, by theories consolidating or gaining empirical verification and acceptance—thus no longer requiring the epistemic work of a live metaphor. I argue that metaphors live precariously in science, but to mark their time of life is to restore their distinctive potency and to better recognize, for a particular historical moment, the nature of its epistemic freedom.
Institutional Lives: Biography as Analytical Tool for a Unified Narrative of International Scientific Organizations
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Roberto Lalli, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
Scientific institutions have long occupied a central position in the processes of production, transfer and certification of knowledge. Since their establishment, such organized bodies developed their own identity traits, became actors with a variety of functions in world affairs, and underwent temporal transformations. Taken together, these features make institutions particularly suitable to be described in anthropomorphized terms. It comes as no surprise, then, that historians have often made use of biographical terminology to narrate the stories of these kinds of bodies. It remains an open question, however, whether there is a substantial gain in understanding the histories of scientific institutions as biographies or whether the biographical terminology is rather employed at the purely metaphorical level. In the present paper, I address from the historiographical perspective the concerns of applying a biographical approach for analyzing, understanding, and narrating the stories of particular kinds of scientific institutions: international nongovernmental bodies devoted to assessing, certifying, standardizing and diffusing scientific knowledge in physics across national borders. By discussing episodes from the ‘lives’ of the International Committee on General Relativity and Gravitation (1959-1974) and of the European Physical Society (1968-present), I shall argue that, notwithstanding its various limits, the biographical approach is a useful analytical tool as it allows to address in a unified narrative the multiple functions, both scientific and political, of these sorts of organizations.
Of Ideas and Ideals: Biography as Analytic Tool
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Joan Richards, Brown University
By recognizing the essential, lived dimension of the ideas people use to organize their thinking about the world, biography has the potential to restore motivating ideals to historical understanding. In this paper I will develop this thesis by considering the ways the idea and ideal of reason were supported and shaped in the lives of a family that flourished from the middle of the eighteenth to the end of the nineteenth centuries. All of the members of this family were convinced that reason defined their essence as human beings, and although some of the details changed over time, all were essentially agreed on the basic parameters of the reason that defined them as human thinkers. Nonetheless, over the course of their lives, their ideas of reason were severely tested by their lived experiences. Their conviction that the ability to reason constituted the essential definition of what it was to be human was challenged by efforts to establish a constructive relationship between English gentiles and Jews, by the intense experience of raising young children, by harrowing confrontations with sudden and untimely death. Biography offers a means of restoring the negotiations between the idea of reason and these lived experiences to the historical record. By so doing it deepens our understanding of the directions in which ideas of reason developed, in response to their role as an ideal that shaped human lives.
Commentary: What a Life Means: The Uses of Biography in the History of Science
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Theodore Porter, Ted Porter
10:00 - 10:15
Janskerkhof 2-3, Pantry
Coffee Break ☕ Janskerkhof
10:00 - 10:15
Drift 27, Near Library & Courtyard
Coffee Break ☕ Drift 27
12:00 - 13:00
Drift 13, Rm. 004
Osiris: Presenting Past Futures
Format : Roundtable
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Suman Seth, Cornell University
Amanda Rees
Iwan Rhys Morus, Aberystwyth University
Patrick McCray
Moderators
Patrick McCray
The role of fiction in both understanding and interpreting the world has recently become an increasingly important topic for many of the human sciences. The next volume of Osiris focuses on the relationship between a particular genre of story-telling – science fiction (SF), told through a variety of media – and the history of science. The protagonists of these two enterprises have a lot in common. Both are oriented towards the (re)construction of unfamiliar worlds; both are fascinated by the ways in which natural and social systems interact; both are critically aware of the different ways in which the social (class, gender, race, sex, species) has inflected the experience of the scientific. Taking a global approach, this volume examines the ways in which SF can be used to investigate the cultural status and authority afforded to science at different times and in different places, it considers the role played by SF in the history of specific scientific disciplines, topics or cultures, as well as the ways in which it has helped to move scientific concepts, methodologies and practices between wider cultural areas. It explores what SF can tell us about the histories of the future, how different communities have envisaged their futures, and how it conveys the socio-scientific claims of past presents.
12:00 - 13:00
Drift 25, Rm. 102
The Early Modern Knowledge Society
Format : Roundtable
Track : Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Bert De Munck, University Of Antwerp
Thijs Weststeijn
Inger Leemans
Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis, University Of Twente/Vrije Universiteit
Moderators
Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis, University Of Twente/Vrije Universiteit
Organized by Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis
12:00 - 13:00
Janskerkhof 2-3, Rm. 013
The History of Generation: Towards a Fuller Story
Format : Roundtable
Track : Biology
Speakers
Rebecca Flemming, University Of Cambridge
Leah Astbury, Department Of History And Philosophy Of Science, University Of Cambridge
Anna Bonnell Freidin, University Of Michigan
Maaike Van Der Lugt, Université De Versailles (Paris Saclay)
Ulrike Steinert, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz
Carmen Caballero-Navas, University Of Granada, Spain
Moderators
Rebecca Flemming, University Of Cambridge
This roundtable puts the spotlight on 'generation'-the capacious conceptual framework within which issues of procreation and descent were discussed across large swathes of the globe before modernity. Eventually replaced by the apparatus of 'reproduction', which has grabbed most of the attention, 'generation' has a long and complex history of its own. The key notions of productive seed and foetal formation, debates about male and female contribution and ensoulment initially took shape in the ancient Mediterranean world, spread across the Roman Empire and Christianised, travelled further east with the Arab conquests of the seventh century CE, and continuing expansion of Islamic domains, journeyed west with early modern European colonialism, shifting and adapting along the way. Building on the story recently sketched out in Hopwood, Flemming and Kassell (eds), 2018, we propose to take this opportunity to widen and deepen the conversation about pre-modern theories and practices around procreation, about their coherence and diversity, about the causes of both continuity and change. Invited participants are specialists in different periods, from the ancient near east (Steinert), through the Roman (Bonnell Freidin) and Medieval (van der Lugt) worlds, into the early Modern (Astbury), and come at the study of generation from different angles. Each will speak briefly (c. 8 min) to open, offering a view from their areas of study, a summary of the current state of play and how it fits into the bigger picture. The audience will then be encouraged to join the discussion, offering additional perspectives. Flemming will moderate.
12:00 - 13:15
Drift 25, Rm. 101
Meeting of the Committee and Caucus Chairs
Information sharing session for the chairs of HSS's committees and caucuses. By invitation only.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 13, Rm. 004
Children of Science
Format : Organized Session
Track : Tools for Historians of Science
Speakers
Felix Rietmann, University Of Fribourg
Carola Ossmer, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Jamie Cohen-Cole, George Washington University
Henry Cowles
Moderators
David Robertson, Princeton University
How have children defined what it is to know? In this panel, we explore how science molded children, and how children modeled science. Since the mid-nineteenth century, scientists have taken babies and young children as key sites to observe knowledge acquisition in action. Children were, the scientists contended, unpolluted by prior knowledge, curious and shameless, they played seriously, developed rapidly and learned quickly. Although some researchers like Darwin found their own babies useful for naturalistic observation, children entered laboratories only at the end of the 19th century. In the new developmental sciences, children served multiple roles. They offered researchers a proxy for biological evolution, instances of human variation, models of learning and thinking, and tools to rebuild nations and create new futures. Beyond reorganizing relations of the social and biological sciences, research on children offered many women a subject pool that gave them an entrance card to scientific work and a unique view on longstanding questions of scientific method and human nature. Felix Rietmann investigates how 19th century ideas about normal and pathological childhood preceded and conditioned the later sciences of the child. Carola Ossmer investigates how film-makers and scientists at Yale produced normal babies for the New Deal. Jamie Cohen-Cole traces productive interchanges between post-positivist history and philosophy of science and experimental studies on children's cognition: If kids shaped kinds and contents of knowledge, historians of science can find good reason to reconsider conceptions of what scientific methodology, theory and, not at least, a scientist have been.Organized by Carola Ossmer
Raising a Well-Grown Child: Material and Media Cultures of Normal and Pathological Childhood
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Felix Rietmann, University Of Fribourg
During the 19th century children moved into the focus of a blossoming material and media culture. A growing market of parent advice literature, newspapers, and magazines offered information on topics ranging from baby care and nutrition to social and moral education. An increasingly broad range of toys and educational devices, such as baby walkers and writing helps, sought to assist and discipline the child during learning. While this vivid material and media culture has obtained some attention from scholars in the history of childhood, it has hardly been exploited as a source basis for the history of science and medicine. Yet, this paper argues that the evolving media and material culture of childhood is of considerable importance for understanding how the child became a subject of knowledge. Notably, a focus on media allows tracing how ideas about normal and pathological development were gradually articulated in the public sphere and thus sheds light on the conditions under which children could move into the focus of scientific inquiry. The paper will concentrate on newspapers, medical and scientific journals, and trade magazines in central Europe (German speaking lands and Switzerland) in the early to mid-nineteenth century and explore how children gradually became ‘children of science’ and medicine.
Normal Children: Developmental Research and Educational Film for the New Deal
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Carola Ossmer, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
This paper investigates how scientists and film-makers at the Yale Clinic of Child Development redefined normal child development and established norms of human behavior and social interaction. Part of the evolving science of child development in the interwar years, these researchers sought techniques to observe and manage the development of babies and young children. They built an experimental film studio with the scenic design of an everyday living environment that reflected ideas about a normal middle-class home. In this Naturalistic Studio, they filmed normal white babies for research and education. Not only did the researchers use the babies to study human development, their research product, the films of baby’s bathing, feeding, and play also became part of a national education program of the New Deal. The notion that knowledge of the normal child could be used for the visual education of the nation informed research methods, setting, and design. This paper considers the effects of the twin-function of both normal child and film for knowledge production and communication. While many historical studies of educational films or of children have focused on knowledge circulation, this case study demonstrates how the child being a tool for educational intervention had a consequential role in scientific knowledge formation. Considering the combined scientific and educational significance assigned to baby and child, this paper sheds light on the human sciences’ intersecting effects of research and visual education. The normal child in the cinematographic laboratory mutually shaped scientific method and developmental theory as well as daily life.
Children as Scientists: Ontogeny and the Social Construction of Cognition
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Jamie Cohen-Cole, George Washington University
This paper examines how psychologists treating children as though they are little scientists helps explain the fate of recapitulationism in the human sciences. Thinkers in the 19th and 20th centuries from Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, and Ernst Haeckel to G. Stanley Hall, John Dewey, and Jean Piaget advanced the idea that cognitive development in individuals repeats the long-term development of civilizations. However, after World War II Americans who treated children as scientists largely eschewed linear evolutionary models of mind. This paper explains how this transformation of psychology depended on two sources. The first was an extension of pre-existing efforts within the new field of cognitive psychology to understand adult humans as scientists. The second was what might now seem an inversion of intellectual hierarchies: scientists learned from humanists about children and about how thinking works. Psychologists found in case studies written by post-positivist historians and philosophers models of conceptual change that seemed to explain what happens to children as they age. These lessons also meant that psychologists would abandon the view that both the history of science and childhood involves a single pattern of linear progress. Indeed, rather than asserting that the ontogenesis of individual cognitive development parallels the phylogenesis of science, developmental psychologists came to argue that children are better at science than adults. Following historians also led psychologists to assert that not only their own discipline, but their very object of study, the child, was a social, historical construction.
Commentary: Children of Science
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Henry Cowles
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 13, Rm. 003
Conditions of Difference: Scholarly Migration and Medical Book Production in the 17th Century
Format : Organized Session
Track : Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Speakers
Linda Newson, Director, Institute Of Latin American Studies, University Of London
Ulrich Schlegelmilch, Universität Würzburg
Joel Klein, The Huntington Library
Anja Goeing, University Of Zurich/Harvard University
Moderators
Harold Cook, Brown University
17th century medical science around the globe thrived on the lively exchange of information and material between centers of higher learning, such as in Europe universities and academies. Key players were not only the teaching professors of medicine themselves but students, physicians, non-affiliated scholars and sometimes missionaries who migrated from place to place and carried memorized topic lists for disputes, transcriptions of lectures and printed books for reference, and letters of introduction. They also brought, distributed, and changed miscellaneous bits of know-how: how to categorize and structure their field of knowledge, how to dissect bodies, to arrange an experiment, and to mix potions and medications. In the history of science, we want to know about the impact that the scholars' regional or imported cultures of learning had on the processes of developing and distributing information for public usage in medicine, such as entries in encyclopedias and other reference books, collected volumes containing recipes and other useful advice, published series or single pamphlets containing more or less elaborate oral disputations and dissertation, cabinets of curiosity with limited or full public reach, and lecture transcripts of professorial courses that students published. Did the distribution patterns mirror or follow the scholars' paths of migration? What happened when incoming scholars hatched different opinions from what was practiced and taught at the new place, what if they differed in technologies and information? This panel traces how migrating medical scholars dealt with conditions of difference.Organized by Anja Goeing
Practising Medicine in Early Colonial Lima, Peru
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
The Spanish crown anticipated that the medical practices in Spain would be replicated in the New World. While there were abundant opportunities to practice medicine in Peru, the opportunities to learn medicine were limited by the lack of universities capable of awarding medical degrees and by the shortage of books to guide students. Meanwhile, those practitioners who came from Spain found that the materia medica they had traditionally used was not always available. How did medical practitioners respond to these conditions? How did they acquire training and did they experiment with the diverse flora and minerals found in the Andes? This paper shows that despite the obstacles that medical practitioners faced they tried to adhere to humoral medical practices. This extended to training indigenous people and African slaves how to prepare medicines and let blood and to seek local substitutes for Old World medicines.
Preparing Princes or Who May Preserve the Ruler for Eternity?
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Ulrich Schlegelmilch, Universität Würzburg
In the 16th and 17th centuries, medical students from the German-speaking territories would very often set out for Italy especially in order to gain extended anatomical and surgical knowledge. Back home, opportunities to put these additional skills into use were rather narrow, but there were some exceptions. The preparation and embalming of corpses was one of these. This was a topic that had not normally been much focused upon in physicians' writings, but this changed by the middle of the 17th century. From an analysis of some key texts it will become clear that this shift in attention has to do with the increased estimation of surgical skills by physicians. The central item of the paper will be a didactical letter by Balthasar Timaeus (d. 1667), a physician in Pomerania, describing the act of preparing and embalming a corpse to his son, himself a medical student. Timaeus, who had acquired this advanced knowledge of instruments and techniques in Padua during his peregrinatio, passed it on among his family as a surgeon would do. Others almost at the same time did introduce the topic into academic teaching as well, which was a further step of merging the medical and surgical spheres that had, in the Holy Roman Empire, been officially kept well apart. My sources come from the “Physicians’ Correspondences of the German-Speaking Territories, 1500 to 1700” project based at the Bavarian Academy of Science. They further include disputations and other contemporary publications and excerpts on the subject.
Pupils Gone Putrid: The Moral and Intellectual Perils of Medical Peregrinations
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Joel Klein, The Huntington Library
In 1624 the Wittenberg professor of medicine Daniel Sennert (1572-1637) wrote to his brother-in-law and fellow physician Michael Döring (d. 1641) expressing grave concerns about a former student who was peregrinating from university to university and denigrating Sennert’s reputation wherever he went. The situation was so disturbing that Sennert reported he was losing sleep and that his dreams had been invaded by the traitor’s antics abroad. The student in question was Friedrich von Monau (1592-1659), son of the famous Calvinist polymath and jurist Jakob Monau (1546-1603), and reports of his behavior occupy a striking portion of Sennert’s and Döring’s correspondence throughout the 1620s. Beyond commenting upon their intellectual disagreements with Monau, and especially his manner of writing in his dissertation, Sennert and Döring critiqued his extravagant and profligate lifestyle, even down to his manner of dress, which they regarded as all of a piece with his adoption of foreign learning. The two physicians’ agitations about this student illuminate some of the challenges that arose from increasing cosmopolitanism among students eager to demonstrate international credentials. The episode reveals concerns about the national identity of medicine during the infancy of the medical Republic of Letters and highlights several major boundaries between divergent medical factions, showing how these ran along intellectual but also social, moral, and confessional lines.
The Migration of Medical Dissertation Techniques from One Generation to the Next
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Anja Goeing, University Of Zurich/Harvard University
By comparing 17th-century medical dissertations we can study how the strategies of disputation and dissertation changed and migrated from one generation of students to the next. My case study is the prolific thesis writer and supervisor Daniel Sennert (1572-1637), professor of medicine and alchemist at the university of Wittenberg. Among the more than one hundred dissertation students he supervised several went on to become professors themselves who supervised theses in turn. I will study the dissertations supervised by three of Sennert’s intellectual offspring: Daniel Beckher (1594-1655) at the Prussian university of Regiomontanus or Königsberg (now Kaliningrad in Russia); Laurentius Eichstaedt (1596-1660) at the Academic Gymnasium of Gdansk in the Kingdom of Poland; and Werner Rolfinck (1599-1673) at the university of Jena (Duchy of Saxe-Weimar in the Holy Roman Empire). Comparing the theses supervised by Sennert with those supervised by these three student of his brings to light changes and continuities in the methods of writing and orally defending theses in 17th-century European universities. We can expect that professors drew on their own experience in modelling oral performance for their students. The culture of academic performance permeated universities not only through the circulation of texts, but also through the geographical movement characteristic of many academic careers, including those of Sennert and these three students. My paper connects the development of early modern dissertation practices in medicine through the experiences of two generations of doctoral students defending their theses in the descendance of Daniel Sennert.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 21, Rm. 005
Forensic Frameworks of Innocence
Format : Organized Session
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Projit Bihari Mukharji, University Of Pennsylvania
Willemijn Ruberg, Utrecht University
Ian Burney, CHSTM, University Of Manchester
Lara Bergers, PhD Candidate, Utrecht University
Moderators
Fenneke Sysling, Descartes Centre, Utrecht University
We live in an age of innocence consciousness. Exemplified by the US-based Innocence Project (a non-profit legal network that leverages DNA evidence to overturn cases of wrongful conviction), and dramatized in popular docuseries largely devised and delivered on Netflix's global platform, the pursuit of innocence has emerged as a powerful feature of our times. For most observers this is the product of uniquely modern forces: principled critique criminal justice bias, media advocacy, and most importantly the declarative power of forensic genomics. The forensic framing of innocence, however, has a surprisingly rich and varied history. Taking examples from the heyday of the British Raj and of Cold War America, and the Netherlands in the early twentieth- and early twenty-first centuries, the panellists examine how innocence has been conceptualized and operationalized as a form of 'situated knowledge,' and ask questions about how claims to innocence are produced, circulated and validated, who gets to benefit from such claims, and what these claims tell us about the time and place in which they were made.Organized by Projit Bihari Mukharji
Spontaneous Innocence: Physiological Knowledge in Medical Jurisprudence in British India, ca. 1856-1918
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Projit Bihari Mukharji, University Of Pennsylvania
The capacity of a human body to spontaneously harm itself was a major concern for medical jurisprudence in the British Raj. Those accused of crimes against the body could and did claim that the harm they were accused of was caused spontaneously by the victim’s body rather than through their criminal actions. These spontaneous capacities were varied and various, ranging from the possibility of ‘spontaneous combustion’ whereby a human being could allegedly self-ignite, to the notoriously common claim of spontaneous splenic rupture often used by Europeans charged with beating their Indian servants to death. Such spontaneous capacities were also frequently specified by race and gender. The marking or unmarking of spontaneous harm along axes of race and gender draws attention to the ways in which claims of innocence remain a form of situated knowledge thickly enmeshed in contextual articulations of plausibility and power. There has been significant scholarly interest in some of these capacities, such as the tendency to splenic rupture, but they have been looked at in isolation and without much attention to medical jurisprudence. In this paper, I want to pursue three inter-related questions. First, what were the types of spontaneous capacities attributed to the body that could absolve an accused of any guilt? Second, can these various types of spontaneous activity allow us to detect a coherent physiology of spontaneity in the textbooks on medical jurisprudence? Finally, I will explore precisely how much of this notion of spontaneity was specific to British India.
Innocence in Cases of Infanticide: Dutch Forensic Medicine and Psychiatry, 1925-1950
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Willemijn Ruberg, Utrecht University
In cases of infanticide, forensic medicine has always played an important role, examining the baby’s and the mother’s body. The mother’s mind and her emotional state were to some extent relevant in the nineteenth-century courtroom, but in the twentieth century psychiatry gained more influence in the Netherlands. Forensic psychiatrists applied the notion of ‘puerperal psychosis’ in the first decades and different concepts from psychoanalysis by mid-twentieth century. Several notions of innocence, related to unaccountability and insanity, interact in these cases: whereas forensic medicine searched for clear signs of murder on the body, forensic psychiatry aimed to explain the act of child murder by referring to the mind – especially psychoanalytic explanations revolving around femininity, sexuality and motherhood. Moreover, more general cultural images of gender influenced both psychiatry and the law. In the nineteenth century, young unmarried women were often seen as the innocent victims of a patriarchal system which left them unprotected, even if they were guilty of infanticide. This image of innocent girls can still be traced in the twentieth century, but seems to have been in tension with psychoanalytical views on femininity. This paper will explore these different conceptions of gendered innocence in forensic medicine, psychiatry and (legal) culture, arguing that murdering mothers continued to baffle the law and science in an age of increasing trust in forensic science and its regime of truth, because women and motherhood remained a mystery.
Erle Stanley Gardner’s "Court of Last Resort" and the Pursuit of Wrongful Conviction in Cold War America
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Ian Burney, CHSTM, University Of Manchester
Since the first US case of post-conviction DNA exoneration in 1989, national advocacy organizations, spearheaded by the Innocence Project, have championed the cause of potentially innocent prisoners, raised public awareness, and promoted policy reform. These developments have been hailed as the dawn of a uniquely modern moral, legal and scientific order – an ‘innocence revolution.’ In this presentation I question this claim to historical singularity by exploring a prior forensic framework of innocence centered on Erle Stanley Gardner’s ‘Court of Last Resort.’ Today Gardner is remembered as the creator of Perry Mason, the intrepid attorney who successfully cleared underdogs caught ensnared in false criminal charges. In the late 1940s Gardner sought to replicate Mason’s fictional heroics by establishing his ‘Court’ as an expert board dedicated to investigating cases of wrongful conviction. In many respects, Gardner’s enterprise shares some essential structural features of our present innocence moment. Yet as I will argue Gardner’s project was profoundly influenced by the political, legal, cultural and scientific context of Cold War America, and this determined both the forensic techniques it deployed in the pursuit of innocence, and the criteria for selecting whose claim to innocence was worth pursuing.
Technologies of Innocence and Guilt: The Introduction of New Forensic Technologies in Dutch Courtrooms
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Lara Bergers, PhD Candidate, Utrecht University
No criminal defendant, in principle, has to prove his own innocence. It is enough to sow doubt about the argument that the prosecution is making: in dubio pro reo (when in doubt, for the accused). Yet suspects and their defence attorneys frequently attempt to do just that. In their efforts they may enlist forensic technologies that are thereby presented as what one might term ‘technologies of innocence.’ Of course, these same technologies could also be turned against the defendant and thus become ‘technologies of guilt.’ This paper explores the processes by which new forensic technologies are conceptualized as ‘technologies of guilt’ and ‘technologies of innocence.’ To that end, I look at the introduction of several forensic technologies in the Dutch legal system in the twentieth century, including lie detection (briefly introduced in 1956) and DNA (first used in the Netherlands in 1988). Characterized as an inquisitorial system, which relies on supposedly ‘neutral’ court-appointed experts, the Dutch legal system might be seen as an unlikely site for such an analysis. I contend, however, that, in practice, technologies and expertise are not significantly more neutral in the Dutch inquisitorial system than in adversarial systems.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 27, Rm. 032
Landscapes of Knowledge: Stories of Agricultural Science and Technology
Format : Organized Session
Track : Technology
Speakers
Bradley Jones, Washington University
James Babbitt, Mr.
Andie Thompson, University Of Amsterdam
Moderators
Karen Scholthof, Texas A&M University
This panel brings together anthropologists and historians of science and technology to explore how agricultural landscapes are (being) remade through diverse ways of knowing. The 21st century brings with it a brave new world of biotechnology, robotics, genetic engineering, microbial research, precision agriculture, and data science. With these advances new research methods and models emerge, informing and informed by the shifting knowledges of agricultural practice. But the new is cultivated in, of, or against the old. This panel critically queries these historical and emerging landscapes of knowledge, asking how sedimented infrastructures of agricultural science and technology are influencing the present and being reimagined for alternative agrarian futures. Papers in this panel offer diverse vantagepoints examining the digitization of the Dutch dairy industry, the translation of microbial knowledge from lab to farm, Goethean science and alternative agriculture in the US, and high-tech greenhouses in the Spanish desert. The models science and agriculture use to think with matter, framing what methods of knowing the world are possible and thus what material realities are made. This panel contributes to a growing interest in the future(s) of food production by locating it in the past, and by highlighting its entanglements with knowledge regimes, care practices, animal and human health, and the biopolitics of emerging technology.Organized by Bradley Jones
Alternative Knowledge, Alternative Agriculture: Science for Life on a Damaged Planet
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Bradley Jones, Washington University
In the 20th century, agrarian change was dominated by the industrial ideal, in which both farms and farmers were made Modern—rational, efficient, technologically-sophisticated—spurred by ideologies of productivism and progress. These transformations were buttressed by a constellation of collaboration between research scientists, extension agents, policy makers, and agricultural corporations. As a result, the predominant institutions of knowledge production were “captured,” orienting research problems and technological solutions towards agribusiness and large farm interests (Buttel 2005, Fitzgerald 2003, Kloppenburg 1988). This also led to the "academicization of agriculture" in which abstract scientific knowledge flows top-down from specialists to farmers increasingly dependent on expert authority (Cleveland and Soleri 2002, 2007). While the 21st century brings with it novel academy/industry relations and new formations of biocapital (Jasanoff 2005, Helmreich 2008), it also sees the emergence of alternative agricultural practices supported by alternative ways of knowing. Situating these recent changes within their historical context, this paper focuses on an alternative mode of agricultural production known as biodynamics and examines its foundation in Goethean science. I argue that this model of working with and knowing nature promises to cultivate a more holistic understanding of ecologies of people and plants, but that such approaches are marginalized by dominant reductionist knowledge regimes. At the intersection of feminist science studies and the anthropology of science and technology, this paper shares stories in service of an emerging “successor science” (Harding 1986) with deep historical roots.
Wet Knees and Cuckoo Holes: On the Materiality of Knowledge in the Dutch Dairy Sector
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
James Babbitt, Mr.
In this paper I use an example from my ethnographic fieldwork on the the Dutch dairy sector to challenge some troubling claims made by those attempting to historicize contemporary capitalism. Or, to put it another way, what can livestock agriculture tell us about post-Fordist forms of capitalism that increasingly rely on information, data, affect, etc., to reproduce themselves and produce value? In Cognitive Capitalism, the French economist, Yann Moulier-Boutang writes that knowledge rather than labor power is increasingly becoming the source of value within global capitalism. I do not take issue with this diagnosis, however, I would like to problematize the assumption that “knowledge-goods” and “information goods” have what Moulier-Boutang calls an “immaterial nature” (2004). In General Intellects, Mackenzie Wark, an Australian cultural critic, reminds us to “hang on to the materiality of information-based sciences and technologies” (2017). In my research I bring the materiality of the body (both human and non-human) into an analysis of knowledge based value extraction in an increasingly digitized dairy sector. Specifically, I examine the “caring labor” (Hardt 1999) of bodily and/or haptic practices taught to veterinarians, feed advisors, and other agricultural professionals by a Dutch dairy consultant. These practices cultivate knowledge and information about animal wellbeing and health in order to increase efficiency, milk production, and farm income and profit. Thus, we see profit, knowledge, information, and bodies (both human and cattle) entangled within the agricultural production process.
Queens and Genes: Making Knowledge of Microbial Resistance
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Andie Thompson, University Of Amsterdam
In microbial worlds, resistance is the response to selective pressures such as antibiotic environments. To understand microbial resistance scientists are acting as multispecies ethnographers seeking to narrate microbial worlds and tell the story of how and why microbial communities emerge as resistant. Microbial resistance as an object of study is called the resistome- the collection of genes within any given community of biota that encodes various abilities to resist and their mobilization potential within and across habitats. As a metaphor for understanding this process resistome scientists are thinking with the Black Queen Hypothesis (Morris et al, 2012), a reductive evolutionary theory premised on the card game Hearts to unpack mechanisms and practices used by microbial communities. While this knowledge is key in devising “next-generation” antibiotics for human consumption it also travels from the lab to do work in other spaces, such as in agricultural biotechnology where resistance has productive capacities. In this paper I follow the theories used by scientists to understand microbial evolution and the methods used to make microbial interactions knowable to tell the story of antimicrobial resistance as a microbial technology. Drawing on the work of resistome scientists, I will describe how “living with resistance” becomes an entangled pathway of queens, genes, and future imaginaries in complex ecological and agricultural systems.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 25, Rm. 102
Life Sciences in the Twentieth Century
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Biology
Speakers
L. Joanne Green, University Of Cambridge
Matthew Holmes, University Of Cambridge
Charles Kollmer, PhD Student, Princeton University
Doogab Yi, Seoul National University
Moderators
Sam Muka, Stevens Institute Of Technology; Lady Science
A Web of One’s Own: Female Entomologists' Scientific Networks in Late 19th Century and Early 20th Century Britain
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
L. Joanne Green, University Of Cambridge
While historians have shown the importance of networks in nineteenth and early twentieth century European science, women’s networks have hardly been examined. This paper aims to promote a fuller understanding of scientific communities by analysing the intricate connections between gender, class, and imperialism through a reconstruction of four British female entomologists’ networks. Margaret Elizabeth Fountaine (1862-1940), Emily Mary Bowdler Sharpe (186?-192?), Mary de la Beche Nicholl (1839-1922), and Eleanor Anne Ormerod (1828-1901) all developed their own networks for different purposes. Fountaine and Nicholl used colonial connections to travel and collect lepidoptera in exotic places. Ormerod used her network to obtain information on insects which were harmful to agriculture and to found the new scientific discipline of economic entomology in Britain. Sharpe meanwhile, became a well-known cataloguer and describer of new species, and constructed a network in which she mediated between buyers, sellers, and the British Museum. In this paper I will look at the strategies women employed to develop their networks, the purposes to which they used these networks, how they engaged in the entomological community, and their position within its hierarchy. By examining their networks I will argue that empire, gender, and class played an important role in the hierarchies of scientific communities in Britain at the time, much more than professionalisation.
Houseflies and Fungi: The Septic Fringe and the Emergence of an Edwardian Biotechnology
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Matthew Holmes, University Of Cambridge
Despite a surge of recent scholarship on the long and broad history of biotechnology, the Edwardian era does not immediately spring to mind when considering the engineering of life. Yet the early twentieth century saw an ambitious attempt to artificially cultivate and disseminate the parasitic Empusa muscae fungus to destroy the housefly (Musca domestica). This paper argues that the development of Edwardian biotechnology and its modern legacy, or lack thereof, can be explained with reference to the septic fringe: a zone at the periphery of human settlements associated with waste, vermin and disease vectors. During the late nineteenth century, bacteriological techniques established that the housefly spread disease, indelibly linking it, along with the microorganisms it carried, to the septic fringe. Yet in 1912 Edgar Hesse successfully cultivated Empusa muscae at the Working Men's College in London. His ambition to use the fungi to exterminate the housefly was short lived, thwarted by technical difficulties and the realisation that the fungus also carried harmful pathogens. Although Empusa muscae was ultimately relegated to the septic fringe, its counterfactual history offers us a glimpse at a little-known, yet surprisingly familiar, world of biotechnological aspiration and controversy.
Libraries of Life: Microbial Culture Collections and the Chemical Order of Nature
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Charles Kollmer, PhD Student, Princeton University
Historians of science have long recognized the centrality of collections such as cabinets of curiosity, gardens, and museums to the study of natural history. Until recently, conventional wisdom held that, as the life sciences became ‘modern,’ the importance of such collections was eclipsed by that of experiments. Rather than collect, describe, and arrange specimens, so the story goes, investigators opted to experiment with strategically-chosen model organisms, using them to elucidate biological mechanisms present in wide swaths of the living world. In the meantime, scholars like Robert Kohler and Bruno Strasser have challenged this view, drawing attention to the pervasiveness of scientific collections throughout the modern life sciences. In this paper, I provide a panoramic view of microbial culture collections from the turn of the twentieth century through the 1970s, arguing that the curation of these collections was not only useful for taxonomic purposes, but also indispensable for shedding light on the biochemical mechanisms of living cells. Using these libraries of life, microbiologists compared and contrasted microbes’ metabolic processes, substantiating what I refer to as ‘the chemical order of nature.’ In conclusion, I suggest that further scrutiny of collections of laboratory-cultured life forms will help rectify an imbalance in the historiography of the twentieth century life sciences, which tends to foreground histories of genetics, evolution, and heredity, while neglecting those of physiology, biochemistry, and metabolism. When histories of the twentieth century life sciences focus predominately on a handful of standardized model organisms, they only tell part of the story.
Correcting Life through the Marketplace? The History of Genome Editing and Academic Capitalism in South Korea
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Doogab Yi, Seoul National University
This paper examines a scientific career of one of the most prominent genetic engineering scientists in South Korea, Dr. Jin-soo Kim. As he often introduces himself, he is “an entrepreneur and chemist-turned-biologist.” He is quite renowned for his work on genome editing at Seoul National University, and for his founding of ToolGen, one of the largest gene editing companies in South Korea. I will follow his career within the context of the rise of academic capitalism in South Korea. I will first examine his early career from a research scientist at a private research institute to a founder of a biotech company within the context of the rise of the venture capital industry in South Korea. The Korean government, faced with an economic crisis, tried to promote venture business to restructure the Korean industry. Then I will analyze his return to an academic post at Seoul National University in the early 2000s, at a time when the university tried to institutionalize academic capitalism. In many ways, his return came to be regarded as an attempt to correct academic life toward economic development. By 2014, he has emerged as one of the most prominent entrepreneurial scientists at Seoul National University, directing cutting-edge research teams both at the Institute for Basic Science and ToolGen. By reflecting on his boundary crossing between the academy and industry, this paper ends with a brief discussion on a recent controversy over the ownership of the CRISPR patents development at Seoul National University.
13:30 - 15:30
Janskerkhof 2-3, Rm. 013
Materials Research and Its Toolkit
Format : Organized Session
Track : Physical Sciences
Speakers
Joanna Behrman, Johns Hopkins University
Cyrus Mody, Maastricht University
Joseph D. Martin, University Of Cambridge
Moderators
Cyrus Mody, Maastricht University
Materials research has contributed to pervasive, profound, yet largely invisible changes to both society in general and the sciences in particular. From computers to nuclear reactors, many high technologies – including the technologies of theory and experiment – require advanced materials. Yet we have no systematic history of materials research, despite ground-breaking work by scholars such as Klaus Hentschel and Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent. There is, however, general agreement that characterization and fabrication tools play an important role in nucleating communities of materials researchers, and that the institutions of materials research (professional societies, journals, funding streams, etc.) orient strongly to innovation in the tools of materials research. But what are the tools of materials research, and how have they co-evolved with materials science and related fields that arose in the postwar era? Over the past two years we have organized a collection of essays on the history of tools in materials research, which this panel samples. We use an expansive definition of "tools," from the obvious to the less so. Obvious tools include apparatus for making and inspecting new materials under laboratory conditions: advanced furnaces, sputterers, spectrometers, microscopes, etc. Less obvious tools include the infrastructure of experimentation: standards, lab safety practices and regulations, laboratory buildings. We also examine tools that are so ancient and ubiquitous that they are taken for granted by the policymakers and practitioners of materials research alike: glassware, recipes, balances, etc. Taking these categories highlights the mutual evolution of tools, materials, and research communities.Organized by Joseph Martin
Too Many Cook(books) Spoil the Broth: Handbooks as Objects of Disciplinary Division
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Joanna Behrman, Johns Hopkins University
Handbooks and manuals are where the knowledge and practices of a discipline accumulate. In their use, professional standards can be disseminated and enforced. But even in their rejection handbooks be used to construct disciplinary boundaries. This paper offers a historical example documenting the tenuousness of a manual’s authority and role as an instrument of professionalization. In the early twentieth century, disciplinary boundaries were being created within the larger field of industrial chemistry. Denouncing the use of manuals, pejoratively termed “cook books,” helped to solidify professional prestige among individual or groups of industrial chemists through the exclusion of chemical technicians, in part along gendered lines. The rejection of “cook books” for use in research or industry soon extended into a rejection of their use for education. Although handbooks are no longer an object of common contention among scientists, the term “cook book laboratory” has lasted to the present day among science education reformers.
New Tools for Making New Materials
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Cyrus Mody, Maastricht University
There is no bright line between representing and intervening – even microscopes can be used to, for instance, fabricate atomically-precise devices. Yet materials scientists routinely make a rough distinction between tools associated with characterization and those associated with fabrication. In general, historians and philosophers have paid more attention to the latter, perhaps because they were more easily folded into debates about representation and reality. In the past few years that tide has slowly changed, with recent studies of (among others) experimental refrigeration by Joanna Radin and ion implantation and molecular beam epitaxy by David Brock and collaborators. In this paper I review the various fabrication techniques that our collection examines. I use that survey to argue that in the Cold War, policymakers and many materials researchers themselves focused on fabrication techniques relevant to four domains of application: missiles/space, nuclear weapons/energy, computing, and oil. I quickly review a representative fabrication apparatus – Rick Smalley’s AP2, which enabled the Nobel-winning discovery of buckminsterfullerene – and its links to all four of those domains. Researchers allied with these four domains were both producers and consumers of new fabrication techniques. Indeed, the desire to move new tools across interlinked domains was one of the hallmarks of postwar materials research. Since the end of the Cold War, a new domain has become increasingly prominent: life. Biological systems were never absent from materials research, but since the 1990s their importance has increased – both as parts of fabrication apparatus, and as drivers of innovation in fabrication apparatus.
Knowing Materials
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Joseph D. Martin, University Of Cambridge
If you can spray them then they are real” is Ian Hacking’s pithy answer to the question of when we should believe in the existence of microscopic entities we cannot see. Much history and philosophy of science has concerned the second half of Hacking’s slogan. Historians have investigated how scientists came to believe in things like electrons, neutrons, and photons. Philosophers have wondered what it means to build science around belief in unobservable entities. But the first half of the quote hints at other, more rarely told stories. When we spray electrons, or neutrons, or photons, how do we spray them? At what? To what end? The history and philosophy of science have said a great deal about the things we spray, but much less about how and why we spray them. This talk discusses the 20th-century tools that provided new insights into the characteristics of materials, and thereby redefined what scientist mean when they talk about materials. Materials are often distinguished from other matter because they can be or have been turned to human purposes. Nothing about that definition requires a robust scientific understanding of materials have useful properties. The proliferation of tools for characterizing materials brought that knowledge within grasp. These tools helped fuse the many traditions of materials research into a new, interdisciplinary field of materials science. In doing so, they made knowledge of the inner workings of matter essential to the concept of materials as the substances that humans use to achieve their aims and desires.
Panel Discussion: Materials Research and Its Toolkit
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Joseph D. Martin, University Of Cambridge
Joanna Behrman, Johns Hopkins University
A panel discussion with the audience.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 25, Rm. 204
Measuring Heads and Races: Continuities and Ruptures in the History of Biometry
Format : Organized Session
Track : Technology
Speakers
Elise Burton, University Of Cambridge
Iris Clever, PhD Candidate, UCLA
Abigail Nieves Delgado, Postdoctoral Researcher, Ruhr University Bochum
Irene Pasquetto, Harvard University
Moderators
Luc Berlivet, French National Centre For Scientific Research (CNRS)
We live amidst a "biometric revolution," a moment of accelerated development of technologies that identify individuals and secure societies by measuring and surveilling bodies. Those technologies centered on the head and the face are advancing especially quickly, exemplified by the growing use of iris scans and facial recognition software in various contexts. While contemporary facial recognition systems seem neutral and novel, this panel demonstrates that they are connected to a longer history of measuring and identifying heads, skulls, and faces. In particular, the papers discuss how race has been a central concern of these technologies, which range from craniometry to photography, DNA sequencing, forensic art, and computer science. In the early twentieth century, scientists from Britain to Iran used head measurements such as the Cephalic Index and the Coefficient of Racial Likeness in order to reconstruct the racial origins of populations. In the present, questions about racial bias and stereotypes challenge the development of Facial Recognition algorithms and Forensic DNA Phenotyping technologies. This panel analyzes the connections between past and present methods of measuring heads and faces, reflecting on the interests of anthropologists, clinicians, computer scientists, and the state in casting these measurements as simultaneously identifying unique individuals and characterizing entire groups of people. Rather than producing a simplistic account of technological development, the papers explore both continuities and ruptures in the history of biometry and ask why certain practices, assumptions, and visions have endured while others faded away.Organized by Iris Clever
Facing the Past: Ancient Skulls and National Identity in the Middle East
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Elise Burton, University Of Cambridge
In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the cranial or cephalic index was a widely used calculation for racial classification. This particular measurement, which could be applied both to skulls and to the heads of living people, allowed the comparison of members of ancient and biblical civilizations to modern inhabitants of the same territories. Human remains excavated from archaeological sites across the Middle East prompted transregional interest in racial origins: who were the closest living descendants of (and therefore legitimate political-cultural heirs to) the Phoenicians, Indo-Aryans, and other celebrated pre-Islamic civilizations? Here, I analyze anthropometric studies in Lebanon and Iran in the first half of the twentieth century, showing how this preoccupation with ancient origins collided with intersectional and contested meanings of race and nation. In both countries, nationalist intellectuals and politicians used the cephalic index as a scientific tool, both to bolster the international legitimacy of their sovereignty claims and to promote particular narratives of national history. In Lebanon, anatomists and archaeologists argued over the racial classification of different Christian and Muslim sects as part of a highly politicized debate about Phoenician versus Arab ancestry. Meanwhile, Iranian scholars exhumed the remains of national heroes like Avicenna, measuring their skulls to prove their “Aryan” racial identity and reconstruct their physiognomy for sculptural monuments and portraits. Phoenicianism and Aryanism remain powerful racial-national discourses in contemporary Lebanon and Iran, where they continue to shape scientific interpretations of recent ancient DNA studies and forensic facial reconstructions of human remains.
Skulls and Statistics: Karl Pearson and Competing Methods of Classifying Races in the Early 20th Century
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Iris Clever, PhD Candidate, UCLA
Historians often assume that physical anthropology before 1945 relied on a simple typological, descriptive method to analyze skulls and classify races, which was only successfully challenged by populational genetics after World War II. This paper revisits and complicates this history by turning our attention to a fundamental attack on the typological tradition before 1945: by Karl Pearson, his introduction and development of statistical methods in anthropology, and the racial research his Biometric Laboratory produced between 1900-1938. The application of complex statistical formulae to the study of skulls and race unsettled long standing anthropological methods and theories. Whereas anthropologists had long studied the skull by itself, identifying racially-representative “types,” biometricians turned crania into means, standard deviations, and probable errors fit for statistical analysis. “Pearsonian anthropology” greatly expanded a geometric approach to craniometry which was already present in older anthropological practices. This paper argues that Pearson’s approach to craniometry set the stage for a durable relationship between biometry, geometry, and the skull that continues to live on in present-day biometric practices and technologies. At the same time, the paper discusses how anthropologists questioned Pearson’s approach and only partially adopted statistical methods, suggesting that the relationship between skulls and statistics was not sturdy but shaky and not fully trusted. The history of Pearson’s interventions in physical anthropology thus reveals deep divisions concerning the methods of classifying races well before 1945.
What Is a Normal Face? Karl Pearson’s Principal Component Analysis, Facial Recognition Technologies, and Race
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Abigail Nieves Delgado, Postdoctoral Researcher, Ruhr University Bochum
Since the publication of the paper “On lines and planes of closest fit to systems of points in space” by Karl Pearson in 1918 principal component analysis (PCA) has become an important statistical method in multiple research fields from the natural sciences (i.e. archeology, atmospheric sciences, psychology and physical anthropology) where big datasets of observations are collected. In studies of human facial difference, PCA works by producing statistical description of these differences that are later used to support common sense racial distinctions. In doing so, it establishes standards of normality for different races and, by comparing these normal faces, naturalizes racial difference. The present paper explores the influence of Pearson’s PCA in the theory and development of applications for face perception and recognition. Therefore, it focuses on three central cases in the development of facial recognition technologies (FRT): (1) ‘Eigenvector’ algorithms developed, among others, by Turk and Pentland (1991), (2) Valentine’s (1991) influential “Face Space” theory of face perception, and (3) Recent FRT such as DeepFace from Facebook (2014 to present). As shown by these cases, Pearson’s technique has deeply shaped contemporary FRT as PCA guides the way how computer scientists, forensic scientists and psychologists understand human facial difference as well as the perception of these differences. More generally, telling the story of PCA shows why racial categorization remains central in contemporary identification technologies and practices.
Reconstructing Human Faces from DNA: Competing Methodologies and the Quest for Replicability
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Irene Pasquetto, Harvard University
Forensic DNA Phenotyping (FDP) technologies aim at reconstructing the face of a suspect from samples of DNA left at a crime scene. Law enforcement agencies employ FDP-generated “DNA Snapshots” of suspects in their criminal investigations, and share these with the media. Scholars expressed skepticism towards the “science” behind FDP. Clinical researchers argued that the methods upon which FDP are based on are hardly replicable and do not meet the scientific standards for validity and reliability (Hallgrimsson et al., 2014). Anthropologists pointed out that FDP-generated portrays are racially biased, and warned against the ethical issues related to their rapid diffusion (M’charek, 2017). Meanwhile, novel approaches to reconstructing faces from DNA samples keep emerging. In February 2018, an international team of physical anthropologists and computer engineers published on Nature Genetics a novel methodology that aims at addressing past criticism (Claes et al., 2018). Central to this novel methodology is the use of phenotypic and genotypic data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and of machine-learning algorithms for the calculation of facial phenotypes. Drawing on ethnographic research and document analysis from early 2000s to present days, this paper narrates the emergence of data-driven methodologies for DNA-based facial reconstruction, and examines the rationales behind their adoption as the new standard for replicable research on DNA-based facial reconstruction. Most importantly, the paper highlights the persistence of arbitrary choices made by the researchers in defying facial phenotypes over the years and throughout different methods, including novel data-driven approaches.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 25, Rm. 101
Mediating Science
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Speakers
Dirk Van Miert, Descartes Centre, Utrecht University
Letícia Dos Santos Pereira, Universidade Federal Da Bahia, Brazil
Gisela Boeck, University Of Rostock
Carlos Tabernero, Centre For The History Of Science (CEHIC) - Autonomous University Of Barcelona - ESQ0818002H
Tim Boon, Science Museum Group
Moderators
Marianne Jennifer Datiles, University College London (UCL), UK
Telling Histories of the Republic of Letters in the 18th Century: “History of Learning” as Expression of Growing Self-Awareness of an International Community of Scholars and Scientists
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Dirk Van Miert, Descartes Centre, Utrecht University
It is a historiographical orthodoxy that the 18th century witnessed the rise of a historical consciousness, partly in response to what Hazard called the crisis of the European mind. Within this rise, we can identify a particular historical sub-genre: that of History of Learning. This ‘historia litteraria’ marks the beginning of History of Science. It is by now a well known albeit still understudied phenomenon, prevalent in Germany from the late 17th century onwards. I will show how, within this historiographical tradition, which takes its cue from Bacon’s Advancement of Learning, the emphasis shifted from the remote to the more recent past. The 18th-c. history of recent learning points at a growing self-awareness of the Republic of Letters as a social phenomenon, noticeable also from the rise of the scientific journal, editions of complete works of recent scientist and scholars, the posthumous editions of letters, and table-talks and the expanding scholarly apparatuses accompanying these editions. The scientific and scholarly community started to assert its own independence from state and church, and retroactively projected their own enlightened ideals back onto the earlier history of the Republic of Letters. This is causing the modern historian considerable problems: we are still reading the 16th- and 17th-c. socio-cultural history of learning through the prism of Newton, Bayle and Voltaire and fail to appreciate the variegated history of the deceptively stable term ‘Republic of Letters’, which in fact experienced many ups and downs through time and across space.
Revisiting Wilhelm Ostwald’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Letícia Dos Santos Pereira, Universidade Federal Da Bahia, Brazil
Gisela Boeck, University Of Rostock
The historical narratives on the Nobel Prize in Chemistry granted to the Baltic-German chemist Wilhelm Ostwald (1853-1932) hardly address the strong support Ostwald received nor the reasons presented in their nomination letters. Considering to be relevant presenting the reasons behind Ostwald’s prize, in this work we present and discuss the nomination letters sent in Ostwald’s favor in Nobel Prize editions between 1904 and 1909. Analysing these letters and dialoguing with the literature, we argue that, for Ostwald’s supporters, his most relevant achievements concerned his extra-laboratorial activities, namely his role as a teacher and organizer of chemical science. We will also attempt to demystify some frequent discourses on Ostwald’s nomination, such as the negative influence of his antiatomist posture and the central role of catalysis for his nomination.
Staging the Natural Sciences: An Influential Cross-Platform Natural History Storytelling Strategy (Spain, 1960s-1970s)
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Carlos Tabernero, Centre For The History Of Science (CEHIC) - Autonomous University Of Barcelona - ESQ0818002H
This paper will explore the huge and highly influential natural history media output, including television, radio, encyclopedias and comics, as well as contributions to the mainstream press and scientific journals, by Felix Rodríguez de la Fuente (1928-1980), a pioneering and highly influential naturalist, activist and natural history author and broadcaster in turbulent 1960s and 1970s Spain. Specifically, it will focus on how he blended the portrayal of local wildlife with the depiction of scientific and media practices, and how he played these elements together, in a very successful feedback loop across different platforms and formats, to actively engage audiences in naturalist-like (scientific, activist) practices in their everyday-life endeavors. This study, situated in the last years of Franco’s regime in Spain, such a noticeably changing context regarding politics, the natural sciences, the public perception of animals at large, and media, will allow us to discuss historically the relationship between natural history media and educational content, and will thus contribute to the understanding of key features of contemporary, media-driven science communication.
On the Early Postwar Public Culture of History of the Science Museum, London
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Tim Boon, Science Museum Group
The staff of the Science Museum in the Second World War years were faced with a dilemma. With its first purpose-built building opened in 1928, only two decades later they already felt their displays to be very old-fashioned. The galleries devoted to evolutionary sequences of technologies divided by textbook divisions – such as optics, acoustics, mechanical engineering and the rest – felt to many of them to be tired, lacking the modernity and sophistication of Paris’s Palais de la Decouverte, opened in 1937. When the independently produced science exhibition of the Festival of Britain, itself an exemplification of the Parisian style, opened on a site behind the Museum in 1951, the contrast was sorely felt. At stake was whether to exhibit scientific principles in the modern style, or whether to display assemblages of historical objects. In other words, the temporary 1951 exhibition made evident an immanent distinction between exhibiting science and exhibiting its history. Into this ferment stepped 1950’s new director, Frank Sherwood Taylor, the only historian-director the institution has known. In this paper I explore some of Sherwood Taylor’s responses to the Museum’s postwar dilemma over history and propose an interpretation of how he squared the circle of contemporary versus historical approaches to science.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 27, Eetkamer
Reading, Writing, and Collecting Nature’s Traces
Format : Organized Session
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Julia Heideklang, Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin
Anne Mariss, University Of Regensburg
Anna Toledano, Stanford University
Anne Greenwood MacKinney, Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin
Moderators
Daniel Margocsy, HPS, University Of Cambridge
For centuries, people have accumulated natural things and arranged them into collections of examinable, comparable, and combinable specimens to deepen their knowledge of nature. In the last two decades, tracking the pathways of natural things through time, space, and taxonomies has become a popular approach in the historiography of natural history in order to understand this collecting phenomenon. Yet, natural things are also elusive things and the quest to follow them often is one of following their traces-the marks, imprints, indices, fragments, and textual and visual inscriptions-incidentally left behind, preserved, or intentionally created in their wake. Attending to the diverse traces historians rely upon to tell stories about natural things, this panel sheds light on the different forms of traces, their epistemic roles, and the conditions under which they emerge. Specifically, in case studies spanning the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, the panel interrogates the various material manifestations traces can assume; the practices, procedures, and sometimes intentions by which traces are generated; and finally, the complex interrelations among traces, natural things, and the knowledge of nature derived from both.Organized by Anna Toledano
Traces of the Plant World: How to Read Botanical Prose
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Julia Heideklang, Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin
Throughout the 16th century the most influential scholars of the time as well as interested laypeople started collecting, sending, and amassing immense herbaria of plant specimens. In this way, plant specimens gradually gained importance and meaning, being increasingly perceived by naturalists as equivalent to quotations and paper slips. Eventually, herbaria transformed into printed publications, which in turn had to be read in a certain way. As the student of medicine and Italian poet Christoforo Paganelli wrote in one of his dedicatory poems for Andrea Cesalpinoʼs De plantis (1583): “...whether picking up (legens) a fruit of the greening garden, or herbs, or pleasantly smelling little flowers, you want nothing less than to leave.” Keeping in mind the different semantic meanings of legere—picking-up, reading, collecting—introduces an analogy of reading the book like one reads fruits, herbs, and flowers in the garden, thus bearing interesting implications for the readership. In my talk I contrast the very conscious reflections on texts, books, natural things and related practices discussed in the paratexts of Andrea Cesalpinoʼs De plantis and Pier Andrea Mattioliʼs Commentarii (first edition 1550 in Italian) with my findings of inserted natural things and their traces in some remaining copies of these works. This gives us new insights into how readers perceived those two quite different works and their positions on debates over how to write botanical prose as well as into how natural things, their traces, and their textual-visual representations in the printed books interacted with one another.
Tracing Things and Knowledge in the Historia Medicinal (1569-74) by Nicolás de Monardes
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Anne Mariss, University Of Regensburg
The Historia medicinal de las cosas que se traen de nuestras Indias occidentales written by the Spanish naturalist and physician Nicolás de Monardes was published in three parts in the 1560s and ‘70s. The book dealt mainly with medical products from the New World and was widely distributed throughout Europe and the Spanish Empire. Its success was partly due to the author’s way of gathering information and eyewitness reports from the New World. Furthermore, Monardes did not write in Latin, but in his native Spanish, was open-minded towards the medical use of exotic plants, and experimented with different herbs and remedies like other contemporary authors. The success of the first publication brought him many new informants. Their reports and testimonies served as the basis for the second and third parts of the Historia medicinal. The paper explores the question of how things—medicine, drugs, and other natural products—found their way from the East and West Indies to Europe and what kind of knowledge travelled with them. It asks how knowledge about products with medical uses was produced in the New World with the help of indigenous informants and other local actors and how this knowledge was mediated and transmitted by naturalists such as Monardes who maintained a correspondence network with Spanish colonizers and European scholars alike. Thus, the paper contributes to further understanding of the material entanglements between the New World and Europe in the early modern era and the traces thereof in texts, images, and objects.
Material Traces of Faraway Places: Specimens from Colonial New Spain in Madrid’s National Museum of Natural Sciences
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Anna Toledano, Stanford University
On April 27, 1790, the first natural history museum in New Spain—Spanish territory from California to Guatemala—opened its doors. Its founder, José Longinos Martínez, had arrived in the Americas in 1787 as the taxidermist for the Royal Botanical Expedition, one small part of an immense national scientific undertaking by the Spanish government. While Longinos dedicated his museum to the new king, Charles IV, he established this institution in defiance of the Crown, which had demanded that all natural objects of interest be sent to Madrid. The former King Charles III had sent off scientific expeditions to gather the wonders of nature from his vast empire while simultaneously ordering colonial subjects in the Americas to send anything similar that they found to the court in Europe. Longinos took care to send back some specimens to the Royal Cabinet of Natural History so as not to arouse too much suspicion. Over the centuries, these specimens have become nearly invisible among the countless other animals, plants, and minerals that made the journey across the Atlantic. Drawing on collections-based, museological research in the Royal Cabinet’s modern incarnation, the National Museum of Natural Sciences, this paper will uncover the traces of objects that Longinos sent to Madrid which still survive today. When compared to similar remnants of Longinos’s collection in Mexico City, these difficult-to-find traces in Madrid elucidate what was unique to the rise of 18th-century public natural history collections in Madrid versus New Spain, although both sourced from the same natural materials.
Building Nature’s Archive: The Management of Paper and Specimens in the Berlin Zoological Museum
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Anne Greenwood MacKinney, Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin
In the first years of its existence between 1810 and 1815, the Royal Zoological Museum in Berlin processed just over 60 new animal specimens into its collection. In the few years following, this modest number of incoming specimens had exploded into the thousands, such that the museum’s shelves were already running out of room by 1818. New paper technologies needed to be developed to oversee and control the flow of material into, within, and back out of the collection institution. As the museum’s growth rate continued to accelerate, it soon became not only a problem of managing specimens, but also one of managing the “constantly growing mass of paper,” as museum director Martin Hinrich Lichtenstein lamented in 1819. This talk will analyze both the lists, catalogs and inventories designed to trace the movements of specimens as well as the archival infrastructure that Lichtenstein erected to maintain these very paper tools. Moreover, I will contextualize the museum director’s attempts to keep track of both the institution’s objects and its papers within broader shifts in Prussia’s state bureaucracy and archival landscape. By focusing on the transformation of recordkeeping practices in the museum’s early decades, the talk ultimately illuminates how these paper tools and the archive in which they were stored shaped—and still shape—the kinds of knowledge that can be created from collected specimens.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 25, Rm. 103
Self-Tracking, Self-Making, and the History of Science
Format : Organized Session
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Harro Maas, University Of Lausanne
Fenneke Sysling, Descartes Centre, Utrecht University
Nina Mackert, University Of Erfurt
Jim Porter, Hugo Valentin Centre, Uppsala University
Moderators
Volker Hess, Charité Berlin
Today people increasingly use digital technologies to collect data about their body functions and everyday habits. They measure aspects such as sleep patterns, physical performance and calorie intake as well as mood and productivity, in pursuit of self-knowledge and self-improvement. This rapidly growing popular interest in self-tracking has been hailed by journalists and sociologists as a revolutionary development. Historians know better: there are all sorts of self-measuring tools and ideals for self-improvement that go back to the nineteenth century if not further. Quantification tools such as weighing scales, thermometers and accounting tables were produced in scientific circles, but also gained a more popular usage that we want to trace in this panel. The papers in this panel all discuss aspects of science-inspired self-tracking and self-making in the last two centuries. They bring two strands of interest in the history of science together: first the question how the use of numbers became more widespread in science and society in the modern, statistical age and second the history of scientific self-fashioning. We look at how individuals in the western world became interested in their own measurements, and at how scientific professionals and the state suggested that they should. We explore how ideas about self-tracking were bound up with new notions of autonomy, responsibility, citizenship and self-improvement and we argue that self-fashioning through measurements was one of the ways in which scientific technologies had an impact on individual lives and selves. The panel thus highlights the genealogy of our increasingly metric life today.
Benchmarking the Self: François-Marc-Louis Naville and His Moral Tables
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Harro Maas, University Of Lausanne
This paper examines the self-measurement and self-tracking practices of one individual, François-Marc-Antoine Naville, a turn of the eighteenth century Genevan pastor and pedagogical innovator, who extensively used self-measuring instruments to choose a destiny in life and improve his moral character. I situate his practices within emerging regimes of time measurement, ranging from Benjamin Franklin’s tools of moral calculation via Marc-Antoine Jullien’s moral thermometer, to Benthamite systems of moral control. I provide a detailed examination of how Naville used and adapted these tools to his own, strongly religious purposes. My contribution thus sheds lights on how technologies of quantification molded notions of autonomy, personal responsibility and citizenship within an emerging utilitarian context that aimed to regulate, control, and optimize human behavior.
Data Rituals: Measurement of Height and Weight in Baby Books, 1872-1940
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Fenneke Sysling, Descartes Centre, Utrecht University
This paper looks at records of baby height and weight in baby books in the US between 1872 and 1940. Baby books, books in which parents record information about their child, are still a familiar object in households with young children. Baby books, this paper shows, are a unique source in which we can follow practices of measuring and quantification from the doctor’s office and the health departments into the household. Although the use of weight and height records by parents might appear to exemplify institutional biopower manifested through internalised self-monitoring, I argue that keeping a record of baby’s growth in a baby book was, in fact, a ritualised version of measurement. Using both work by historians of science on quantification, and anthropological literature on ritual and selfhood, I argue that this ritual of measuring and recording both symbolised and realised the transformation of the baby from newborn status to child and new personality in the family. With the transfer from medical protocol to family practice in baby books, the recording of height and weight thus took on a radically different meaning.
Responsible Selves: The Popularization of the Calorie, Scientific Expertise, and Citizenship in Early 20th Century US
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Nina Mackert, University Of Erfurt
The paper discusses the history of the food calorie as a case study for the popularization of scientific expertise as an ambivalent process of responsibilization. When chemists introduced the calorie to Americans in the last two decades of the nineteenth century, food and bodies became quantifiable unlike ever before. In the early 20th century, calorie counting became popular as a weight-loss method among the white middle class, suggesting that individuals could and should determine their calorie needs and manage their food intake and body weight accordingly. Drawing on popular expertise and personal accounts of dieters, the talk highlights a core ambivalence of self-tracking. On the one hand, modern possibilities of quantification created the self-responsible, enlightened subject who could be his/her own expert. In contrast to earlier forms of weight-loss dieting, calorie counting promised to grant individuals the liberty to choose their foods themselves and to diet on their own authority. On the other hand, the “avalanche of numbers” (Hacking) emerging from modern sciences since the nineteenth century was a crucial part of a biopolitical governmentality subjecting bodies to a new, scientifically authorized, regime of truth. By suggesting that body shape was precisely manageable through calorie counting, the calorie located the responsibility for health and weight within the individual and contributed to creating powerful norms of proper eating and body shape. In times when taking care of one’s body became a litmus test for citizenship, the calorie shaped who was acknowledged as a responsible member of society.
Guidance Counseling in the Midcentury United States: Measurement, Grouping, and the Making of the Intelligent Self
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Jim Porter, Hugo Valentin Centre, Uppsala University
This article takes up National Defense Education Act (NDEA) and NDEA-related calls in the late 1950s for the training of an emergent profession—the guidance counselor—which was to play an instrumental role in public schools in both the measuring and placement of students in schools by “intelligence” or academic “ability.” My analysis will show that, according to its advocates, guidance counseling would not only inform the self-understanding of the measured individual, but it would also work to condition the ideology of individual “intelligence” across numerous layers of social life around the student: through peer group, through teachers and school administrators, and finally through home, family and wider community. But these policy arguments related to testing and counseling were occurring not just in the wake of the NDEA, but also in the very recent context of Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the far-reaching Supreme Court mandate to desegregate public schools. Thus, I argue that a large portion of nation-wide unease among whites about desegregation—which was perceived at root as a problem of contact and grouping—was translated, at least in part, into calls for increased and more systematic grouping of another kind, now by individual “ability” or “intelligence.” This shift in grouping would occur within an integrating yet also a rapidly stratifying public school curriculum. I have begun this argument elsewhere, and further develop it here by demonstrating the role guidance counseling was supposed to play in this process.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 25, Rm. 105
Utopia and Cataclysm: The Sciences of Prediction and the League of Nations
Format : Organized Session
Track : Social Sciences
Speakers
Laetitia Lenel, Humboldt-University Berlin
Heidi Tworek, Assistant Professor, University Of British Columbia
Max Ehrenfreund, Harvard University
Erwin Dekker, Erasmus School Of History, Culture & Communication
Moderators
Marcel Boumans, Descartes Centre, Utrecht University
National statistical agencies institutionalized the collection and publication of data, as well as its representation in increasingly sophisticated models, in the early 20th century. These new kinds of knowledge came to define modern quantitative social science. With them, researchers hoped to measure, predict, and control mass societal phenomena, such as economic depression and epidemic disease. Scholars have typically recounted this history in national terms – that is, as a history of how governmental statisticians established the nation-state as a unit of analysis and as an object of social science. This panel, by contrast, examines this history's international dimensions, concentrating on research conducted at the League of Nations. The scientific projects that the panelists will discuss were truly global collaborations requiring extensive institutional resources and diplomatic finesse. The League's research continued to influence international organizations after the Second World War. Heidi Tworek will present on the League's public-health research and epidemiological surveillance. Laetitia Lenel's and Max Ehrenfreund's papers will examine the political environments and intellectual contexts in which the League's business-cycle forecasting developed in the 1920's and the 1930's, respectively. Erwin Dekker will discuss the Dutch economist Jan Tinbergen and his colleagues at the League. These papers by four researchers representing universities in four different countries show how an ideology of internationalism informed the League's projects. This ideology was one of the purest examples of a high-modernist vision of a planned, rational society, the kind of vision that was essential to the development of the sciences of prediction.Organized by Max Ehrenfreund
Quantifying Uncertainty: The Failure of the First World Business Barometer
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Laetitia Lenel, Humboldt-University Berlin
At the end of World War I, when the idea of a “world economy” took shape, economists on both sides of the Atlantic embraced the dream of establishing an economic world barometer. The seemingly mechanical working of new forecasting instruments seemed to allow for that dream to become reality. This paper investigates the cooperation between the members of the so-called Harvard Committee on Economic Research and European economists and statisticians in the 1920s. In 1919, the members of the Harvard Committee presented an index to the public, which promised to allow for the prediction of business conditions 4-10 months ahead. Fostered by the League of Nations, which actively promoted the expansion of the index in Europe and beyond, economists and statisticians all over Europe attempted to adopt the index in their respective countries, hoping to eventually establish a world barometer. The attempts and various meetings between American and European researchers, however, quickly revealed difficulties in adapting the barometer to other countries. Telling the story of the failure to create the first world barometer, the paper sheds light on the ambiguity between a global economy and various national economies that still lingers today.
Statistics and Public Health at the League of Nations
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Heidi Tworek, Assistant Professor, University Of British Columbia
The League of Nations Health Organization was created as policymakers grappled with the cataclysmic consequences of two pandemics: global influenza and typhus in Eastern Europe. Contemporaries drew one understudied lesson from those pandemics: the value of information, particularly statistics, to prevent the spread of infectious disease. The Polish head of the League of Nations Health Organization from 1921 to 1939, Ludwik Rajchman, believed fervently that statistics would “demonstrate the practicability and the indispensability of international health work,” perhaps by eliminating epidemics altogether. This paper traces how the Health Organization standardized the content and forms of epidemiological intelligence during the interwar period, how this solidified particular European understandings of disease, and why the Health Organization became the indispensable intermediary between territories whose notation systems had not been mutually comprehensible. Just as patient histories were standardized over the late nineteenth century, League officials sought to mold the numbers that they received. The boxes of submissions from 74 countries, colonies, or territories around the world show myriad methods to represent disease: narrative, drawings, maps, graphs, or tables with signs like circles or pluses that bear little resemblance to statistics today. League officials both solicited more statistics and pushed government officials to generate statistics that fit the League’s vision of how disease should be represented. I show how these initiatives fit into the League’s broader push to standardize financial and economic data. Finally, the paper explores how the League’s system directly laid the groundwork for the international health statistics of the United Nations.
The World Economy as Scientific Object, 1930-1939
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Max Ehrenfreund, Harvard University
The mathematical model of the U.S. business cycle that Jan Tinbergen and other economists employed by the League of Nations developed from 1936 to 1938 was arguably the first scientific representation of a national economy. This paper examines the relationship between this seminal model and diplomatic and ideological disputes that pervaded daily life for researchers at the League. Tinbergen’s methodology was a formal analogue of internationalism, the League’s predominant political philosophy. Internationalists assumed that the true character of phenomena was independent of specific national or cultural contexts, and that science could therefore be a force for unity and peace. Likewise, Tinbergen mathematically distinguished societal, cultural, or other so-called “structural” factors that might vary with time and place from the fluctuations of an abstract, idealized business cycle. Describing and predicting these fluctuations, he argued, was the purpose of the new science of econometrics. His methods satisfied the requirements of the League’s permanent staff, who sought to avoid the constant strategic conflicts among diplomats in Geneva by presenting scientific knowledge as disassociated from any one national point of view. Tinbergen’s work was an early example of how, later in the 20th century, certain claims about the character of economic life would enable economists employed by governmental agencies to present their advice as neutral and technical. The idea of the economy as an object of scientific investigation, predictable and universally accessible to researchers and observers regardless of their political allegiances, originated in part as a response to the intrigues of the League.
From the Hague to Geneva: The World Order of the League of Nations
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Erwin Dekker, Erasmus School Of History, Culture & Communication
In the 1930s two studies were published by the League of Nations which both had a large influence on the development of economics. The first was a report on the theories of the business cycle by Gottfried von Haberler, the second one a statistical test of the various theories of the business cycle by Jan Tinbergen. This paper studies the institutional context in which these two studies, and in particular that of Tinbergen, were drafted. It argues that they are best understood as outcomes of joint work under the supervision of Alexander Loveday and Dennis Robertson, and with the help of various assistants, co-authors and expert committees. Although commissioned and published under the names of particular authors and typically understood as monographs, the studies are better understood as attempts to create expert consensus. This is demonstrated through a detailed study of the writing of the Tinbergen report. The process demonstrates at once the various co-authors and internal critics involved and the contested nature of virtually all aspects of the study, as well as the potency of this new collaborative teamwork without which the study would have been impossible. The fact that this report was meant to forge expert consensus means that the infamous critique by John Maynard Keynes of both studies should be understood, at least in part, as a challenge to the League of Nations as an institution, and this new type of consensual expert knowledge more broadly.
15:30 - 16:00
Janskerkhof 2-3, Pantry
Coffee Break ☕ Janskerkhof
15:30 - 16:00
Drift 27, Near Library & Courtyard
Coffee Break ☕ Drift 27
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 21, Rm. 005
Before the PDF: Writing, Publishing and Measuring Science, ca. 1945-1980s
Format : Organized Session
Track : Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Speakers
Alex Csiszar, Harvard University
Alrun Schmidtke, Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin
Dorien Daling, University Of Groningen
Mathias Grote, Humboldt-University Berlin
Moderators
Michael Hagner, ETH Zürich
This session explores novel perspectives on publication formats in 20th century science publishing. Thereby we build on recent scholarship of print media in the sciences, yet we address a rarely looked at period that is crucial to understand current debates about publishers or media. When and why became natural scientists invested in specific formats of print, such as different variants of journals and books, how have such preferences fared and what did this mean for long-term disciplinary developments? How has the "impact" of publications been determined, what functions have journals or books occupied? In brief, we will explore science's paper media (creation, sales and uses) before digitization. This session follows these issues along the problem of periodicity in journals and non-journal formats as viewed from publishers' perspectives in the 1950-60s (Schmidtke), by questioning the concept, the making and the crisis of encyclopedic handbooks in the post-war chemical sciences (Grote), by analyzing efforts to catalogue and measure the impact of publications (Csiszar), and by assessing the role of journals, partly through commemorative practices, in building international and disciplinary communities in the 1950-80s (Daling). We argue that in order to get a more articulated view on recent publishing trends, it is crucial to understand past developments affecting the formation and choice of formats, as well as authors', editors', readers' and publishers' strategies. A commentary (Hagner) will wrap up the session and stimulate a discussion on a pertinent, timely and undervalued topic in the history of science.Organized by Alrun Schmidtke and Mathias Grote
"Nations Can Publish or Perish"? Scientific Metrics and Development
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Alex Csiszar, Harvard University
After World War II, as science became attached to the discourse of international development, analyses of the scientific literature became a key source for producing national comparisons of scientific productivity. This paper will focus on the rise of the Science Citation Index and will suggest that the uptake of this new tool was connected as much to its applications to producing measures of scientific producitivy as to its use as a literature search tool. Today it is clear that tools for measuring science are political as much as they are technical. By operationalizing universalist concepts such as quality and significance, they are means by which to legitimate or marginalize particular national research collectives. Historical accounts usually imply that the rise of science metrics and their application to policy was a natural consequence of new technologies for the automatic collection, manipulation, and distribution of publishing data. But it also depended on contested ethical and sociological claims about public and private communication, access to scientific findings, and the role of the scientific literature in the global circulation of knowledge largely articulated by scholars based in the United States. This paper juxtaposes the claims of advocates such as Derek de Solla Price and Robert Merton with early critics outside the USA such as Edmundo Fuenzalida and later Léa Velho whose work began to show that there was a geopolitics to scientific authorship, reading, and citation that problematized their infrastructural role in accounts of the universality of science.
"Journalization" of Science Publishing: Periodicity of Book Formats at Springer, North-Holland, OUP, and Interscience, 1950-1965
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Alrun Schmidtke, Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin
While recent scholarship on the history of science publishing has focused on scientific journals, self-confessed ‘journal publishers’ only came into being in the latter half of the 20th century. This poses the question how this shift towards periodicals as core products was brought about: What other formats were publishers invested in and how did these formats relate to periodical publishing? Why and how did this change? This paper explores publishers' perspectives on scientific publication formats in the mid-20th century as mediated by publishing adviser Paul Rosbaud (1896-1963), who worked for several publishers such as Springer in Germany, North-Holland in the Netherlands, Interscience in the U.S., Oxford University Press and Pergamon Press in the UK in the 1950s and 60s. During this period, Rosbaud, a trained physical chemist, was involved in a plethora of publication projects. This included the founding of new journals, the publishing of conference proceedings, textbook series and handbook literature. Most of these formats held some promise of periodicity to the publishers: Even if publications like textbooks and handbooks are not commonly associated with periodical publishing, they could exhibit such features from a sales and distribution point of view. Drawing on rich sources from publishers' archives and Rosbaud's lively correspondence with leading physicists as preserved in their personal papers, this paper traces negotiations between scientists and publishers in regard to an ongoing ‘journalization’ of science publishing in the mid-20th century.
The Role of International Journals in Epistemic, Political, and Community-Building Processes in Postwar Science: BBA’s Celebration Volume of 1989
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Dorien Daling, University Of Groningen
For more than two hundred years after the origin of the learned journal, the modes of scholarly communication remained highly diverse. Only in the later nineteenth century did the scientific paper achieve privileged status. It took another half century before the formats and uses of scientific journals began to fully correspond to contemporary conceptions of scientific publishing. Those journals, “invented” after World War II by commercial publishers rather than scientific societies, had specialized orientations, international editorial boards, established peer-review procedures and relatively fast publication schedules. Due to these features, they were more apt than their forebears to provide analysis of scientific fields and developments, direct those developments through categorization and selection, bring about social cohesion, and negotiate meanings and social rules. As scholars have only recently begun to approach questions regarding the nature and legitimacy of science from the perspective of changing communication formats, the (twentieth-century) scientific journal has not yet received much attention as a social institution. By presenting the case study of Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA), founded in 1946 at Elsevier, this paper probes into the role of international journals in epistemic, political and community-building processes in postwar science. It also explores the role of commemorative practices in the performance of journals as social institutions, specifically the 1000th volume of BBA, published in 1989 as a celebration volume with reprints of “particularly significant articles”. This paper argues that journals sometimes invoked the commemorated past to serve conceptual, institutional, social, and political agendas in the commemorating present.
Total Knowledge in Teutonic Tomes? Encyclopedic Handbooks in the Chemical Sciences, ca. 1930-1960
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Mathias Grote, Humboldt-University Berlin
The question of how the pre-digital modern sciences have coped with knowledge inflation is as open as timely. Handbooks, understood as heavy, multivolume reference works claiming to present a discipline’s essential knowledge in a systematic order, were an innovation to deal with this problem, which flourished particularly in Germanophone science. The tomes of such scientific encyclopediae were consulted for reference, and often became canonical. This paper contours the “Handbuchwissenschaft” (Fleck) as an ensemble of specific actors and practices by scrutinizing the making of a central reference work on inorganic chemical substances, “Gmelins Handbuch der anorganischen Chemie” (8th edition, >700 volumes). How did the hundreds of involved “paper scientists” and clerks extract and compile knowledge deemed reliable? How was the editing of this megalomaniac book organized by a state institute in the rapidly changing linguistic and technological environment of the post-war decades? While the concept of book informing Gmelin and other Germanophone handbooks was framed in a holistic discourse on knowledge, the rapid increase of journal articles subverted this concept, leading to a crisis of the project after 1960. Looking at the handbook as a past solution to knowledge inflation does not only permit to re-evaluate the role of books among the modern sciences’ media, it may also be informative for the history of our own discipline, since Gmelin and other handbook projects contributed to historiography e.g. by collecting or editing sources.
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 13, Rm. 003
Global Medicine
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Medicine and Health
Speakers
Siti Marina Mohd. Maidin, Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
Sandra Khor Manickam, Department Of History, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Sudip Saha, Department Of History, North-Eastern Hill University, India.
Matheus Alves Duarte Da Silva, Phd Student - Ecole Des Hautes Etudes En Sciences Sociales
Sarah Naramore, Sewanee: The University Of The South
Moderators
Gwen Kay, SUNY Oswego
The Malay Kitab Tibb at the Intersection of Malay Medical Practices, Islamisation of Knowledge, and Colonial Medicine
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Sandra Khor Manickam, Department Of History, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Siti Marina Mohd. Maidin, Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
A recent exhibition of medical manuscripts at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) entitled Al-Tibb: Healing Traditions in Islamic Medical Manuscripts successfully raised awareness of traditional healing among Malays featuring the museum’s collection of Malay medical and divination manuscripts. Malay medicine and traditional healing are known to be a form of sacred knowledge and art that is usually passed down from one generation to another or to a trusted apprentice. The practice comprises using natural resources, spiritual practices, divination approaches, and Quranic verse recitations. Manuscripts detailing this medical knowledge were still being produced and used when the British came to colonize the Malay Peninsula in the late nineteenth century. The start of concerted British efforts to understand the medical history and circumstances of the Malay peninsula in order to better extract resources saw efforts to collect local knowledge, prompting colonial administrators such as Richard Winstedt, John Gimlette and W. W. Skeat to record their experiences and perceptions of Malay medical practices inscribed in written manuals known as Kitab Tibb Melayu (Malay Book of Medicine) and Kitab Faal or Kitab Ramalan (Books on Divination). Contrary to seeing Malay medical practices solely as part of traditional medicine, this paper situates Malay medical manuscripts or Kitab Tibb at the intersection of Malay, Islamic and colonial medicine. This paper will present some preliminary findings on situating the Malay Kitab Tibb in the fast changing medical and colonial environment of Malaya in the late nineteenth century.
Local Lives, Global Networks: Disease, Medicine, and the Entangled Histories of Assam Tea Plantations (1900-1930s)
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Sudip Saha, Department Of History, North-Eastern Hill University, India.
In making an attempt to explore the “medical incentives” and the “interests of the capitalist agencies” involved in the project in locating the vectors of diseases prevailed in the Assam tea plantations of British India, the paper argues that ideas of medical welfare was instrumental both in “building a network of tropical medicine with its professional researchers and contributed to the oppressive ‘plantation paternalism’ in the frontier colony”. To elaborate the histories of such entanglements, my paper will firstly look at the way through which the rise of metropolitan scientific institutions came to be prioritized. This will be followed by looking at how the question of transmitting and circulating of the “scientific knowledge” provided the impetus to the formation of the “cadre” of medical researchers. The third section of the paper will be engaged in providing examples of the interplay of global and local in the rise of supposedly objective scientific practices which transformed the locally lived lives of the plantation system in the global network of tropical medicine. In tracing all these trajectories, I take the reader into the question of how the growing concern about epidemics in the tea plantations of Assam eliminated the boundary of once considered the cultural and racial basis of explaining the epidemiological character of diseases for the interest of the capital.
A Global Rumor and the History of Science: The Case of a Fake Snakebite Prize That Connected Brazil, the French, and the British Empires (1880-1914)
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Matheus Alves Duarte Da Silva, Phd Student - Ecole Des Hautes Etudes En Sciences Sociales
Informed by the recent achievements of bacteriology, doctors and scientists started researches on the last decades of the 19th century aiming to find a therapeutic serum against snakebites. Among then, one can mention Albert Calmette, a French doctor in duty in Indochina, and Vital Brazil, a Brazilian doctor based in São Paulo. Other than the similarity of their intellectual projects, they had another point in common: both thought they could win a scientific prize established by the Government of India for the discovery of a cure against snakebites. Working on antidotes for more than 20 years, Calmette and Vital Brazil would indeed answer the general idea of the prize and their contributions to the field are recognized until today. However, neither of them ever won this prize, and that happened for a simple reason: this prize never existed, it was a rumor of global dimensions. In my presentation, I would like to examine its origins and to discuss how it shaped the research of these two doctors. To do this, I will examine their scientific works and their correspondence with British and Indian authorities. In conclusion, I will argue that, in despite of its fakeness, the prize connected people in Brazil with others based in the French or British Empires and, because of that, this event can shed some light on current debates on the field of the history of science, especially on its interactions with the global history approach.
Same Story, Different Setting: Using Goiter to Understand Calls for American Science at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Sarah Naramore, Sewanee: The University Of The South
In 1800 American physician Benjamin Smith Barton (1766-1815) published a book-length treatise titled on goiter and North America and dedicated it to his friend and mentor Johann Frederick Blumenbach (1752-1840). Within its pages Barton takes the seemingly niche topic of goiter or "swelled neck" and makes an elegant case for the pursuit of science in the United States. While many scholars have rightly pointed to the patriotic arguments Americans made for promoting scientific, Barton's work goes beyond such concerns. In addition to political and professional standing American men of science believed that their unique situation could bring novel information to the world stage, not as an abnormality but a key point on a continuum. Barton's book suggested that a lack of American knowledge could allow for the perpetuation of errors in the scientific literature. By the late eighteenth century goiter was a disease of the mountains. Theories differed as to what exactly caused that ailment but medical and travel literature agreed that inhabitants (especially female inhabitants) of mountain valleys were threatened by goiter and the associated mental defects of "cretinism". Barton's personal travel and accounts from colleagues in the United States, however, proved North American goiter to be a western (yet still female) disorder regardless of elevation. The book therefore acts as a corrective to European literature claiming that study of a disease in one location is not sufficient to make universal claims. In an era of universal concepts Barton made the case for American inclusion.
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 27, Rm. 032
History of Conferences
Format : Organized Session
Track : Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Speakers
Jessica Reinisch, Birkbeck College, University Of London
Sven Widmalm, Dept For History Of Science And Ideas, Uppsala University
Geert Somsen, Maastricht University
Moderators
Dora Vargha, University Of Exeter
From about the turn of the twentieth century, international conferences have become standard features of scientific life. Yet although they have frequently featured in the historiography, the role of such meetings has predominantly been discussed as a background against which the real action of interest took place. In this session we want to break with this tradition and put the spotlight fully on the conference itself, as a phenomenon. What were international scientific conferences? What kinds of interaction, sociability, and performance did they embody? What was their role in the production of knowledge? How did they mediate participants from different nations, ranks, classes, genders? How have their forms evolved and varied over time? These are many large questions and we do not pretend to answer them all. Instead, we hope to make a start by considering a number of angles from which conferences can be studied: their international character, their inclusivity and exclusivity, and the rituals that have accompanied them as gatherings of expert communities. Together we hope that these may indicate directions toward a fuller understanding of the phenomenon we are so familiar with.Organized by Geert Somsen
Laboratories of Cooperation: UNRRA’s Conferences
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Jessica Reinisch, Birkbeck College, University Of London
In this paper I will consider the format and purposes of the conferences organised by the biggest and most impactful international organisation created during the Second World War: the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). UNRRA’s many conferences, ranging from small meetings with scientific advisers to big diplomatic gatherings that debated and ratified UNRRA’s policy, provide plenty of reasons why historians of science should pay more attention to the history of conferences. Conferences in all their variety have a long history as meetings of informed minds with the aims to recalibrate terms, solve problems, achieve professional coherence and define who is a member of the club. UNRRA, as a formally ‘technical’ organisation, adapted the format of scientific conferences to solve intractable political problems, while at the same time drawing on older ideas about political congresses to create and steer technical consensus. One of the purposes of this paper therefore will be to point to the dual traffic of ideas and influences, between the political and scientific realms, shaping the mid-20th century conferences of international organisations such as UNRRA.
Meet the Elite: Nobel Symposia and Scientific Exclusivity
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Sven Widmalm, Dept For History Of Science And Ideas, Uppsala University
In the postwar era scientific conferences became ubiquitous and increasingly very large. As a reaction to this development, the Nobel Foundation in 1965 instituted the self-consciously elitist Nobel Symposia, still a going concern with around 160 meetings organized so far. The areas covered by the Nobel Symposia have mainly been those represented by the Nobel Prizes, including the prize in economic science founded in 1969. But issues of broader intellectual and social significance have sometimes been in focus as well. Using a frontstage-backstage approach this paper will examine the origins of the symposia – how they were conceived from a scientific as well as a political perspective, how support for the project was established nationally and internationally, and how the first symposia were organized and staged. A central question is that of exclusivity, how the symposia were imagined and staged as platforms for elite science and as a breeding ground for future elites. Particular attention will be paid to the 1969 symposium on “The place of values in a world of facts” which constituted the first but not the last example of how the symposia were used to stage more broadly conceived elite summits grappling with issues seen as important from the perspective of global development.
Chemical Bonding: Ritual and Community-Formation at Chemistry Conferences, 1921-22
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Geert Somsen, Maastricht University
In 1921 and 1922 the Utrecht-based chemist Ernst Cohen organized two informal international conferences. Their aim was to break the boycott of scientists from the former Central Powers that was the official policy of the new international scientific organizations established in the wake of the First World War. Like many scientists from formerly neutral countries, Cohen rejected that policy and tried to reunite his German and Austrian colleagues with their French, Belgian, British, Russian, and American counterparts. The two Utrecht meetings were meant as an “experiment” at such reintegration. In this paper I examine not so much the success of this attempt, but primarily how it was done. By what means did Cohen et al. try to re-establish a broken community? Precisely because this was the only objective of the two meetings, and their subject-matter was relatively unimportant, they offer a window on the mechanisms of community-formation at conferences. What was articulated, for example, at the speeches and toasts? What was the function of the excursions and banquets with courses named after famous chemists? What was the role of spouses in the meetings? And what was the meaning of the various papers, on subjects like “free radicals” and “bonding through light”, for the social aims of the conferences? These rituals have to be situated not only against the background of the war and its rifts, but also in the light of an elite culture of academic scientists faced with their increasingly important, and problematic, industrial connections.
Commentary: History of Conferences
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Geert Somsen, Maastricht University
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 25, Rm. 101
Imag(in)ing Space: Fidelity and Artistic License in Pursuit of the Heavens
Format : Organized Session
Track : Physical Sciences
Speakers
Lacey Baradel, Independent Scholar
Lois Rosson, UC Berkeley
Rebecca Perry, Independent Scholar
Matthew Shindell, Smithsonian National Air And Space Museum
Moderators
David DeVorkin, Smithsonian Institution National Air And Space Museum
From the late-19th century to the early 21st century, space and planetary imaging has evolved along with the introduction of new technologies/techniques and new disciplines in science, engineering, art, and design. The 19th century astronomical artists and illustrators could hardly anticipate the Hollywood matte painting techniques that would be brought to bear on planetary imaging in the mid-20th century. Likewise, the artists of the early Space Age would feel out of place in the 3D computer visualization labs of today, where images of newly discovered exoplanets are rendered for public consumption. Even with these differences, however, there has been a constant interplay between science and art -- between "real data" and artistic imagination -- that defies a rigid distinction between scientific object and human observer, not to mention that between the work of the scientists and artists. The papers in this session explore this history of imaging and imagining the planets using three examples: the first explores the chromolithographic prints of the artist-turned-astronomer, Etienne Trouvelot; the second examines the artistic and cinematic conventions used by Chesley Bonestell, the leading space artist of the American Space Age; and the third addresses the emergence of digital art and computer visualization and its intersection with planetary exploration; the final paper looks at how the future was imagined in more fanciful illustrations from science fiction and interrogates the relationship between visualization and the cultural construction of the meaning of space exploration.Organized by Matthew Shindell
With "Scrupulous Fidelity" and "Majestic Beauty": The Science and Art of E. L. Trouvelot’s Astronomical Drawings (1882)
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Lacey Baradel, Independent Scholar
Étienne Léopold Trouvelot’s portfolio of fifteen large-scale chromolithographic prints, published by Charles Scribner’s Sons to accompany Trouvelot’s Astronomical Drawings Manual (1882), were among the most influential and innovative images of astronomical phenomena produced at the end of the nineteenth century. The works effectively blurred the boundaries between art and science, receiving accolades from both professional artistic and scientific communities as well as attracting a wide public audience. Trouvelot, a French-born, Boston-based artist and amateur-turned-professional scientist, based the prints on sketches of cosmic forms that he made over the course of nearly two decades using high-powered telescopes at Harvard University, the University of Virginia, and the U.S. Naval Observatory. According to the artist, the 1882 portfolio aimed to present such forms with “scrupulous fidelity and accuracy,” while also conveying to the viewer something of “the majestic beauty and radiance of celestial objects.” Produced during a period in which photography was quickly becoming the dominant medium for astronomical imagery, Trouvelot argued forcefully against the popular assumption that photographic views of celestial phenomena were more objective or of greater scientific value than his graphic—and often quite abstract—representations. Using Trouvelot’s work as a case study, this paper examines the roles that artistic imagination and invention played in shaping scientific knowledge during the late nineteenth century and investigates the limitations that artistic media and technologies of vision imposed on such processes.
The Moon as It Should Have Been: Chesley Bonestell and the Pre-Apollo Lunar Landscape
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Lois Rosson, UC Berkeley
Even by the late 1950s, the easiest way to produce a clear image of outer-space was to have someone paint it by hand. In March of 1957, this was exactly how the Boston Science Museum presented visitors with a new view of the lunar surface; installed in the Astronomical Exhibits lobby in front of the Hayden Planetarium, a sweeping ten-by-forty foot mural immersed visitors in a detailed recreation of the Moon’s topography. The mural was painted by America’s leading space illustrator, Chesley Bonestell, whose collaborations with well-known scientists lent his paintings a singular degree of technical credibility. However, the mural’s installation in the Boston Science Museum as a “scientific” view of the Moon would only temporarily be the case. In 1969, Apollo astronauts landed on the surface of the Moon and produced photographs that countered the dramatic topography described in the mural. This paper explores the conventions that helped the painting read as an authoritative view of the lunar surface in the pre-Apollo period, and the post-Apollo breakdown of these legitimizing elements. What functioned as an empirical representation of the Moon in 1957 was by 1969 recast as an artistic interpretation. Despite this revision, Chesley Bonestell’s depiction of the Moon’s surface was defended as scientific by some of his most famous contemporaries. I explore how Bonestell’s biography was edited to support claims about the empiricism of his work, and why this was useful to the scientists with which he collaborated.
Imaging the Planets in 3D: The Introduction of Computer Art at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Rebecca Perry, Independent Scholar
In 1977, a pair of unmanned spacecraft built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), launched on a mission to explore the outer solar system. As the spacecraft arced toward Jupiter, JPL’s team of imaging scientists prepared to receive and shape data collected by Voyager's scientific instruments into high-resolution photographic images. A second team of young computer scientists and artists began a parallel project—creating computer-generated films simulating the spacecraft’s journeys. The Computer Graphics Laboratory (CGL), headed by manager Robert Holzman, included a newly-graduated computer-graphics researcher, 2 novice systems programmers, and an artist-in-residence. This paper explores the introduction of 3D computer graphics and computer art to NASA at a transitional moment in astronomy—the born-digital era, characterized by a decisive shift from earlier, photographic techniques to real-time, digital collection of data (McCray, 2014). The CGL mixed image data with 3D simulation in a cinematic hybrid that was fascinating to journalists, the public and to writers and filmmakers from nearby Hollywood. 3D computer graphics intervened in scientific observation by shifting the point of view, moving the narrative backward and forward in time, or simulating future events. While computer-assisted image processing was a well-developed concept at NASA/JPL by 1977, computer graphics and computer art were both in their infancy. Visitors to the CGL saw new views of the heavens unfold through animation and art, mediated by the computer, as boundaries blurred between image processing and artistic interpretation, as well as between machinic and human vision.
The Future as We've Shown It: The Human Future in Space as Seen in Science Fiction
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Matthew Shindell, Smithsonian National Air And Space Museum
Historians of the Space Age have pointed to the importance of space popularization, including the work of space illustrators like Chesley Bonestell and his contemporary science fiction authors and filmmakers, in selling a space future to the American public. But what was this future, and who was allowed/expected to participate in it? If space was the next frontier, who would be the pioneers? And what alternative visions of space and the human future in space were available? Moreover, why has the field of space history tended to focus unreflexively on the white producers and consumers of space culture? This paper examines multiple visions of the future, and futurist images, to attempt to answer these questions. Going outside of the traditionally defined space literary cannon, this paper also looks at Latino- and Afrofuturist images in an effort to expand our notion of the cultural meaning and value(s) of American space activity and exploration.
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 13, Rm. 004
Managing Environments from a Distance: Transnational Science and Policy during the Great Acceleration
Format : Organized Session
Track : Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Speakers
Raf De Bont, Maastricht University
Etienne Benson, University Of Pennsylvania
Lino Camprubi, Lino Camprubi
Helen Anne Curry, University Of Cambridge
Moderators
Deborah Coen, Yale University
Environmental historians increasingly refer to the postwar epoch as the 'the Great Acceleration', a period characterized by a significant increase in human impacts on ecosystems across the globe. Meanwhile historians of science dedicate growing attention to attempts to monitor and manage these human impacts, especially across borders, in this same period. This session explores one important facet of these transnational initiatives: the tension between, on the one hand, universalizing conceptualizations of the global environment and the centralized institutions that attempted to realize these, and, on the other, the lived experiences and practical concerns of diverse local actors. Taking inspiration from the spatial turn, the session studies how global conservation schemes were translated into projects on the ground. The papers look into various instances of transnational, science-based conservation between the 1950s and the 1980s, including wildlife protection, water management, ocean conservation and the maintenance of crop diversity. Raf De Bont explores different types of 'ideal landscapes' promoted under the flag of ecosystem science by the International Union for the Protection of Nature. Etienne Benson studies controversies over data standardization that took place in the context of the International Hydrological Decade. Lino Camprubí looks into the local and international work necessary to make the ocean into an object of conservation. Finally, Helen Anne Curry examines the political geographies and technical realities of international crop genebanks. Overall, the papers show how in different institutional contexts the project of global environmental management was modified to accommodate particular local policies and ecologies.Organized by Raf De Bont
Regional Universals: The Ecologies of the International Union for the Protection of Nature, 1950-1960
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Raf De Bont, Maastricht University
After World War II, the global conservation community went through a period of institutional restructuring – which culminated in the foundation of the International Union for the Protection of Nature (IUPN, later IUCN) in 1948. From the start, ecology served as the lead science of the new organization. Several prominent voices within IUPN believed that ecology’s universal laws would give coherence to the Union’s program. Yet, when in the 1950s IUPN members finally got new conservation projects off the ground, it quickly turned out that ecology could inspire very different approaches. In the Middle East, the Union’s ecologists became involved in highly interventionist and utilitarian programs that ultimately aimed to ‘make the desert bloom’. In Western Europe, then, IUPN members focused on the protection of historical landscapes such as heath and moorland – which they conceptualized as a valuable form of ‘half-nature’. And in sub-Saharan Africa, finally, ecology-led conservation aspired to maintain a ‘pristine’ wilderness that was seemingly devoid of human influence. In this paper, I will explore the ambiguities of IUPN’s ‘global mission’ of the 1950s, and explain why – despite a universalizing rhetoric – its ecological program would give rise to such divergent regional approaches.
The Data of Development: North-South Tensions in the International Hydrological Decade, 1965-1974
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Etienne Benson, University Of Pennsylvania
The International Hydrological Decade (1965-1974) was a UNESCO-led program of research and training in the water sciences that laid the foundation for the International Hydrological Programme, which is still active today. Inspired by the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958) and other Cold War-era projects of scientific internationalism, the IHD was initially launched with the aim of modernizing hydrology in a way that would solve urgent global problems. One of its leaders, the U.S. hydrologist Raymond L. Nace, justified the IHD in the following terms: “Studies on continental, hemispheric, and global scales are necessary to cope with the future problems of water supply in a world that seems destined to be overpopulated, defaced, and polluted.” With these anxieties in mind, Nace and the other architects of the IHD sought to standardize international water data collection in ways that would serve both basic science and applied needs and would appeal to hydrologists in both developed and developing nations. At the IHD’s Mid-Decade Conference in 1969, however, it became apparent that developing-nation hydrologists were deeply unsatisfied with the IHD’s implementation of these aims. They were particularly vocal in their criticism of efforts to standardize water data in ways that served developed-world hydrologists but disregarded the practical water needs of developing countries. This paper examines data collection, storage, and sharing in the IHD as sites for the negotiation of an alternate view of scientific internationalism that focused less on establishing universal standards and creating centralized databases than on ensuring equitable access to expertise and resources.
From Green to Blue: Ocean Conservation and Earth System Sciences
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Environmental activists and environmental historians were not particularly concerned with the oceans until recent times. While transformation (and degradation) in land was clearly visible, it seemed that the ocean well could take all kinds of poison without great distress. While there was a long tradition of conservation for fisheries and marine mammals that attracted the attention of organizations like Greenpeace in the 1970s, the ecosystems approach to conservation like that developed by Max Nicholson at the International Union for the Protection of Nature and the International Biology Program largely took the world ocean for granted. The Apollo pictures of the earth from above that accompanied the rise of global conservation efforts depicted a Blue Marble, and yet environmentalism remained green. This paper documents the move from Green to Blue in two separate but interconnected realms: the local and the global. The first is provided by the efforts for understanding and halting marine degradation in the Mediterranean through the 1975 Mediterranean Action Plan (and part of the United Nations Environmental Programme). The second is illustrated by the rise of Earth System Sciences in the 1980s (with Lovelock’s Gaia and the NASA) and the increasing importance granted to the world ocean, for instance as a climate regulator. Simultaneously, oceanographers were now looking at ocean circulation as subject to cycles and sudden changes. The conveyor belt, a new theoretical entity, needed not only to be described but also monitored. Although oceanography, geochemistry and atmospheric sciences were key in this shift to blue, looking at their different approaches and scales sheds light on processes of integration and disintegration in global conservation.
Managing Mexican Crop Diversity from Rome
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Helen Anne Curry, University Of Cambridge
In 1983, member states of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) adopted the non-binding International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources. Although ostensibly motivated by concern over "genetic erosion"—that is, the loss of genetic diversity in crop plants as a result of agricultural industrialization and environmental degradation—the 1983 Undertaking is better understood as the product of a North-South conflict over ownership of and access to seeds. Many scholars have discussed the Undertaking, aptly attending to its place within the histories of ideas about intellectual property in and national sovereignty over so-called genetic resources. Here I return focus to the place of the Undertaking within the longer history of efforts to conserve crop diversity. Placing the often-neglected practical aspects of managing collections at the forefront, I explore the implications of the recourse to international agreement as a measure to conserve genetic diversity in crops on actual conservation practices. While Mexican delegates to the FAO led the protracted battle of the 1980s to set up an "international genebank" headquartered in Rome, Mexican scientists in charge of the country's most significant crop collections labored with limited resources to keep these alive and usable in Mexico. In this realm, the same North-South exchanges deplored by Mexican delegates to the FAO often provided the only means for ensuring the continuity of collections and their availability to Mexican scientists. High-level consultations in Rome therefore necessitated new forms of cross-border negotiation and collaboration among scientists.
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 25, Rm. 201
Narrating Global Environment Change: Soviet Interventions in the Climate Change & Earth Science Debates of the Late Twentieth Century
Format : Organized Session
Track : Earth and Environmental Sciences
Speakers
Vladimir Jankovic, Centre For The History Of Sience, Technology And Medicine, University Of Manchester
Anna Amramina, University Of Minnesota
Denis Shaw, University Of Birmingham, UK
Jonathan Oldfield, University Of Birmingham, UK
Moderators
Martin Mahony, University Of East Anglia
This panel examines the role of Soviet/Russian scientists within the context of the international initiatives concerning global environmental change that emerged strongly from the 1970s onwards. It reflects upon the contributions made by Soviet scientists to the key debates around climate change and related geophysical phenomena both within the formalities of major international organisations/collaborations as well as less high-profile instances of debate and scientific exchange. To this end, Jankovic's paper focuses on the ideas of the Soviet geophysicist E.K. Fedorov which were promulgated during the 1979 World Climate Conference. Taking advantage of his senior role within the organisation, he advanced a critique of Soviet and Western approaches to the climate change issue during the plenary session, drawing upon his wider understanding of society-nature interaction. In contrast to the prominent intervention by Fedorov, Amramina's paper explores the quotidian activities of Soviet and US scientists under the auspices of the 1972 US-USSR Environmental Agreement which facilitated insight into the Earth's geophysical systems through small-scale exchanges of personnel and collaborative initiatives. Shaw's paper provides a constrast to this US-USSR interaction by focussing on Soviet activities in the Antarctic and their fruitful cooperation with both French and US scientists in advancing insight into long-term climate change at the global level. The final paper (Oldfield) explores the discussions around climate change and climate futures that were evident within the USSR during the 1980s. These understandings would emerge strongly on the international scene during the initial IPCC discussions at the end of the 1980s.Organized by Jonathan Oldfield
A Hero’s Counsel: Communist Climate Policy at the 1979 World Climate Conference
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Vladimir Jankovic, Centre For The History Of Sience, Technology And Medicine, University Of Manchester
The paper explores the intellectual and ideological underpinnings of Evgeny Konstantinovich Fedorov's pronouncements on the future of communist climate policies during his 1979 plenary at the World Climate Conference (Geneva). Fedorov (1910-81), a Hero of the Soviet Union and Stalin Prize winner, was a Russian geophysicist, polar explorer, academician and Director of the Soviet Hydrometeorological Service. He led the Soviet delegation at the Geneva conference during which he made a salient intervention in contrasting communist and free-market approaches to climate change policy. In his view, only socialist societies based on intrinsic human values could provide basis for a policy that protected human dignity, international peace and the environment. This position has origins in Fedorov’s 1972 Man and Nature, in which he presented a Marxist environmental perspective in agreement with the conclusions of the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth. For his plenary at the Geneva World Climate Conference, Fedorov additionally drew on Ervin Laszlo's Goals for Mankind (prepared for the Club of Rome in 1977). Laszlo argued for ‘breaking of inner limits’ and for ‘a world Solidarity Revolution,’ which Fedorov thought was central to any criticism of the Western hypocrisy towards the environment and for his own – and the Soviet – politics of climate change. In bringing to light this critical, if ultimately misguided position, this paper hopes to contribute to a more granular history of the pre-1980s thinking about climate change and climate change policy that includes voices that so far have received less visibility among historians of science.
Geophysical Collaboration under the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Environmental Agreement of 1972: Peaceful Coexistence, Collaborative Circles, and Friendship Dynamics
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Anna Amramina, University Of Minnesota
When the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Protection was signed in 1972, the two nations had limited previous experience in joint scientific work in earth sciences outside the International Geophysical Year. Constraints in communication, scarce access to data and publications, and national security challenges of joint geophysical research inhibited scientific dialogue. While global circulations of scientific knowledge never truly ceased, professional ties between American and Soviet core-level science practitioners of two post-WWII generations had to be (re)invented in a new setting. The political détente and the environmental agreement created a necessity to develop channels and strategies of communication that had to differ even from the previous U.S.–U.S.S.R. scientific and student exchanges in the 1950s-1960s. Now American and Soviet scientists were to face each other in informal settings without an established protocol of interaction, in the lab and field, in real time. This paper explores the ways in which non-trivial real-life experiences (relocation, cohabitation and survival in the field, and exposure to different intellectual, aesthetic, and everyday cultures) shaped the relationships between American and Soviet core-level geoscientists, who participated in joint projects in seismology, paleoclimatology, and atmospheric studies under the 1972 agreement. Tracing the creation and dynamics of collaborative practices in these bilateral circles through the stories of participants, as told by themselves in interviews, their personal papers, institutional records, and popular press, offers an additional layer of understanding how exchange, sharing, and co-creation of scientific knowledge was made possible and consistent through personal connections.
Soviet and Russian Studies of Long-Term Climate Change in Antarctica: The International Context
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Denis Shaw, University Of Birmingham, UK
The 1959 Antarctic Treaty declared Antarctica a zone of peace and a ‘continent for science’. A number of scholars, however, have pointed to the geopolitical factors which inevitably underlie international scientific collaboration. Whilst accepting this view, the aim of this paper is to suggest that to paint too dichotomous a picture of science during and after the Cold War is to oversimplify a complex situation, especially in regard to Antarctica. Having outlined factors both hindering and favouring scientific co-operation in Antarctica, and the role of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) in fostering Antarctic Science, the paper moves on to consider the origins of Vostok station as a Soviet scientific base during the IGY (1957-8). It then discusses the development of deep ice drilling at Vostok, an exercise undertaken for both glaciological and paleoclimatic reasons, eventually involving close collaboration with France and the USA. By the late 1990s the ice core at Vostok had reached a depth of 3623 metres revealing patterns of climate change over a period in excess of 400,000 years – the world’s deepest ice core at the time. The discovery of subglacial Lake Vostok, whose existence was first detected in the 1970s, is then discussed as involving international collaboration and oversight by SCAR. Finally, attention is paid to the overall contribution of Vostok to our understanding of climate change and to the view that Vostok serves as an ‘iconic record’ for global climate science.
Past Climates, Volcanoes, and Earth Analogues: Soviet Articulations of Climate Futures
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Jonathan Oldfield, University Of Birmingham, UK
While mindful of the broad range of climate science at work in the Soviet Union, this paper focuses primarily on the use of natural analogues for comprehending possible climate change and articulating climate futures. The paper is divided into three main sections. First, it reflects generally upon the ability of natural analogues to inform our understanding of contemporary physical systems and with particular reference to debates around future climate change. Second, it places the Soviet use of natural analogues within the context of the broader climate change debate at play within the Soviet Union from the 1960s through to the end of the 1980s. This debate embraced a range of approaches and disciplinary areas. Third, it examines the use by Soviet science of natural analogues for understanding the Earth’s climate system via such phenomena as volcanic eruptions, large-scale historical natural disasters, Earth analogues and past climates. The paper concludes by suggesting that Soviet use of natural analogues was indicative of concerted scientific efforts to further understanding of the Earth’s climate system and its future state. Their use also encouraged an appreciation of the possibility of marked future changes in the Earth’s climate, whether natural or anthropogenic in origin, with potentially challenging consequences for humankind.
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 25, Rm. 103
Population Variability and Human Types: Exploring the Scientific Uses of Race from the 1940s to the 1990s
Format : Organized Session
Track : Biology
Speakers
Luc Berlivet, French National Centre For Scientific Research (CNRS)
Claude-Olivier DORON, Associate Professor, Université De Paris
Lisa Gannett, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Canada
Jean-Baptiste Grodwohl, Université Paris Diderot - SPHERE
Moderators
Soraya De Chadarevian, University Of California Los Angeles
For decades, it was widely assumed, even by some historians of science, that the notion of human races had lost any real scientific legitimacy sometime around the end of the Second World War, only to "return" at the beginning of the 21th Century in the wake of the Human Genome Project, as a byproduct of genomic research. Then, a new narrative recently emerged that stopped positing the sudden disappearance of race from the scientific lexicon around 1945, and highlighted instead the shift observed among scientists (apart from a handful of conservative or even plain racist ones) from a "fixist", reifying, physical-anthropological approach, grounded on the identification of "human types", to a more biologically informed exploration of population variability. The aim of this session is to move beyond such narratives by empirically comparing the uses of race as a scientific notion in different disciplinary and political contexts, during the second half of the 20th Century. We will especially explore how anthropologists, sero-anthropologists, and different types of geneticists, active in Europe and in Northern America, either referred to racial characteristics or, alternatively, attempted to circumnavigate an increasingly contested notion. Speakers will pay special attention to the way the scientists they studied either affronted the growing stigma associated with the notion of race, tried to ignore it, or enforced it.Organized by Luc Bevlivet
Interracial Encounters in an Era of Identity Politics: The Study of Population Admixtures in Italy after the Second World War
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Luc Berlivet, French National Centre For Scientific Research (CNRS)
Scientific interests in both the origins and the respective qualities of the different “races” (or “stocks”) that made up the Italian population predated the unification of the country, when they prompted heated political debates. However, the question gained further actuality in the interwar period, when the Fascist government launched a highly ambitious policy that aimed to reclaim vast amounts of marshlands located in different regions of Italy. As tens of thousands of peasants from the North East of Italy were moved around the country to drain swamps and cultivate the reclaimed land, anthropologists and biologists undertook to study both their adaptation to the new environment, and the product of their intermixing with “autochthonous stock”. Remarkably, the interests in the intermixing of Italian populations did not disappear with the fall of the Fascist regime. On the island of Sardinia, for example, a team of anthropologists and geneticists of local origin carried on studying the prevailing “human ecology” of the newly reclaimed lands, up into the 1970s. More surprisingly even, they built on their studies to take a stance in then ongoing political and cultural discussion on Sardinian identity and its future. The aim of this presentation is to explain how a racial style of thought that dated back to the late 19th C. was successfully adapted to the new context of Identity politics.
Many Shades of “Race”: Variations in the Concept of Race in French Sero-Anthropology between the 1940s and the 1970s
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Claude-Olivier DORON, Associate Professor, Université De Paris
In this presentation, I will study the transformations of the concept of “race” in French sero-anthropology between the 1940s and 1970s, focusing in particular on the work of Jacques Ruffié and his collaborators, at the Centre d’hémotypologie of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). I will show that, far from being abandoned after World War 2, the concept was still widely used by scholars working at the crossroads of anthropology, blood-typing and genetics. It remained an object of numerous investigations undertaken, all over the world, by institutions such as the Centre d’hémotypologie, both to determine the blood signature of different racial groups, and to study their admixture and filiations. I will explore the many the continuities between these research programs and the concept of race as (re)defined by geneticists and blood typing experts in the 1920s and 1930s, while pointing at other, less obvious, affinities between “hemotypological research” and the older anthropological conception of race. Finally, I will analyze the evolution in the conceptualization of human variability by sero-anthropologists, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and show that their growing interests in the internal diversity of human populations was not altogether deprived of ambiguities.
What “Race” Does: Pluralism in Post-WWII Population Genetics
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Lisa Gannett, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Canada
It has been a matter of debate among historians of science whether “race” disappeared as a category in the biological sciences with the evolutionary synthesis and rise of population genetics. It has become commonplace among philosophers of science to refer to a “race debate” currently underway about the epistemological and ontological status of race as a biological category, especially in genomics. Embedded in these debates is the assumption that there is such a thing that race is, such that the debate might be resolved one way or another. However, if we consider the influential American population geneticists Dobzhansky, Cavalli-Sforza, and Lewontin, whose contributions during the decades following WWII laid theoretical foundations that are important for genomics today, we find a plurality of race concepts and a range of significances attached to the use of racial designations—not only among the three geneticists but within the writings of each. Given that there is not such a thing that race is, even for population geneticists, what matters is to pay close empirical attention to the disciplinary, historical, and political contexts in which scientists deploy race concepts and racial designations in order to discern not what race is, but what race does. 
Population Genetics, Genetic Variation, and the Monomorphism of the Human Species
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Jean-Baptiste Grodwohl, Université Paris Diderot - SPHERE
This talk will relate discussions about human genetic variation (a key issue in the debates on human races) to the history of theoretical population genetics. In the first part of the presentation, I will analyse how two prominent statistical population geneticists, namely Newton Morton and Masatoshi Nei, used the concept of race in a series of studies that took place from the late 1950s to the late 1980s. I will argue that a proper understanding of these lines of work requires considering more general debates on population genetics theory, such as the classical-balance debate, and the debate on the neutral theory of molecular evolution. In the second part of the presentation, I will move away from the focus on variability and consider the issue of genetic monomorphism. Although the science of population genetics has been typically concerned with the study of genetic variability, not all genes present variation. An interesting outcome of molecular studies of human variation has been to show that the proportion of polymorphic loci may be minute, with current estimates suggesting that humans rank among the most monomorphic species. My purpose will be to reconstruct how geneticists came to view humans as genetically monomorphic, and to assess its implications from the viewpoint of population genetics theory.
16:00 - 18:00
Janskerkhof 2-3, Rm. 013
Practices and Narratives of Experience in Premodern Eurasia
Format : Organized Session
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Katja Krause, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science / TU Berlin
Alisha Rankin, Tufts University
Elly Truitt, Bryn Mawr College
Moderators
Elaine Leong, Department Of History, University College London
This panel presents four different examples of how historical actors in Latin Christendom and the Ottoman Empire worked within and challenged existing narratives about the epistemic value of experience. The papers comprising this panel explore multiple sites and multiple networks separated by space and time. We move from the medieval cloister and university to the early modern marketplace, we journey to the republic of letters that included early modern scholars from Constantinople to London, and we delve into the engagement of early modern scholars with texts and ideas from centuries earlier. Each paper examines a different set of narratives around experience: how Scholastic philosophers interested in metacognition influenced later work in the life sciences; how competing narratives of experience and authority were employed by different healers in the medical marketplace in sixteenth-century Germany and Italy; how stories about experience and experiment became central to the legend of Roger Bacon, and to later narratives about the development of modern science; and, finally, how natural philosophers and physicians from the Ottoman Empire and the Latin Christian West used experience as a basis for creating universal natural knowledge. Taken together, all four papers portray the robust, complex, and contingent ways in which experience presented a path to natural knowledge, either alongside text-based authority, or in spite of it.Organized by Elly Truitt
Epistemic Configurations: Experience in the Medieval Sciences of Soul and Body
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Katja Krause, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science / TU Berlin
What were the epistemic configurations of experience in the medieval sciences of soul and body? Simple sense perception, inspectio, anathomia, iudicatio by common sense, pre-universal experientia, and expertise all occupied distinctive, yet decidedly standardized spaces in the cognitive realm of the sapiens. For Peter of Spain (ca. 1215-1277), the science of animal souls and bodies required sense perception and judgment in acquiring knowledge, particularly of its most specific species. For Albert the Great (1200-1280), simple sense perceptions had the epistemic power to verify or falsify theoretical facts in the sciences of soul and body, but they first had to pass the common-sense judgment of the expert. All this shows that scientific experiences were principally shared by the sapientes; they were, so to speak, universal and individual at once. The purpose of this paper is to shed some light on these pragmatics of experience, both by exposing the mental realm as the integral backbone to the practices, standards, and conceptualizations of experience, and by illustrating how the ideals of this realm became embodied in the practices of the medieval life sciences developed by historical actors such as Peter of Spain and Albert the Great.
The Right Kind of Experience: Physicians, Empirics, and Poison Trials
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Alisha Rankin, Tufts University
This paper will examine sixteenth-century physicians’ attempts to portray contrived tests of poison antidotes as a learned endeavor. Poison trials had long been used by charlatans and other empirics, who hawked their nostrums in marketplace shows that involved self-poisoning and poisoning animals. From the 1520s, however, some physicians began to test antidotes using poison on condemned criminals – first at the papal court in Rome and then at other European courts. Their newfound interest in poison trials invited comparison with empirical practitioners’ marketplace shows. Physicians thus came up with deliberate narrative strategies to differentiate their trials from empirical practitioners’ “misguided” tests. One strategy involved explicit contrast between physicians’ tests and the fraudulent shows put on by “itinerant country swindlers,” in the words of German physician Eurichus Cordus (1540). More subtly, physicians penned detailed accounts of poison trials that included careful markers of their learning, such as references to the hours of the clock, pulse checks, and allusions to learned medical theory. They described these trials using scholarly terms designating experience, such as historia, observatio, or experimentum. Some of these accounts were recorded privately; others circulated at courts; and still others were shared publicly, such as Pietro Andrea Mattioli’s detailed account of a poison trial in his popular commentary on Dioscorides. The similarity between these documents, however, suggests a conscious narrative of a “right” way to conduct contrived medical trials with poison.
Experience, Discovery, and Utility: Roger Bacon in the Age of Francis
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Elly Truitt, Bryn Mawr College
This paper examines the importance of experiential knowledge in the work of thirteenth century natural philosopher, courtier, and Franciscan friar Roger Bacon (ca. 1214-1292), who saw experience as central to understanding natural knowledge, and to converting that knowledge into useful tools and processes to improve human life and exert power. Furthermore, this paper demonstrates how Bacon’s views on the necessity of experiential knowledge to confirm and discover the laws of nature dramatically shaped the contours of his reception in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as well as early modern ideas about utility and experiment. Experiential knowledge is the common thread that runs through the many stories about Bacon that appeared in Latin and in English, on the stage and in historical annals in the early modern period. Whether a figure of sorcery or as a committed experimenter undone by the Church, legends and accounts of Bacon that appeared in the centuries after his death portray him as one interested in learning by doing, and in using natural knowledge in the service of political utility. Bacon’s treatises appeared in the libraries of men like John Dee and Francis Bacon, who found in Bacon’s work an interest in utility, discovery, and experiment that matched their own. Bacon’s interests in experience and experiment, in the service of utility and epistemic gain, are vital to understanding the intellectual transformation often called the Scientific Revolution and reveal important intellectual continuities between the medieval and the early modern periods.
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 25, Rm. 301
Science and Film
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Janina Wellmann, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Maia Woolner, PhD Candidate, UCLA
Cora Stuhrmann, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Munich
Sigrid Leyssen, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Moderators
Hansun Hsiung, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science / Durham University
Moving on the Wall: Performing Organisms with the Solar Microscope
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Janina Wellmann, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Unlike the classical microscope, the solar microscope produces its image not in the eye of an individual beholder, but on the wall of a curtained room. Surrounded by darkness, the sun’s light illuminates the greatly magnified image of tiny objects or objects invisible to the naked eye. During the Enlightenment, solar microscopes were enormously popular, and fulfilled the ideal of a useful pastime and a gentlemen’s science. For a long time, the history of science largely disregarded eighteenth-century microscopy, and the solar microscope appeared scientifically marginal—at most a kind of toy. In my paper, I address an aspect of solar microscopy that has attracted virtually no attention in the history of biology: the experience of a world in motion. Scholarship on the image-world of solar microscopy has hitherto focused almost entirely on the copper plates accompanying the microscopy books of the eighteenth century. Instead, I will argue that the experience of motion is the specific sensory experience of the microscopic world that only the solar microscope could offer and that lies at the very heart of the instrument’s performance.
Silent Film in the History of Science: Jean Comandon, a Case Study
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Maia Woolner, PhD Candidate, UCLA
Between 1918 and 1924 French doctor and cinematographer Jean Comandon (1877-1970) collaborated with prominent medical practitioners including Édouard Claparède, Jean-Athanase Sicard, and Édouard Long, to produce over fifty films of patients with neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions. Now archived, these films often show graphic images of twitching limbs, motor disorders, and bodies deemed pathological. Most likely they were produced for medical practitioners and students, but how their intended audience was meant to interpret or understand them isn’t immediately obvious. Indeed, all of the films are silent: no sound or text accompanies them. This paper explores the challenges and opportunities provided by silent films as historical sources in the history of science. It aims to contextualize Comandon’s films—many of which were produced by the French production company Pathé—within a wider image economy during the silent motion picture era. Though Comandon’s microcinematographic films of bacteria have been studied in the secondary literature, his neurological and neuropsychiatric films have been largely overlooked. What emerges from an analysis of Comandon’s neuropsychiatric films and their place in the history of medical imaging is his contribution to a larger landscape of measurement and film research on the pathological mind and body in the aftermath of World War I. .
Moving Pictures: Sociobiology and Public Persuasion
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Cora Stuhrmann, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Munich
Understanding the sociobiology debate means understanding how its subject matter was presented to the public. The controversy about sociobiology quickly reached the national stage with publications such as the New York Times and the New York Review of Books providing room for debate and partisan coverage. Sociobiology’s fiercest critics Stephen Gould and Richard Lewontin presented sociobiology as yet another iteration of biological determinism to support reactionary politics, while E.O. Wilson stressed Sociobiology’s scientific achievements and portrayed himself as the victim of academic vigilantism by political ideologues on the left. This effort by proponents and critics alike to convince the public of their interpretation of sociobiology is exemplified in the history of a 1976 film entitled Sociobiology: Doing what comes naturally. Hoping to promote the explanatory power, disciplinary coherence and social relevance of sociobiology, three leading Harvard sociobiologists, including Wilson himself, gave interviews to the Canadian television network CTV in March 1972. However, the final product was not suitable to promote Wilson’s New Synthesis but instead played into the hands of Wilson’s critics. This film became a crucial weapon in their arsenal to convince the public of the true nature of sociobiology as genetic determinism and naïve reductionism. This paper explores the production, reception, and utilization of this film in one of the most public scientific controversies of the 20th century. It argues that sociobiology’s critics were successful in their mission to create public controversy, but that sociobiology’s actual impact is its immense influence on other disciplines.
Scientific Animations: Filmology, Experiment, and the Human Sciences
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Sigrid Leyssen, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Just after the Second World War, a large interdisciplinary group of scientists from all over Europe and some of overseas, joined efforts to found a new science called Filmology. The war had demonstrated the pervasive effects of film as a propaganda tool, on both sides of the conflict. These scientists were convinced that it could no longer suffice to study film as an aesthetic phenomenon: it had to be studied also as a psychological and social phenomenon. Mobilizing all existing human sciences, they tried to develop scientific methods to study the effects of film on man and society. Several of these Filmologists tried to bring the complex problem of cinema to the laboratory. Here, often the use of animation film was promoted, in an attempt to obtain scientific control on the elusive medium of film. Experimental psychologists such as the Belgian Albert Michotte and the British Frederic Bartlett took a leading role. In this paper, I study the history of animation as a shared history of science and media. I explore the use of animation as a scientific experimental tool and examine what its role in these experiments can tell about the changing notion and practice of experiment in the post-war human sciences. The Filmology episode shows how closely media and science have been intertwined: how scientists have investigated media, and how this study of media has challenged their experimental practice. When telling the stories of science, science’s animations, as abstract and short as they are, are worth showing.
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 25, Rm. 204
Sounds of Language, Languages of Sound: Histories of the Humanities and Sciences
Format : Organized Session
Track : Tools for Historians of Science
Speakers
Julia Kursell, University Of Amsterdam
Fanny Gribenski, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
Viktoria Tkaczyk, MPIWG
Xiaochang Li, Stanford University
Moderators
Alexandra Hui, Mississippi State University, Society Editor
The broad domain of acoustics that emerged in research settings throughout the modern era is usually categorized as part of the natural sciences. Yet the study of sound is rarely interested in the formal, "hard" description of sound alone; "soft" practices of observation, experiential knowledge, and description generally play their part as well. Our panel addresses this entanglement by investigating the multifold relationships between sound and language-from the modern disciplinary formation of acoustics and the institutionalization of the social sciences and humanities in the late nineteenth century, to the scattering of sound research across specialized sub-fields and industrial arenas, such as computerized speech processing, in the postwar period. During this process, disciplines including electric engineering, musicology, phonetics, linguistics, sociology, and computing all aspired to pin down sound, and in particular the spoken word. They forged different epistemic and representational strategies to that end. The panel will examine these strategies, as well as tracing the dual use of language as a theme and a tool of knowledge production. We are interested in how, as a research theme, the analysis, regulation, and interpretation of language often breaks through frontiers that have formed between the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences, as well as between academic and non-academic forms of knowledge production. At the same time, we look at the new languages and modes of speaking that were developed as tools to examine, represent, and functionalize sonic phenomena-in auditory cognition, the standardization of music, broadcasting, or speech recognition.Organized by Viktoria Tkacyzk and Julia Kursell
A Note on Tone: Carl Stumpf’s Tone Psychology and the Violin
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Julia Kursell, University Of Amsterdam
This paper tackles philosopher Carl Stumpf’s contributions to founding the discipline of musicology from the vantage point of his musicianship. In an autobiographical essay of 1924, the philosopher and experimental psychologist wrote that he had considered becoming a professional violin player before taking up the study of philosophy. Against this background, the paper examines some of the writing strategies that Stumpf applied in his quest to capture the features of musical sound. It focuses on Stumpf’s on the term "tone" as he used it in the early days of the journal Vierteljahrsschrift für Musikwissenschaft (founded in 1885)—that is, the period between the publication of the two volumes of his magnum opus Tonpsychologie (1883–90).
The Languages of Sound: Pitch Data across Fields, Disciplines, and Nations in Europe and the United States (1877–1900)
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Fanny Gribenski, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
Over the late eighteenth and the nineteenth century, classical music was increasingly perceived as a universal language in Western countries. At the same time, however, intensifying processes of globalization and growing historical knowledge about the musical past revealed the plurality of musical systems in use across nations and time. In response to this complexification of the Western musical field, attempts were made to standardize pitch as a way of helping to regulate and secure such historical and geographical exchanges. Collections of pitch data, based on methods from the natural sciences, were a first step towards gaining control over tuning practices. But the production of this knowledge on pitch was embedded in different material, professional, scientific, and linguistic contexts, a diversity that challenged the universalist aims of pitch data collection and in some ways exacerbated the existing chaos in sonic and musical practices. Analyzing the epistemic struggles of two scholars (the British Alexander J. Ellis and the American Charles R. Cross) who attempted to create a unified language to represent and circulate pitch data in the late nineteenth century, my paper highlights the variety of disciplines—natural sciences, musicography, linguistics—involved in the production of acoustic knowledge at the time and their entanglement with their diverse fields of application, whether musical performance, instrument making, or psychophysics. Examining these intersections in a comparative and transnational perspective allows me to recover the political implications of pitch data and stress the significance of sound for the study of nationalism and internationalism.
Languages of Broadcasting: Early Radio Research in Berlin and Princeton
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Viktoria Tkaczyk, MPIWG
The emerging technology of radio posed epistemic difficulties for a range of disciplines in the twentieth century and prompted interdisciplinary initiatives such as the radio laboratory (Rundfunkversuchsstelle) at the Berlin Academy of Music, led by musicologist Georg Schünemann from 1928 to 1935, and the Radio Research Project at Princeton University and Columbia University, managed by sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld from 1937 to 1944. The defined aim of both ventures was to integrate scholars in the humanities, the sciences, and the social sciences into new forms of applied research. My paper examines these modes of applied research, with particular attention to the multiple ways in which the two projects searched for novel “languages of broadcasting.” This search ranged from the phonetic examination of radio-transmitted speech and the development of testing and training programs for radio announcers, to the design of tailored microphone and transmitter technologies, experiments with newly defined genres such as radio journalism, and the formulation of new audience research methods and techniques of media criticism.
Between Signal and Symbol: Sound, Speech, and the Data of Language
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Xiaochang Li, Stanford University
In 1969, J. R. Pierce, executive director at AT&T Bell Laboratories, called for a suspension of all speech recognition research, condemning the field as an “artful deceit” perpetrated by “untrustworthy engineers.” Automatic speech recognition, he insisted, could not be solved through engineering, and would be possible only once computers incorporated linguistic expertise comparable to a native speaker. Just two years later, IBM launched its Continuous Speech Recognition research group, which developed a data-centric approach that became standard not only in speech recognition and natural language processing, but across “big data” and machine learning applications for everything from financial modeling to bioinformatics. Frederick Jelinek, the IBM group’s director, infamously attributed their success to firing all the linguists. This talk looks at the history of speech recognition research as it was refashioned from a problem of simulating language to one of sorting data. Starting in the 1970s, speech recognition research shifted from efforts to study and simulate the processes of speech production and linguistic understanding to what researchers characterized as a “purely statistical” approach, organized around the technical and commercial demands of digital computing. I examine how the problem of automatic speech recognition, laden with the technical challenges and institutional legacies of acoustic engineering, helped bring language under the purview of data processing—and how, in the process, speech recognition research became critical in shaping the conceptual, economic, and technical terrain that gave rise to data-driven analytics and machine learning as privileged and pervasive forms of computational knowledge. 
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 25, Rm. 102
The Biology of Sex and Development
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Biology
Speakers
Ross Brooks, Oxford Brookes University
Alessandra Passariello, Post-doc Fellow, Jacques Loeb Centre For The History And Philosophy Of The Life Sciences, Ben Gurion University Of The Negev (Beer Sheva, Israel)
Saniya Lee Ghanoui, University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Moderators
Susanne Schmidt, Freie Universität Berlin
Unresolved Conflicts about Sex: Julian Huxley and the Progress of Sexology in Britain, 1916-1930
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Ross Brooks, Oxford Brookes University
This paper recovers a significant body of Julian Huxley’s early writings concerning the biology of sex determination, sex development and sexual behavior. Following the success of his studies relating to avian courtship, Huxley envisaged a more integrated approach to the study of animal behavior which would synthesize the perspectives of both field observations and experimental zoology. In this endeavor he considered sex-related questions the most pressing, although, in practice, he failed to assimilate his own ornithological observations of avian courtship with the new biology of sex determination that was developing at a rapid pace in Germany and North America. Huxley learned the latest theories of sex determination directly from Richard Goldschmidt and Thomas Hunt Morgan, largely siding with Goldschmidt’s controversial (and ill-fated) ‘theory of balance’ which catered for a high degree of sexual variation in morphology and behavior. Especially during his period as Fellow of New College and Senior Demonstrator in the Department of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy at Oxford (1919-1925), the biology of sex constituted one of Huxley’s leading interests and played a major role in establishing him as one of the twentieth-century’s most famous public intellectuals and popularizers of science and eugenics. It was largely because of Huxley that, after decades of resisting Continental sexology, the medico-scientific study of sex became both respectable and popular in Britain, although the subject remained inextricably entangled with Huxley’s eugenic vision of human progress.
From Entomological Research to Culturing Tissues: An Attempt to Retrace Aron Moscona’s Investigative Pathway
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Alessandra Passariello, Post-doc Fellow, Jacques Loeb Centre For The History And Philosophy Of The Life Sciences, Ben Gurion University Of The Negev (Beer Sheva, Israel)
Contemporary models of development are the result of the encounter of different research traditions such as molecular genetics, cell biology and tissue and organ culture. While molecular genetics was a privileged focus of historical analysis, research in tissue and organ architecture did not experience the same pick of attention. The paper aims at exploring this sideline tradition in the history of developmental biology through a reconstruction of the itinerary of the developmental biologist Aron Moscona, pioneer in tissue and organ culture research. Moscona’s models of the role of cell adhesion in tissue and organ development are the result of an eclectic career spanning between diverse areas of zoology: between 1946-1950, Moscona pursued entomological research, dealing with developmental changes in the chemical composition of eggs of Bacillus libanicus. During his PhD, he made use of anatomical and histochemical methods in order to detect changes in the pancreatic cells of snakes and lizards during the reproductive cycle. Then, from the beginning of the 1950s, he analyzed histogenetic and organogenetic processes in the chick embryo through tissue and organ culture techniques. Moscona’s interest for development had an early start although the model organisms and the experimental techniques he made use of gradually changed throughout his career, bringing about or reflecting a visible change in the developmental questions he addressed. The paper records the evolution of Moscona’s scientific thought by providing a composite narrative where experimental practice, disciplinary training and cross-disciplinary influences orchestrate together to make accessible the scientist’s “investigative pathway”.
Storied Sex: U.S. Sex Education Films in Sweden, 1925-1933
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Saniya Lee Ghanoui, University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Activist Elise Ottesen-Jensen founded the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU—Riksförbundet för sexuell upplysning) in 1933; by that time she had been corresponding with American birth control activist Margaret Sanger for several years and had established a strong working relationship with Sanger. In this paper I trace the build-up of Ottesen-Jensen’s sex education work prior to the founding of RFSU. I examine three borders—geographical, ideological, and educational—to show how conversations on sex instruction that occurred in the United States during the early- to mid-1920s begin arising in Sweden at the turn of the decade and helped secure moral support for RFSU’s existence. First films traversed geographical borders, from the United States to Sweden, including the well-received film Motherhood: Life’s Greatest Miracle (1927, Moderskap). Second, films crossed ideological borders. While previously exported American sex instruction films contained messages on birth control and abortions, these newer films examined the consequences of drinking and drugs and filmmakers targeted them to younger audiences. Third, sex instruction films began to enter Swedish school systems, moving from public theaters, thus intersection the educational border. In 1928, elementary school teacher Sven Karlung deemed sex education “the most delicate subject” but argued it needed to be taught in schools through the use of film; the schoolteacher praised film as a medium for education. I contend that the years leading up to RFSU’s founding were formative for the transnational relationship of sex education and its films between the United States and Sweden.
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 25, Rm. 105
The Impact of Long Terms: Resource Planning and Social Engineering (ca.1850-1950)
Format : Organized Session
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Sebastian Felten, University Of Vienna
Anna-Maria Meister, TU Munich
Monika Wulz, ETH Zurich
Sophie Ledebur, Humboldt-University Berlin, Dep. History Of Science
Moderators
Anna Echterhölter, Professor Of History Of Science, University Of Vienna
This panel addresses the impact of long terms when engineers, architects, government officials, and entrepreneurs planned revenue and resources during an era of industrial expansion, war, and social engineering. While the paper tools of their trade showed single units, complete time series, smooth lines and calendrical grids for action, they dealt with fractured time. The life-spans of employees and investors were ill-aligned with those of companies, and the deep time of resource deposits was out of sync with increasingly global market cycles and technological progress. In these uneasy arrays of conflicting temporalities, scales and units functioned as 'hinge' technologies and were therefore the focus of polemics and struggles for power. This means for historians that scales and units that populate the working tools of professionals can offer entry points into past battles between standardised time and countertempos, hegemonic scales and their alternatives. This panel presents cases where ideas and technologies of duration, sustainability, efficiency, continuity, compression and expansion caused debate in social sciences, philosophy, and engineering. We focus on mental and material protheses that allowed professionals to shrink long time-spans to push their particular agenda in politically fraught situations, and show how temporally remote events were made to have an impact on the present, though not always as planned.Organized by Sebastian Felten and Anna Echterhölter
All the Gold in the World: Colonial Extraction, Geology, and Mining Statistics, c.1830-1890
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Sebastian Felten, University Of Vienna
Large-scale exploitation of new gold ore reservoirs in Russia, California, and Australia from the 1830s onwards shifted the relative prices of silver and gold, disturbed monetary systems around world, and fanned interest both in retrospective statistics and prospective geology. This paper uses German philologist Adolph Soetbeer's publication Precious Metal Production and the Value Relation of Gold and Silver from the Discovery of America to the Present (1879) as an entry point into the entangled history of monetary policy, colonial extraction, disciplined geology, and "world" statistics of metal production. Like the early modern government officials and entrepreneurs that he used as his source for data, Soetbeer manipulated scales for visual impact (in illustrations) and for rhetorical persuasion (in discourse). Contrasts between long processes (metallogenesis, colonialism, state-building) and explosive events (discoveries, inventions, wars) structured the past and the future and harnessed long-term processes to force policy decisions in the present.
Reconstructing the Nation: The German Institute for Norms
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Anna-Maria Meister, TU Munich
The German Institute for Norms (later called DIN), founded in 1917, ostensibly aimed to first fuel wartime production and later restart the German economy after the lost war. By prescribing dimensions and shapes for mass produced objects, engineers and architects constructed an entire norm system scaffolding their main ambition: to save time and resources as response to the post-WWI scarcity and mounting economic crisis. This paper will investigate the different temporalities and ideologies embedded in the production of these norm sheets. One was the engineer's projective vision not just of future normed objects, but of an entire nation constructed from (and through) fitting parts. Another the interplay between the idea of the norm system as permanent precisely through timely change of its parts due to anticipated technological advancements. And lastly, the norms were a compression of historical and professional layers, filtered through multiple institutional layers of committees and experts, to eradicate subjective authorship in favour of "neutral" technological advancement. The search for the best measure systems, units and representational techniques, an analysis of the attempt to standardize transparency and frictionless production will be foregrounded by the struggle for territorial control and national expansion through bureaucratic means.
Redistributing the Resources for Intellectual Work: Ernest Solvay's Energetic Sociology and the Call for Inheritance Taxation
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Monika Wulz, ETH Zurich
Since the establishment of the laws of thermodynamics, the allocation and efficient use of energy resources has not only been a major topic for the physical labor of man and machine. Around 1900, the efficient use of energetic resources presented an equally important issue for establishing techniques and policies fostering mental and intellectual labor and thus for advancing science and innovation in society. One of the proponents promoting research on the energetic conditions of mental labor was the inventor and entrepreneur Ernest Solvay. Besides his well-known institute of physiology, Solvay also founded the Institut des Sciences Sociales in Brussels in 1894 which was succeeded by the Institut de Sociologie in 1902. Based on empirical research both institutes were meant to develop measures and legislative policies against social inequality. One crucial field of research was the role of progressive inheritance taxation in redistributing the resources of wealth and in this way changing the future opportunities of intellectual work. The paper will relate the small-scale perspective of the physiological research on the energetic conditions of individual mental labor at Solvay's institutes both to his activities in promoting the social sciences as a big-scale perspective on "social energeticism" and to his political advocacy of redistributing the resources for intellectual work on the long term by means of progressive inheritance taxation.
Knowledge of the Unknown: On the “Dark Figure of Crime” in 19th-Century Germany
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Sophie Ledebur, Humboldt-University Berlin, Dep. History Of Science
"Dark figure” means estimating and calculating the number of unreported or undiscovered crimes and is therefore a statistic of hidden yet ostensibly real occurrences. The terms names something that mostly evades general knowledge and counting, and often instills angst. “Dark figures” are figures of suspicion and produce a suggestive surplus, especially in relation to crime statistics. Planning to evade crime in the first place had an immediate impact, and this kind of social engineering focussing on long-term perspectives became a crucial technology during the 19th century. The central question is how the “knowledge of the unknown” became a research area of its own, opening up new fields of intervention. To enhance their ability to survey and protect the social body, complex informational networks were established in order to gain knowledge not readily accessible to medical institutions or to the state. The paper investigates counting cards nthat were used in Germany from the early 1870s onwards to gain deeper information about unknown and threatening fields like covert prostitution, potentially dangerous mental illnesses, and crime reality. The epistemological impact of these paper tools will be related to long-term prevention as the cultural technology of the modern age.
18:30 - 19:30
Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine
Angela Creager and Lynn Nyhart invite you to enjoy refreshments and to learn more about the programs and resources offered by the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine.Location:Simple BarDomstraat 4, 3512 JB Utrecht(~3 min walk from Drift)
20:00 - 23:00
De Rechtbank, Korte Nieuwstraat 14
GECC Mixer
Come meet and mingle with your fellow graduate students and early careerists at our annual GECC Mixer.This year's mixer is hosted at De Rechtbank, which used to be Utrecht's court and still breathes its history. Close to the Dom tower, this café and restaurant is an iconic location in the city centre. We will reside in the Vrouwe Justitiazaal, the Lady Justice room, where snacks and beverages will be provided by the Graduate and Early Career Caucus (GECC). A prosecco welcome drink will greet you upon arrival!*We hope to get the chance to meet many of you during our informal drinks, or, in other words, see you in court!If you have any allergies we should know of (nuts, gluten, lactose, etc.) please let us know in advance at hss.gecc@gmail.com.Restaurant: De RechtbankAddress: Korte Nieuwstraat 14Room: Vrouwe Justitiazaal (the Lady Justice room) * Welcome drink available while supplies last, so come on time!Graduate and Early Career CaucusHSSGECCHSSGECC
Thursday, 25 Jul 2019
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 25, Rm. 004
Meditation Room
Format : Essentials
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 21, Rm. 004, Antichambre
Registration
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 21, Hall & Rm. 006
Book Exhibit & HSS Cafe
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 21, Rm. 003
Meeting Point
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 25, Rm. 104
Quiet Space
A quiet room is available for conference attendees. Quiet rooms are designed to provide a quiet, calm, alcohol-free space away from the noise, lights, and business of the general conference environment. Our goal is too keep the room at a very low level of stimulus, so remember to keep meetings and conversations elsewhere.
08:00 - 17:30
Janskerkhof 13, 113
Nursing Mother's Room
Privacy and other accommodations available for nursing mothers. Visit the registration desk for the key.
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 21, Rm. 109
GECC Welcome Room
Did you attend any GECC events? Did you like them? Or did we bore you to tears? What have we done well and what could we do better? Come to our business meeting and tell us!Are you interested in becoming a part of the GECC team? Come to our business meeting and find out more about GECC and what we do.If you can't make it but would like to provide feedback or learn more about GECC and our activities, e-mail hss.gecc@gmail.com.Graduate and Early Career CaucusHSSGECCHSSGECC
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 101
Atmospheric Matters
Format : Organized Session
Track : Earth and Environmental Sciences
Speakers
Linda Richter, Goethe University, Frankfurt
Simon Naylor, University Of Glasgow
Martin Mahony, University Of East Anglia
Sarah Carson, Princeton University
Samuel Randalls, University College London
Moderators
Vladimir Jankovic, Centre For The History Of Sience, Technology And Medicine, University Of Manchester
Histories of the atmospheric sciences have explored the cultural imaginations, scientific networks, political institutions, and material objects through which knowledges of meteorology and climatology have been produced, circulated and consumed (e.g. Anderson, 2005; 2018; Baker, 2017; Coen, 2018; Edwards, 2010; Fleming, 2016). These have increasingly acknowledged the complex role of instruments and operators, the materialities in the production of data, and the (unstable) networks that had to be continually re-made for scientific and political goals. More specifically, these include the design, organisation and collation of log books, the affordances of laboratory equipment and travelling instruments, the capacities of computers, the sheer weight of paper in data archives, and the socio-material infrastructure of observation networks or analytical work. In this panel, we take the discussions of materiality further, drawing on scholarship that has placed the material at the centre of historiography, not as a determining force, but as a push to understand materialities within socio-material 'assemblages', 'networks', or as coproduced between human and non-human actors (e.g. Barry, 2013; Daston, 2000; Turkle, 2007). These socio-materialities rarely worked in a singular direction - the material did not merely constrain or generate what was possible. Indeed, scientists frequently extended, altered or challenged the 'limits' and internal functions of these technologies and materials. Likewise, technologies were frequently used for multiple concurrent purposes, and different components created different possibilities and constraints. Papers in this panel consider in what ways and with what effects socio-materialities shaped, opened up, and/or constrained scientific work in the atmospheric sciences.Organized by Samuel Randalls and Martin Mahony
Shattered Tubes and Spilled Mercury: Meteorological Instruments and Their Challenges, ca. 1790-1850
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Linda Richter, Goethe University, Frankfurt
Historians of the atmospheric sciences are often quick to specify the threshold of meteorology’s modernity as the invention of meteorological instruments (most famously the barometer and thermometer) in the early 17th century. Such a narrative conceals, however, the failure of instrumental weather observations through the following two centuries at least to produce quantifiable natural laws of the weather. And although a more diversified history, of the barometer as “weather glass” and salon furniture has emerged (e.g. Golinski, 2007), the manifold problems which instruments created for the numerous “lay” weather observers remains in the dark. Based on the presentation of archival material from German archival sources of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, this talk aims to survey more generally things that could go wrong when acquiring, transporting, using, repairing, and reading an instrument. Recording precise and reliable data was a challenge in meteorology at the time because it was, for the most part, not a laboratory science. Rather, the whole point of the observations was to expose the instruments to the elements in stationary (often household) settings or during travel, leaving these fragile objects particularly vulnerable. In addition, I will present the strategies developed over the course of the 19th century to meet such problems. Standardized meteorological data thus emerges as something which had to be actively created, despite continuous “states of disrepair” (Schaffer, 2011), through a cumbersome and labour-intensive dialogue between humans and instruments.
Instruments, Observations and Observatory Science on Ben Nevis
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Simon Naylor, University Of Glasgow
In 1877 the Scottish Meteorological Society proposed the establishment of a meteorological station on Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, but attempts at raising funds came to nothing. Having read of the efforts to establish an observatory, the English meteorologist, Clement Wragge, offered to take observations on the mountain. He took his first readings on 31 May 1881 and continued to do so until the autumn, resuming his observations through the summer of 1882. Wragge made a daily trek from his home base at Fort William up to the summit, starting at 5am and finishing at 3pm. Enroute he took observations at a number of stations using instruments either placed along the route or carried. Wragge kept a ‘Rough Observation Book’ in which he recorded each of his journeys. His labours were crucial in supporting the successful movement to establish a permanent observatory on Ben Nevis in 1883; Sir William Thomson noting in a public meeting in Glasgow that ‘the observations conducted by Mr Wragge with great skill, endurance, and enthusiasm … seemed to him … a stronger testimony than any other consideration that could be offered as to the importance of such a work.’ This paper considers the socio-materialities of Wragge’s field-campaign, particularly his field notebooks and travelling instruments, and roles they played in both supporting his argument for a permanent Scottish mountain observatory and constructing his heroic and self-denying scientific personae. The paper also interrogates wider attitudes to field meteorology in an era of observatory science.
Assembling Cyclones: The Matter of the Weather in Colonial Mauritius
10:00 - 10:30
Presented by :
Martin Mahony, University Of East Anglia
Positioned on key maritime trading routes, ravaged frequently by cyclones, and visited periodically by devastating droughts, weather and climate were key concerns of colonial Mauritius. Focusing on the period 1850 to 1920, this paper examines how tropical cyclones were reckoned with by colonial administrators and scientists. It contends that making sense of and predicting the behaviour of such storms was always more than an epistemic problem. It was also a challenge of piecing together a socio-material assemblage of observation, constituted by passing ships, with their log books and weather-watchers, by reliable instruments and trustworthy, healthy and static observers onshore, and by means of circulating the assembled knowledge such that its lesson could be absorbed by both local mariners and distant savants. Drawing on recent work revisiting the place of materiality in histories of scientific knowledge-making, this paper foregrounds the material politics of meteorology in what might otherwise be a rather triumphalist narrative of scientific progress. It examines first the role of data visualisation and printing practices in both aiding and retarding the development of cyclonic theory. Secondly, the paper shows how, as new theories of cyclone behaviour offered the possibility of anticipation, the tropical climate itself began to intervene in the apparatus of prediction, felling and jamming telegraph lines, and rendering sites of weather observation uninhabitable. The paper argues for the inseparability of the material and the epistemic in Mauritian meteorology, and questions what that means for our handling of the ‘local’ in history of science.
Negotiating Tropical Difference: Meteorological Infrastructures in India, 1900-1952
10:30 - 11:00
Presented by :
Sarah Carson, Princeton University
Drawing from literatures that reframe meteorology through the lenses of infrastructure and socio-material “assemblages,” this paper considers how the material dimensions of weather science in India were distinctive. Through the production of quantitative data, leaders of the India Meteorological Department (f. 1875) sought to render the atmosphere above South Asia not only bureaucratically manageable, but also comparable to Europe’s, a project entailing the extension of communication and mapping technologies and the recruitment of “native” observers as (often reluctant) human instruments. However, architects of this data-generating apparatus repeatedly expressed concern that the tropical environment and its inhabitants made faithful transplantation of European systems impractical, even if the imperial exchequer devoted adequate resources (it didn't). The core of the paper examines how meteorologists navigated perceived material challenges. First, it considers instructional observer handbooks alongside the coercive figure of the traveling “inspector,” whose peculiar responsibility it was to discipline troublesome observers and calibrate their finicky, fragile instruments. Next, it discusses the gradual replacement of expensive, often climatically-unsuitable European instruments with domestic alternatives or new inventions altogether, suggesting that the trend toward substitution accelerated because of the requirements of upper-air balloon researchers in Agra. Finally, it investigates the short-lived project to gather and statistically assess vernacular weather proverbs, an enterprise grounded in a 1950s nationalist critique of “foreign” methods for studying India’s weather. These cases help us to understand how the instabilities of modern weather-data networks reciprocally influenced broader theories of tropical difference advanced by imperialists and nationalists alike, if for quite different reasons.
Ellsworth Huntington, Punch Cards, and Climate and Mortality Research in the Early 1920s
11:00 - 11:30
Presented by :
Samuel Randalls, University College London
The early 20th-century American geographer Ellsworth Huntington is well-known for his work on climatic determinism, eugenics and in writing popular geographical textbooks (Fleming, 1998). Huntington’s work sought causal explanation for the patterns of civilization and mortality across the globe, in particular focusing on climatic, cultural and hereditary factors. His compilations of vast swathes of data were often crude and led to generalised claims that were subsequently widely critiqued. In research on climate and mortality in New York City, however, Huntington worked with prominent experts in American life assurance and with their latest technologies (namely punch cards, sorting machines and tabulators), to analyse late 19th century data and propose causation between particular climatic conditions and death rates. Indeed, this work was pioneering in its use of such equipment at that time and in the working relationship developed between insurers and climatologists. These technologies, however, also shaped this work in at least three ways: through the limiting cost of the equipment and labour, the style and structure of the standard Hollerith punch card, and the typical practices of clerks in the life assurance companies. Drawing on archival fieldwork at Yale University with the extensive early 1920s correspondence between Huntington and notables like Arthur Hunter (actuary, New York Life) and Louis Dublin (statistician, Metropolitan Life), the paper contributes to discussions of materiality in the history of the atmospheric sciences. Through narrating this example, the paper re-asserts the importance of understanding how climatological research is produced through the socio-materialities of technological and institutional systems.
09:00 - 11:45
Boothstraat 7, Zalen van Zeven - Church hall
Bodies of Artisans/Artisans of the Body: Objects, Texts, and Techniques, 1650-1800
Format : Organized Session
Track : Medicine and Health
Speakers
Emma C. Spary, University Of Cambridge
Maria Pia Donato, C.N.R.S. / Institut D'Histoire Moderne Et Contemporaine, Paris, France
Paola Bertucci, Paola Bertucci, Yale University
Marieke Hendriksen, Utrecht University / University Of Amsterdam
Anita Guerrini, Oregon State University
Moderators
Lucia Dacome, University Of Toronto, Institute For The History And Philosophy Of Science And Technology
In the past decades, historians of medicine and historians of the body have produced a considerable amount of research on the circulation and transformation of medical knowledge and practices across different social groups, while historians of science and technology have shed light on the role of artisans in the making of science, both intellectually and practically. Numerous scholars have also pointed at the importance of embodied processes of knowledge making. Still, relatively little attention has hitherto been devoted to a finely grained study of the historical realities of ordinary bodies in the early modern world – the way in which bodies were conceived, fashioned, shaped by work, studied, cured, soothed, embellished, conditioned after death, represented and depicted in their actual, peculiar social determination. Whose bodies and for what purposes? Numerous aspects of these processes, and the practitioners taking part in them, remain largely unexplored or poorly contextualised. By focusing on objects, texts and techniques, this panel delves into the material history of the construction of the body as an object of knowledge and action. Probing the heuristic virtues of an approach centred on individual bodies, papers seek to shed light on the ways in which material circumstances and intellectual technologies shaped the production of knowledge, while exploring how specific, historical bodies informed, or interfered with, this process.Organized by Maria Pia Donato and Paola Bertucci
Priest-Pharmacists and the Domestic Medical Archive in the Heart of Paris, 1660-1730: Material Technologies and the Medical Community
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Emma C. Spary, University Of Cambridge
In this paper I will present a collection of secrets gathered between around 1660 and 1730 in the Oratorian house on the rue Saint-Honoré, the heart of Paris’s growing culture of consumption. While the identities of receipt authors and compilers cannot often be ascertained, studying the collection as a material technology allows a focus on the intersection between curing and being cured, shopping and healing, and the relationships between medical self-help and communal medical practice. In the priestly world, such practice spanned across the charitable, domestic and commercial domains; I will argue that collective autoexperimentation allowed the performance of other categories of medical practitioner to be scrutinised and critically evaluated. The ‘paper tools’ of the Oratorians show how the practice of cure—the arts of the body—depended on the ability of healers to shift knowledge between the individual body, epistolary/natural philosophical networks, books and the material object of the ’secret’.
Surgeons and the Medicalization of Urban Italy: Print and Manuscript Evidence
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Maria Pia Donato, C.N.R.S. / Institut D'Histoire Moderne Et Contemporaine, Paris, France
Surgeons were key agents in the medicalization of early modern Italy, where a sophisticated medical economy combined medicinal consumerism with a widespread culture of hygiene. From the modest bloodletter up to the university-trained surgeon, they provided all kinds of health and beauty treatment for the urban society, including its lower strata. Excellent studies have delved into the Italian tradition of Renaissance learned surgery. In contrast, with few exceptions (notably S. Cavallo), the culture, work and intellectual output of the common practitioners remain largely unexplored. Although they are unanimously viewed as go-betweens, relatively little attention has been devoted to the role played by surgeons in sustaining medicalization across different social groups, as well as in promoting change in the physiological and pathological ideas that underpinned it. This paper aims at bridging this historiographical gap. By analysing printed surgical books in the period 1650-1800 both as texts and objects, it tackles the circulation of surgical knowledge in multiple audiences and the social diversification of health care, while shedding light on surgeons’ strategies of self-fashioning according to their background and professional profile. Manuscripts, however, reveal other aspects and trajectories of this process. Indeed, in this same period, manuscript surgical texts – transcripts of lectures, compendia, surgery casebooks- continued to be produced and circulated. I will argue that they offer new insight into the evolution of surgical culture, as well as into the ways it was transmitted and appropriated by different milieus.
Patho-Physiognomy: The Body of the Artisan as a Site of Disease and Social Identity
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Paola Bertucci, Paola Bertucci, Yale University
In 1700 the Italian physician Bernardino Ramazzini published the first treatise on the Diseases of Artisans. Originally published in Latin, the text was soon translated into several languages and annotated, updated and republished several times in the course of three centuries. Ramazzini, referred in his time as the third Hippocrates, rose to fame again in the twentieth century as the “father of occupational medicine,” with medical institutions and journals named after him. This paper will shift the focus away from Ramazzini to discuss instead the success of the Diseases of Artisans in the context of the early modern interest in artisans’ bodies as repositories of practical knowledge and material intelligence. I will argue that Diseases of Artisans was not just a medical text but also a sort of costume book that merged pathology and physiognomy. While contemporary works on artisans represented the arts through tools, materials and artefacts, Diseases of Artisans characterized each craft by the kind of body that its practitioners acquired because of their exposure to specific substances or repetitive actions.
Flayed: The Écorché Body in Eighteenth-Century Art and Anatomy
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Marieke Hendriksen, Utrecht University / University Of Amsterdam
Images of flayed human bodies, so-called écorché figures, occur with some frequency in artistic and anatomical handbooks from the sixteenth century onwards. Three-dimensional écorché models (‘anatomies’) sculpted in wood or wax are also occasionally listed in artist’s and collector’s inventories from this period. However, écorchés cast in metal or plaster did not become a staple in the artist’s workshop and the anatomy classroom until the eighteenth century. How did eighteenth-century artisans of the body, both visual artists and anatomists, collaborate in the creation of these écorché models? Why did one model in particular, jointly created by a Scottish anatomist and a Danish artist, become so popular and was reproduced so often that it became the écorché model? This paper seeks to answer these questions and explores how the living and dead bodies involved in creating these objects – those of artists, anatomists, and their involuntary human models – interacted in complex ways and were valued very differently in the production process. The author argues that the introduction of serially produced, small écorché models in metal and plaster rather than wood or wax in the eighteenth century reflects a significant shift in the way three-dimensional models of the human body were created and used in both the production and the transmission of anatomical knowledge.
Artisans of the (Prehistoric) Body: Anatomy, Craft, and the American Incognitum
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Anita Guerrini, Oregon State University
Between the 1730s and the 1760s, a number of large bones were found in the Ohio River valley. They were widely believed to be the remains of ancient elephants that had been washed to North America by the Deluge; Buffon and Daubenton also concluded that these were elephant bones. In the 1760s, some of these bones came to London, and to the attention of the anatomist William Hunter (1718-1783). Hunter drew on a wide circle of acquaintances, including collectors, naturalists, fellow anatomists, and craftsmen in ivory, and determined that the bones were not from elephants but from another larger elephant-like animal that was now extinct. His conclusions, published in the Philosophical Transactions in 1768, were among the first to acknowledge the fact of extinction.
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 001
Community Tools: Care, Curation and Scientific Collectives
Format : Organized Session
Track : Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Speakers
Xan Chacko, The University Of Queensland
Dmitriy Myelnikov, Centre For The History Of Sience, Technology And Medicine, University Of Manchester
Rob Kirk, Centre For The History Of Science Technology And Medicine (CHSTM), University Of Manchester
Tatjana Buklijas, University Of Auckland
Jenny Bangham, University Of Cambridge
Filippo Bertoni, Museum Fur Naturkunde
Moderators
Filippo Bertoni, Museum Fur Naturkunde
Many scientists rely on distributed technologies and organizations that reach between laboratories and provide resources for groups of researchers with shared interests. These might be databases and repositories, newsletters and journals, or even libraries and seminars. They are often tightly cleaved to the communities they serve and produce, and may be thought of as 'community tools'. Community tools also often require dedicated funding and depend on continual negotiation and curation, and in these ways have the potential to constitute and reconstitute communities of researchers. Professional experts, such as curators, animal technicians, librarians, stock keepers, manage and maintain these tools, but their stories have often been neglected in histories of the experimental sciences. This panel brings together four histories of such community tools, paying particular attention to the people who care for, curate and maintain them. We explore how such tools are established-who sets them up, what they gain and what they give up. We examine the labor, creativity and expertise of the people who maintain them, and how these have shaped researchers' lives and practices. We reflect on the ways that community tools have created and stabilized scientific norms and habits. By bringing these stories together we pay attention to maintenance and care-who does it, how they do it, and why-and discuss what these can tell us about the creation and reconstitution of scientific communities.Organized by Jenny Bangham (University of Cambridge) 
Killing with Kindness: Adapting to Crisis in Seed Banking Protocols
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Seed banking has emerged as a solution to the crisis of diminishing plant variety due to human and mono-culture agricultural encroachment. This paper is a small piece of a larger project that studies the conditions that led to the emergence of seed banking, the diverse practices of seed curation, and the challenges to cryogenic life. Here I consider a simple but real question: What happens when the system that has been idealized as the infallible fail-safe, is discovered to be compromised? How do scientists learn from disaster, adapt their techniques, and innovate around new needs in caring for precious dormant life? This paper follows the story of one such moment of crisis at a small but prominent seed banking facility, the C. M. Rick Tomato Genetics Resource Center (TGRC) at the University of California, Davis. Based on collections made from the mid twentieth century onwards, and from the sites of the origin of Tomato family in Andean Peru and Ecuador, the TGRC contains the biggest collection of tomato variety globally and provides samples of their collection to any bona fide researcher. However, in the fall of 2015, researchers at Cornell University discovered a viroid pathogen on tomato plants that had grown from seed sent from the TGRC. Following the ongoing struggle to understand the spread of the pathogen, treat infected seed, and repair their reputation, this paper explores the intricate relations of care for specimens and responsibility to community that are held in tension in scientific spaces that are experiencing crises.
Regulating for a Culture of Care: British Animal Research Legislation in the 1980s
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Dmitriy Myelnikov, Centre For The History Of Sience, Technology And Medicine, University Of Manchester
Rob Kirk, Centre For The History Of Science Technology And Medicine (CHSTM), University Of Manchester
‘Laboratory animals’ and the infrastructure that sustained them were an integral part of the development of the twentieth-century biological and biomedical sciences. Until 1986, in Britain, the scientific use of animals was governed by the 1876 Cruelty to Animals Act. For 110 years—during a period of rapid techno-scientific change and exponential expansion of the biomedical sciences—a core part of twentieth-century scientific activity was shaped by Victorian legislation. This paper charts the reform of animal research governance in late twentieth-century Britain, exploring the social and scientific factors that shaped new legislation culminating in the 1986 Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act (ASPA). Intended to balance the interests of scientific organisations, professional bodies, and animal welfare advocates, ASPA was driven by a combination of scientific recognition of the importance of standards of animal care and a societal re-invigoration of animal advocacy politics. By drawing on oral history interviews with animal technologists and veterinarians, as well as the recently opened Home Office records, we chart how ASPA contributed to the ‘professionalization’ of care, examining how emergent knowledges and practices of animal care informed the new legislation and were subsequently transformed by it. In doing so, we explain why veterinarians and ‘animal technologists’, absent in the original 1876 legislation, were ascribed prominent roles within ASPA as adjudicators of the needs of science and those of animal welfare. In conclusion, our paper reveals the conditions which allowed care to operate within the experimental sciences to productively align scientific and societal values.
Communities of Molecular Storytelling: Libraries, Journal Clubs, and Seminars in the Making of Modern Epigenetics
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Tatjana Buklijas, University Of Auckland
“I can date very precisely the moment when I conceived the idea of maintenance methylation and its use to remember patterns of DNA modification and control gene expression” wrote John Pugh, a ‘father’ of modern epigenetics, in a letter: ”This was on 14 March 1973 at 5.20 pm in the seminar room at NIMR.” Histories of science have long dispensed with the notion of a solitary genius, showing the importance of work in a couples and laboratory teams. Expensive pieces of equipment in ‘big science’ fostered novel forms of labour organization and new communities. But what of those tools somewhere in-between – and in particular those less tangible and ephemeral? Using the case of early history of epigenetics (between 1970-1975) and drawing on the interviews with its founders, Arthur Riggs in California and John Pugh in London, I bring to light the invisible web of tools that sustained research communities: journal clubs and seminars. Often without a fixed location, they consisted of not much more than chairs, a slide projector and a pot of tea with biscuits; required no skills beyond reading, listening, conversing, storytelling. I examine the work and care invested into building and maintaining these tools, rules that guided them, and the ways in which they interacted with other places of research, in particular laboratory. By giving these ‘communities of storytelling’ their place in history, this talk will stress the need to approach scientific innovation through the lens of sharing rather than competition and priority disputes.
Curation and Care: Maintaining Community Collections in Drosophila Genetics
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Jenny Bangham, University Of Cambridge
Geneticists rely on working collections of data and of living organisms. Databases capture, order and communicate standardized genetic information, while stock centres make available vast arrays of standardized yeasts, bacteria, viruses, plasmids, cell cultures, animals and plants. Collections of both data and living organisms require dedicated professionals and practices of on-going care, curation, and funding, all of which keep such collections valuable and accessible to their biologist users. This paper deals with the collections of data and animals used by fruit fly geneticists. Since the 1920s, Drosophila researchers have depended on institutions devoted to collecting and distributing living mutant and transgenic fruit flies. From the 1930s, a newsletter (Drosophila Information Service) distributed lists of mutant stocks held in labs around the world, and from the 1940s, researchers used on book-length ‘mutant catalogues’, which systematically listed all known information about Drosophila mutants. During the 1990s, these living and text-based resources were linked through ‘FlyBase’, an online database that made available cross-referenced tables of gene mutants, bibliographies, lab addresses, and resources for obtaining mutant flies. This paper explores the practices that Drosophila database curators, editors, stock keepers and collections managers deployed to keep such living and text-based ‘community tools’ valuable and accessible. It reflects on how those professionals interpreted and negotiated the needs of diverse research ‘communities’, and argues that the practices of care and maintenance that they developed in turn shaped scientific relationships and methods.
Commentary: Community Tools: Care, Curation, and Scientific Collectives
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Filippo Bertoni, Museum Fur Naturkunde
09:00 - 11:45
Janskerkhof 2-3, Rm. 013
Descartes, The Traité de l'homme, and the Cartesianizing of Dutch Medicine
Format : Organized Session
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Annie Bitbol-Hespériès, Équipe Descartes, Centre D'études Cartésiennes, Paris, France
Harold Cook, Brown University
Gideon Manning, Independent Scholar, Visiting Scholar At Claremont Graduate University
Andrea Strazzoni, Independent Scholar, Guest Researcher At The Gotha Research Centre Of The University Of Erfurt
Theo Verbeek
Moderators
Phillip R. Sloan, Professor Emeritus, University Of Notre Dame Program In History And Philosophy Of Science
Although the importance of Descartes' work for the development of physical science in the pre-Newtonian period has been extensively explored in the literature, the impact of his work on the medical and biomedical sciences has not been examined in the same detail. This has been in spite of the explicit and repeated statements by Descartes that the establishment of a new medicine, built systematically upon his physics, formed a fundamental aim of his whole philosophical project. Acceptance of this medical dimension of Descartes' program requires the re-examination of several issues in our understanding of the genesis, reception, and historical influence of Cartesianism. For beginning with Descartes himself, but extending through the work of Cartesian physicians such as Henricus Regius, Louis de la Forge, and Theodoor Craanen, Cartesianism became a dynamic program for a revolutionary form of biomedical inquiry, one that promised a new research program in the life sciences that would attract enthusiastic followers and ardent critics throughout Europe. This session draws together an international group of scholars who have been directly concerned with these dimensions of Cartesianism. These contributions will explore the background, elaboration, traditional and innovative elements of medical Cartesianism, as well as its evolving public expression, with particular focus on the issues surrounding the production and influence of the posthumous Traité de l'homme and Descartes' other medical works. This session also highlights the interactions of the history of science, medicine and philosophy, and the importance of lesser-known figures in the construction of early modern science and philosophy.Organized by Phillip R. Sloan 
Medicine, Method, and Metaphysics: Tradition and Innovation in Descartes' Medical Works from the Writing of L’Homme to Its Posthumous Publications
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Annie Bitbol-Hespériès, Équipe Descartes, Centre D'études Cartésiennes, Paris, France
In this paper, I will address three related topics: (1) I will discuss Descartes' medical sources and aims when he was writing the long eighteenth chapter of Le Monde (The World), devoted to the study of L'Homme (Man) in the early 1630s.
(2) I will demonstrate the significant novelty introduced in the fifth part of the Discourse on Method (1637), where the link between method and medicine was rethought, as well as the relationship between medicine and metaphysics, especially in comparison to Harvey's treatise On the movement of the heart and blood (De motu cordis and sanguinis in animalibus). I will also discuss Descartes' influence in medicine especially through Henricus Regius' medical teaching in Utrecht. (3) I will highlight the primacy given to medicine in the Passions of the Soul (1649), the last book published by Descartes, after the Meditations, Objections and Replies and the Principles. I will show its links with La Description du corps humain (The Description of the Human Body). Finally, I will explore the relevance of the publication of the Treatise on Man together with La Description du corps humain in 1664 in Paris by Clerselier with Remarks by Louis de La Forge, a physician, after the Latin version of the De Homine published in 1662 in Leiden by Schuyl.
Why the Traité de l'homme Was Not Published by Descartes
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Harold Cook, Brown University
Descartes several times wrote that the aim of his philosophy was to provide an understanding of medicine so as to improve human life. Why, then, did he hold back his full views about the subject? Could they have been dangerous? Descartes composed a manuscript on human physiology but held it back. Only a few of his closest Dutch friends saw a copy of physiological manuscript of the early 1640s, and they kept it safe from public scrutiny, as he asked. Descartes continued working on the problems in it, making the text a mess that he could hardly read himself, as he told Mersenne in 1648. But a version, based on the manuscript circulated to his friends as edited by Florentius Schuyl, was later published in Latin (1662) as De homine; two years later an edition in French appeared, the Traité de l'Homme, overseen by Claude Clerselier. The text famously ends abruptly, with no discussion of the human soul. If we read Descartes's own views not as complete in the early 1630s but as evolving from the conversations of his youth - in the years before Galileo's condemnation - the later disputes in Utrecht, and his last work, Les Passions (1649), we can see how the agenda was set by materialist Epicureanism. Giving a full account of humanity without the need to explain the immortal soul would indeed have been dangerous; later commentaries in the published editions tried to remove the threat, but cannot be taken as Descartes's own opinion.
False Images Do Not Lie: Using Anatomy in Rene Descartes' Treatise on Man
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Gideon Manning, Independent Scholar, Visiting Scholar At Claremont Graduate University
Illustrations and paper technologies contributed to and enhanced early modern science and especially the study of anatomy during the sixteenth century, not least by providing more accurate representations of the human body and allowing for the dissemination of consistent images. This paper documents a moment in the use of anatomical illustration involving disputes over Rene Descartes' posthumously published Treatise on Man (1662/1664), a work with its own convoluted history and reception, involving multiple copies of the original manuscript and three sets of illustrations made by three different physicians: one set for the Latin edition and two others for the French edition. Focusing on these illustrations, this paper will argue that they primarily model how the visible movements of the body might be caused, with little attention to accurately describing the parts of the body as seen in dissection. In the medical terminology of the period, they narrowly focus on actio--action or function--and were conceived as an answer to the question of how the hidden parts of the body operate. In this way, they provide an alternative to traditional anatomical illustrations focused on historia and how the body is actually structured. Thus the Treatise is an especially interesting work for its history, for the disputes and rationale that led to its famous images, their reproduction both in later published works and in students' notebooks throughout Europe, and for the demarcated yet productive role given to anatomical illustrations apart from an accurate description of the human body.
The Overcoming of the Cartesian Paradigm in Physiology: The Case of Burchard de Volder
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Andrea Strazzoni, Independent Scholar, Guest Researcher At The Gotha Research Centre Of The University Of Erfurt
Descartes' medical reception can be separated into several phases in the seventeenth century, starting with its first introduction and extending to its sophisticated refinements. This talk examines a final moment in its reception in the Low Countries in the work of the Leiden professor Theodoor Craanen who can be credited with bringing to the fore the consequences of Descartes' reduction of physiological phenomena to the interaction of invisible particles. Craanen's fellow Leiden professor Burchard de Volder, most famous for opening the first experimental cabinet in a European University, forcefully criticized Craanen's reductive approach as "speculative". As an alternative, De Volder proposed an experimental-mathematical approach to medical questions that was firmly rooted to the consideration of visible processes only, and on their interpretation in the light of mechanical principles. The treatment of respiration is a case in point, figuring prominently in this polemical exchange. If, on the one hand, the standard Cartesian treatment of respiration was based on the circular thrust of air caused by the dilatation of the thorax moved by animal spirits, De Volder proposed an account based on the elasticity of the air and on the law of Boyle-Mariotte whereby the lungs are inflated and deflated by different conditions of pressure within and outside them. By examining the dispute between Craanen and De Volder we can learn how one extreme of medical Cartesianism met resistance in the Netherlands and how English virtuosi played a hand in this resistance.
Commentary: Descartes, the Traité De L'Homme, and the Cartesianizing of Dutch Medicine
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Theo Verbeek
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 102
Emotions of Observation: Affective Investments in Visualized Research Objects
Format : Organized Session
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Omar Nasim, University Of Regensburg
Beatriz Pichel, De Montfort University
Nick Hopwood, HPS, University Of Cambridge
Soraya De Chadarevian, University Of California Los Angeles
Mirjam Brusius, German Historical Institute London
Moderators
Mirjam Brusius, German Historical Institute London
It is well known that scientific images have evoked emotional responses from (to name but a few) wonder to boredom, fear to possessiveness, and puzzlement to mastery. Yet outside certain specific contexts, notably Romanticism and the sublime, historians of science have paid more attention to the visual experiences of popular writers, students and laypeople than to those of researchers, whose efforts to drain observation of emotion have been a more prominent concern. This session proposes to take a more concerted approach to the emotional relations of observational scientists to their research objects. These affective investments encompass long-term attachments to classic images, with their comforting familiarity, and the thrills and spills of discovery. Discovery accounts have celebrated work and skill, but also invoked more complex emotions, especially various kinds of loss. On the one hand, new sights have threatened the status of much-loved pictures and models. On the other, observers tended to worry until confirmation that the putative novelties, if not lost to one accident or another, might themselves be revealed as artefacts. There is a rich field here for the exploration of appropriately historicized observation, discovery, and emotions.Organized by Nick Hopwood
Albums of Emotion: Astronomical Images
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Omar Nasim, University Of Regensburg
Upon seeing Lord Rosse’s rendition of a nebula in 1845, John F. W. Herschel declared to a large audience that “he could not explain to the section the strong feelings and emotion with which he saw this old and familiar acquaintance in the very new dress.” Previously, when at his own telescope, Herschel had acquired strong feelings and become friendly with the celestial object M51, one that his own Father had formerly observed and drawn. Behind these palpable emotions and legacies were layers of labor that sometimes, as Herschel also reported, caused tremendous amounts of “despair” and “frustration.” Indeed, the visualization of objects and the means of acquiring them (e.g. telescopes) came with memories and experiences, uplifting and discouraging. In each case, what was visualized contained complex emotions, much like a family album. This presentation will contextualize these emotionally packed astronomical images—usually found in catalogues of scientific objects of the nineteenth century—into a broader history of collecting in the nineteenth-century, including family albums and memorabilia. By doing so, we come to see that scientific images were—besides much else—emotional badges of work and legacy.
Visualizing Emotions and the Emotional Economy of Science
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Beatriz Pichel, De Montfort University
The study of emotions attracted renewed interest in the nineteenth century. Following Duchenne de Boulogne’s Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine (1862) and Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872), physiologists, psychologists and neurologists turned to photography and other visualization technologies to understand the correlation between emotions, facial expressions and muscular and nervous movements. Studies by Charcot and others such as the psychologist Georges Dumas and the physiologist Charles Émile François-Franck employed different photographic technologies, from stereography to chronophotography, to produce visual observations of emotional expressions. These experiments, often performed on asylum patients, sought to identify normal and pathological expressions of emotions. Through the analysis of prints, albums and other photographic material, this presentation will examine the emotional economy of science underpinning medical studies on emotions. In particular, it will focus on the parallels between emotions considered as normal and pathological in scientific studies, and the emotional style at the time. From this perspective, pathological emotions were not only medically but also socially and culturally abnormal. Researchers and photographers, therefore, were invested in obtaining successful experimental results which mirrored and supported with scientific evidence their own emotional regime. Photographic visualisations played a key role in this process, working both as scientific evidence of the physiological nature of emotions and cultural objects that identified normal and abnormal subjects according to the emotions they expressed.
"When I Saw It, I Began to Scream": Discovery and Loss in the Visual History of Human Embryology
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Nick Hopwood, HPS, University Of Cambridge
“When I saw it, I began to scream.” Thus Miriam Menkin recalled her reaction, at the Free Hospital for Women in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1944, on observing what she believed was the first human egg ever fertilized in vitro. “Shaking like a leaf,” she “felt like—who was the first man to look at the Pacific—Balboa?” Such a precious specimen as this “beautiful two-celled egg” called for an elaborate preservation procedure—but in the process, Menkin lost the embryo for ever. She and her boss John Rock “came to think of it as the first miscarriage in vitro.” The talk will place this distinctively gendered account of discovery and loss alongside others from the history of human embryology since the eighteenth century. It will analyse researchers’ emotional relations to visual objects they valorized as among the greatest treasures a scientist could own, and stored in vaults and safes. I shall suggest that, while discovery accounts of human origins tended to invoke tropes of the sublime, tales of loss stress the difficulty of working with tiny, fragile materials and the worth of what was saved. That could be either drawings or photomicrographs of the mislaid object or replacement preparations. Yet specimens were lost not only physically, but also through their reclassification as abnormal or artefactual—many later specialists’ opinion of Menkin’s. Knowledge of further analysis and future recognition has selected and coloured those stories of visual encounters in which the apparently spontaneous expression of emotion serves as a marker of authenticity.
Beautiful or Dull? Studying Chromosomes under the Microscope
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Soraya De Chadarevian, University Of California Los Angeles
To study chromosomes under the microscope they need to be spread and flattened, fixed and stained. In short, they are highly manipulated dead objects in an artificial milieu. Yet in practitioners’ eyes, chromosomes have become “hypnotically beautiful objects” (Hsu 1979) to which researchers have remained deeply committed. What makes their observation so fascinating and how has this fascination shaped the development of the field? Drawing on the descriptions of chromosome researchers from the mid-1950s to the early 21st century, the paper will distinguish two kinds of emotional responses to microscopic observation: on the one hand, the emotional attachment to intimately known objects observed over a long period of time and, on the other, the excitement over new observations, combined with the effort of documenting the extraordinary evidence and the possibility of its loss. More generally, the paper will consider how the reliance on visual evidence represented the strength but also the weakness of chromosome research, especially in the eyes of molecular biologists who spurned images in favor of mathematical analysis and causal explanations.
Commentary: Emotions of Observation: Affective Investments in Visualized Research Objects
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Mirjam Brusius, German Historical Institute London
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 27, Eetkamer
Interfield Theories, Methods, Collaborations, and Organization in Heredity: Telling the Stories of Developing New Fields and Consolidating Disciplines in Biology
Format : Organized Session
Track : Biology
Speakers
Daniel Liu, ICI Berlin Institute For Cultural Inquiry
Caterina Schürch, LMU Munich, History Of Science
Robert Meunier, University Of Kassel, Germany
Marsha Richmond, Wayne State University
Ida Stamhuis, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Moderators
Luis Campos, University Of New Mexico
In 1977, Lindley Darden and Nancy Maull focused attention on interfield theories, defined as "theories which bridge two fields of science." Interfield theories, they noted, "are likely to be generated when two fields share an interest in explaining different aspects of the same phenomenon and when background knowledge already exists relating the two fields." More recently, William Bechtel and Adele Abrahamsen (2007) also consider how developing models of biological mechanisms "often requires collaborative effort drawing upon techniques developed and information generated in different disciplines." Historians of genetics have certainly noted the importance of intersections of fields (cytology and Mendelism, developmental genetics, the modern synthesis). Nonetheless, such accounts still often follow narratives of a succession of theories, concepts, or methodologies. In our session we wish to work towards a more dynamic view of parallel, merging, and diverging developments. Papers will revisit cross-disciplinary collaborations between scientists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, focusing on the use of theories, methods, and approaches of different disciplines-chemistry, biochemistry, cytology, and genetics-to forge new fields and map the disciplinary terrain of heredity studies, and, in so doing, of modern experimental biology.Organized by Marsha Richmond
Cytogenetic "Plasmas," Hereditary Elements Revisited, and the Sonderweg of Botanical Genetics
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Daniel Liu, ICI Berlin Institute For Cultural Inquiry
What did it mean for something to be the “material basis” of life, or heredity, permeability, or metabolism before molecular biology? What conceptions of matter did biologists rely on as they tackled new research topics? In the latter half of the nineteenth century (and well into the twentieth) it was biological orthodoxy that protoplasm was the “material basis of life,” so much so that the protoplasm’s protean nature spawned what Robert Brain has called “protoplasmania”—an aesthetic, cultural, and scientific obsession with the so-called “living substance.” But life was not the only thing biologists in the nineteenth century studied, and in this paper I will show how other areas of biology even more particular “plasmanias” took hold, as other vital phenomena gained their own “plasms” in due course. The idioplasm, germ plasm, nucleoplasm, stereoplasm, endo- and ecto-plasms, even cytoplasm, became the calling cards for newly emerging (and contested) problem areas in cellular anatomy and physiology. In particular, I will argue that botanists, far more so than zoologists, insisted on tying hereditary and developmental phenomena to their material bases within the cell. From the beginning with Carl Nägeli’s idioplasm theory, botanical theories of “genetics” always made reference to the material reality of hereditary factors via physical chemistry—albeit a physical chemistry specific to plant physiology. By shifting the historiographical locus of cell theory and hereditary theory to the history of botany, I will show how hereditary theory encountered chemical theory, several generations before the revolution in molecular genetics.
Successful at Second Attempt: Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration on Flower Pigmentation and the Emergence of Chemical Genetics
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Caterina Schürch, LMU Munich, History Of Science
In the course of their study of the heredity of flower color, William Bateson, Edith Rebecca Saunders and Reginald Punnett observed that in Sweet Peas and Stocks, the crossing of two white-flowered strains produced purple flowers. Bateson’s student Muriel Wheldale quickly recognized the potential of this observation for advancing “a chemical basis for Mendelian phenomena”. She assumed that by combining the Mendelian methods for determining the laws of pigment inheritance with chemical methods for the isolation and analysis of these pigments, it should be possible to elucidate the mode of action of Mendelian factors, and at the same time solve the problem as to what chemical processes underlie the production of anthocyanin pigments. In her view, chemists interested in explaining anthocyanin biosynthesis, and geneticists whose goal was to understand the operation of genes were in fact interested in one and the same mechanism. However, Wheldale didn’t make the breakthrough she had hoped for. It was her student Rose Scott-Moncrieff who, in collaboration with chemists Robert and Gertrude Robinson and geneticist William Lawrence, was able to establish in the 1930s that gene action is essentially a control of chemical processes. This second attempt was so successful, I will argue, because Scott-Moncrieff managed to convince the chemists and geneticists that joining forces with researchers from other disciplines would help them to solve their own research problems in an adequate way. Furthermore, I will use the case of anthocyanin research to highlight the significance of interfield objects and interfield practices in cross-disciplinary collaborations.
How the Choice of Model Phenomena Matters: Pigmentation and the Conceptualization of Gene Action in Early Genetics
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Robert Meunier, University Of Kassel, Germany
Much has been said about how the choice of experimental organisms matters, how they open possibilities and impose constraints on a research program and often push an inquiry in an unexpected direction. The same might be said about the kinds of phenomena researchers come to study as representative of a broader class of phenomena. Geneticists in the early twentieth century studied many characters to understand the patterns of heredity and their underlying cytological basis. Nonetheless, the color of flowers, seeds, or other parts of plants, as well as the color of fur and eyes in animals, were particularly prominent objects of study. Some researchers relied entirely on the phenomena of pigmentation in their projects; others worked with many characters but used the inheritance of color as a prime example in theoretical considerations. Most interestingly, the focus on pigmentation afforded possibilities for interfield transfer and collaboration between genetics and organic chemistry. In that way, it played an important role in shaping the conceptualization of gene action in early genetics. I will follow pigmentation as a research object in genetics from early Mendelian debates to the work of Beadle and Ephrussi in the US and France, and Kühn, Caspari, and Butenandt in Germany.
New Methods for Old Questions: Sally Hughes-Schrader, Franz Schrader, and Problem-Solving in Cytogenetics
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Marsha Richmond, Wayne State University
The collaborative marriage in 1920 between Sally Hughes and Franz Schrader emerged following their interaction at Woods Hole and the Zoology Department at Columbia University. Their personal and scientific interests matched perfectly, and they forged a fruitful scientific partnership that lasted over four decades. Both were avid naturalists before deciding to pursue graduate work in zoology. As students of E. B. Wilson, they became leading American cytologists (Franz indeed succeeded Wilson at Columbia in 1930). They were also influenced by interaction with T. H. Morgan and his group. Their long-term focus on chromosomes and their role in heredity, combined with avid field work to collect novel organisms, provides a model study by which to consider how “interfield” theories, methods, and approaches helped define the newly developing field of cytogenetics in the 1920s and 1930s. It also illuminates critical aspects of the reception of C. D. Darlington’s “new cytology” in the 1930s.
Disciplining Genetics: An Analysis of the Fifth International Congress of Genetics in Berlin, 1927
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Ida Stamhuis, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
My paper will demonstrate how the character and the content of a discipline at a moment that it seems to have become a solid and accepted one, are still under vivid discussion. When the Fifth international meeting of geneticists in 1927 in Berlin took place, participants felt that genetics was now an established and accepted discipline. The organizer, the German Ernst Baur, stated that it had grown from an unimportant outpost to one of the most important biological disciplines. This importance was reflected in its relevance for eugenics and medicine and for the breeding of useful plants and animals. According to the British geneticist Reginald Punnett, genetics had gained a central position in biology thanks to its interdisciplinary character: it linked systematics, physiology, biochemistry, and Entwicklungsmechanik (developmental mechanics). Others argued, in turn, that its focus and techniques had become too narrow and that it needed to broaden its scope to be able to answer relevant questions. According to the Austrian Richard von Wettstein, genetics should step out of the narrow Mendelian framework to explain evolution and to include plasmatic inheritance and the inheritance of acquired characteristics. The German Richard Goldschmidt argued that not only the transmission of genetic factors but also their action through development had to be taken into account. Must the conclusion be that an established discipline can only remain strong when its adherents are conscious that its content and character are in a constant state of flux?
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 005
Multi-Species Histories: Bridging the Material and Cultural with Non-Human Animals
Format : Organized Session
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Cathy Gere, University Of California, San Diego
Ana María Gómez López, Independent Scholar
Floor Haalboom, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam; Descartes Centre For The History And Philosophy Of The Sciences And The Humanities, Utrecht University
Anne Van Veen, Descartes Centre, Utrecht University
Annalena Roters , LMU Munich, Institute Of Theatre Studies
Moderators
Susan Jones, University Of Minnesota
This panel responds to "the animal turn" in history of science, addressing non-human animals in historical research as well as challenges in writing about other animals. Animal bodies and their behaviors are explored across a range of time periods and disciplinary perspectives, ranging from laboratory experiments and livestock industries, to wildlife settings and literary works. More than solely "thinking with animals" (following Derrida), this panel proposes considering human culture from the point of view of animals' material worlds and how humans in turn have attempted to represent animality. Cathy Gere examines animal fables, most prominently The Fable of the Bees by Anglo-Dutch physician Bernard Mandeville, to discuss how stories of non-human animals serve as stand-ins for the human condition. Ana María Gómez López presents fieldwork by German paleontologist Johannes Weigelt in the U.S. Gulf Coast, focusing on how contemporary animal carcasses served as a means to understand fossilization from the distant past. Floor Haalboom reveals the importance of what animals in factory farms eat by analyzing livestock feed as a crucial scientific technology in twentieth century agriculture. Annalena Roters examines animals in contemporary art from a post-humanist perspective as a means to move beyond anthropocentrism. In conclusion, Anne van Veen proposes 'multispecies choreography' as a useful concept for writing about past practices of animal experimentation in a non-anthropocentric manner.Organized by Anne Van Veen
Animal Fables
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Cathy Gere, University Of California, San Diego
Aesop’s fables, a corpus of animal tales from ancient Greece, take the form of morality tales in which non-humans embody all-too-human weaknesses such as vanity, sloth, credulity and selfishness. One of the translators of the fables, the Anglo-Dutch physician Bernard Mandeville, would later write an Aesopian morality tale of his own: The Fable of the Bees. The work – a long satirical poem about the hypocrisy of commercial society – shot him to literary fame when it was denounced as immoral by the Middlesex Grand Jury in 1723. Arguing that Mandeville’s work anticipates many of the themes of evolutionary psychology, this paper suggests that he was the founder of a literary genre that came into its own in the work of Charles Darwin and his followers. It goes on to examine some of the animal fables of science – from ants taking slaves, to rats pressing pleasure levers, to chimps looking in the mirror – using Mandeville’s literary achievement to ask why and how the stories of non-human natures come so indelibly to stand in for aspects of the human condition.
Dead Animals, Past and Present: Photography and Fossil Knowledges in Johannes Weigelt’s Recent Vertebrate Carcasses and Their Paleobiological Implications
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Ana María Gómez López, Independent Scholar
Johannes Weigelt (1890-1948), a German paleontologist and geologist, was the first proponent of taphonomy—the study of the decay, burial, and fossilization of biological organisms. In the mid-1920s, while performing fieldwork in the U.S. Gulf Coast, he came across scores of dead cows, birds, fish, alligators, and amphibians. Many of these creatures died as a result of extreme weather storms, their remains marooned and weathering in coastal beaches, river banks, and mudflats. Weigelt considered that the physical processes affecting these animals were analogous to those that preserved Miocene fossil specimens housed at the Martin-Luther-Universität in Halle-Wittenberg, where he was a geology professor. He photographed dozens of these decomposing animals during his travels throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, setting these images alongside sketches of fossils recovered from central Germany in his 1927 book Recent Vertebrate Carcasses and their Paleobiological Implications. This ground-breaking monograph and its visual juxtaposition of post-mortem processes in contemporary and long extinct animals became a key reference for paleontology, as well as for archaeology, forensic science, and physical anthropology. This paper will present Weigelt’s photographic and field-based research in taphonomy on both sides of the Atlantic, focusing on how animal remains from the present and distant past served as concomitant sites for scientific and image-based knowledge production alike.
Creating Feed for Meat: The Science of Feeding Animals in Industrial Farms (1954-2019)
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Floor Haalboom, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam; Descartes Centre For The History And Philosophy Of The Sciences And The Humanities, Utrecht University
Pigs, chickens and cattle in factory farms need to eat. A lot. Millions of tons of feed are shipped across oceans to make industrial livestock production possible. This creates global problems, like deforestation in the global south, manure surpluses in the global north, and competition between animal feed and human food production. Until now, historians have neglected the history of livestock feed, especially in comparison to the human diet. The aim of this paper is to show the crucial importance of livestock feed as a scientific technology. Feed contributed just as much to the rise of industrial agriculture as chemical fertilizers, pesticides, mechanization and new breeds of plants and animals did. This paper focuses on one small country with a particularly intensive industrial livestock sector: the Netherlands; and on the period of significant intensification of this sector: the second half of the twentieth century. Lacking the land to produce the massive amounts of feed needed for these new ‘factory farms’, the Netherlands imported most of it – like soy and fish meal from Latin America. These commodities ended up in a new kind of feed: ‘compound feed’. Animal scientists were decisive for creating the best and cheapest compound feeds in order to maximize animal productivity – with major social-economic, environmental, welfare and health consequences for human and non-human animals across the globe.
Multispecies Choreographies of Animal Experimentation
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Anne Van Veen, Descartes Centre, Utrecht University
In this paper, I examine how historical accounts of experimentation on nonhuman animals can be written in a way that does justice to tested animals as agentic and response-able living beings. In accordance with recent calls to decenter the human, nonhuman animals are given center stage, not because they affect human history, but because they are seen as subjects worthy of investigation in their own right. Several scholars have used the term choreography to write about interactions between humans and other animals. I propose multispecies choreography as a useful concept for writing about animal experimentation non-anthropocentrically. Thinking of these practices as multispecies choreographies, draws attention to all animals involved as embodied individuals, interacting within and across species as well as with their shared physical environment. Based on two empirical case studies about experiments on monkeys and mice, it is argued that these interaction often reproduce, but sometimes also challenge species boundaries. Analyzing how these multispecies choreographies change over time, necessitates examining micro-macro interactions to understand how the worlds of tested nonhuman animals are affected by developments in law, policy, et cetera. Finally, thinking of experimentation practices as choreographies can als show the workings of power, when considering not only movements included in the choreography, but also those movements that are excluded due to constraining species hierarchies within the lab and within wider society.
Looking at Animals Differently: Posthumanist Performativity as a Tool for Aesthetic Analysis
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Annalena Roters , LMU Munich, Institute Of Theatre Studies
This paper considers how posthumanist perspectives are actively transforming the ways of thinking around animals in the arts. With the emergence of Performance Art during the 1960s, art history starts to explore living, non-human animals. Theatre and performance studies were already confronted with them in much earlier contexts, for example in stage fights in ancient Rome or operas in the baroque era. As theatre and performance studies deal with changing, dynamic artforms, they are corresponding with newer concepts, such as posthumanist performativity. Within the posthumanist thinking, the status of non-human entities like animals changes: Animals and their agency come into focus. They are not passive or matter shaped by humans anymore, but active and actionable entities within dynamic relations. Building up on the concept of ‚Posthumanism as a praxis‘ (Francesca Ferrando), Posthumanism serves as a interdisciplinary perspective and a tool to examine animals in the arts. It is an active decision to go beyond an anthropocentric perspective. I would to like ask what happens when we try to look at animals in art without assuming the human subject as our sole reference. This is examined by analyzing the installation Soma of Carsten Höller at Hamburger Bahnhof from 2010. In a fictional experimental setup the artist installs reindeers, birds, flies and mice so that the presence of animals transforms the setting into a performative artwork.
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 21, Rm. 005
Natural and Cultural Histories
Format : Organized Session
Track : Biology
Speakers
Mathijs Boom, Universiteit Van Amsterdam
Lynn Nyhart, University Of Wisconsin-Madison
Fabian Kraemer, Assistant Professor For The History Of Science, Ludwig-Maximilians-Univestität München, Germany
Kärin Nickelsen, LMU Munich, History Of Science
Staffan Müller-Wille, University Of Exeter
Moderators
Fabian Kraemer, Assistant Professor For The History Of Science, Ludwig-Maximilians-Univestität München, Germany
Kärin Nickelsen, LMU Munich, History Of Science
The writing of "history" traditionally comprised both natural and human history; but, so the story goes, in the course of the eighteenth century the two historiographies parted, and specialists started to focus on one or the other. By the mid-nineteenth century, at the latest, we have professional historians in both fields, neatly separated along the boundaries of the so-called "two cultures" – with the history of nature falling into the realm of science and the history of human culture into the humanities. This panel explores examples and developments that run counter to this standard narrative. We emphasize the persistence of considerable overlap, and trace a continuous process of negotiating and contesting the boundaries between "natural" and "cultural" histories. The first paper (Boom) uses the example of the Brussels naturalist F.X. de Burtin to show how, even in the 1780s, the history of the earth and the history of humanity were seen as shaped by analogous processes. The second paper (Nyhart) enters the nineteenth century, and analyzes the theory of history held by the German botanist and cell theory pioneer M. Schleiden. The third (Krämer) and fourth (Nickelsen) contributions are intimately connected, and investigate how botanists in the late nineteenth century claimed an important role for themselves in the writing of cultural history, culminating in the call for a new concept of "culture" that acknowledged the rising importance of the sciences. The commentary (Müller-Wille) complements the panel's papers and opens the floor for a more general discussion.Organized by Fabian Kraemer and Kärin Nickelsen
Nature and Culture in the History of the Earth: F.X. de Burtin’s Catastrophist View of Human Progress, the 1780s
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Mathijs Boom, Universiteit Van Amsterdam
This paper sets out to chart different views of history and progress in the study of the deep past in the late eighteenth century. It focusses on the Brussels naturalist François-Xavier de Burtin (1743-1818) and examines his scholarly network, his letters, a range of published works, and society archives. I argue that Burtin drew on his study of earth history to present a view of human history filled with contingency and catastrophe. In the 1780s, Burtin was among the first to reconstruct the planet’s past from traces in fossils, rocks, and strata—explicitly excluding evidence from historiography, antiquarianism, linguistics, theology, and philology, which up to then had been integral parts of the field. Yet Burtin still saw an intimate connection between the ‘moral’ and the ‘physical’ history of the earth, and explored parallels between natural history and human history. Historians of earth science have noted the use of such parallels before. They point to the influence of antiquarian methods and historical metaphors in the earth sciences, but neglect topics which do not fit the disciplinary trajectories of either natural or cultural history. Burtin's cross-disciplinary thoughts on progress and catastrophe in human and earth history are a case in point. His view of the past illuminates how earth science gave rise to radically new notions of a past shaped by contingency rather than Providence.
Matthias Schleiden’s Theory of History
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Lynn Nyhart, University Of Wisconsin-Madison
In 1851, the botanist and cell-theorist Matthias Schleiden wrote a remarkable essay. In part a book review of Karl Vogt’s German translation of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, it ranged much further, to present an explanation of the contemporary vogue for popular science. Schleiden’s explanation was historical. From this essay and others, I piece together Schleiden’s theory of history, which viewed cultural change as the result of a very few, very great men whose ideas would take centuries to filter out into the broader public. I argue that this theory of history, which included the history of natural science and its popularization, helps us to see how he viewed his own role in the historical process and, by implication, the role he saw for his own works of botanical popularization. Ultimately, I suggest, understanding Schleiden’s view of history allows us to interpret his larger body of work in a new and more integrated way.
Botany and the Science of History I (ca. 1800-1900)
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Fabian Kraemer, Assistant Professor For The History Of Science, Ludwig-Maximilians-Univestität München, Germany
The boundaries between the humanities and the sciences have traditionally been seen as solid and more or less impenetrable; however, in view of the closely entangled developments of the history of (non-human) nature and the history of (human) culture they may not be as unproblematic as first thought. This paper, together with the following (by Nickelsen), traces this debate with a focus on the tradition of writing the history of culture and civilization in the nineteenth century. For the most part of the century, cultural history centered on the texts and objects studied by historians, philologists, and archaeologists. However, botanists were increasingly eager to bring their knowledge of seeds and plants into the discussion and to claim a place for these objects as key sources in the study of cultural history. They thus called into question the historical disciplines’ exclusive authority over human history. Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century debates on “cultural history” were a hotbed of discussion on the epistemic value of different types of sources and the disciplines that were best equipped to interpret them. The paper examines in particular the attempts made by a group of Berlin-based botanists around Georg Schweinfurth (1836–1925). When this group claimed, in 1906, to have found the progenitor of cultivated wheat (Urweizen) in Palestine, Schweinfurth declared this the most important discovery of his lifetime. I argue that this cannot be understood without recourse to of the period’s burgeoning discourse on the origins of human civilization.
Botany and the Science of History II (ca. 1800-1900)
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Kärin Nickelsen, LMU Munich, History Of Science
In close alignment to the preceding paper of the panel (Krämer), this paper explores the entanglement of nineteenth-century natural and cultural histories further. Specifically, it traces how and why nineteenth-century botanists claimed a role for themselves in the writing of cultural history. Most importantly, botanists pointed to the fact that the history of human culture was intimately connected to the history of “agriculture” and the cultivation of plants. The beginning of culture in the sense of civilization was commonly linked to the transition from hunter-gatherer societies to agriculture. The history of cultivated plants, such as wheat, hence, was at the center of cultural history in this broader sense (which historians of science have so far ignored). This history was then mostly written based on philological methods; but this, botanists claimed, was insufficient. One had to study the actual object sources not only their names. The botanical study of plant geography, including the migration of plants over time and the search for their sites of origin – as in the case of the Urweizen – , was therefore of utmost importance to the history of human culture, so the argument went. The paper shows how, drawing on this tradition, botanists were eventually able to claim that without botanical expertise the study of cultural history was incomplete. Moreover, Schweinfurth even called for a radically altered understanding of “culture” that was no longer exclusively focused on written scholarship but acknowledged the growing importance of the sciences.
Commentary: Natural and Cultural Histories
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
The commentary complements the panel's papers and opens the floor for a more general discussion.
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 301
Pacific Science in Transnational and Translocal Perspective
Format : Organized Session
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Anne Ricculli, Drew University
Jessica Wang, University Of British Columbia
Aijie Shi, University Of Wisconsin-Madison
Geoff Bil, New York Botanical Garden
Xianliang Dong, City University Of Hong Kong
Moderators
Hans Pols, University Of Sydney
Prevailing views cast the Pacific as a desolate, sparsely populated expanse between continents and a blank slate for the assertion of Western epistemological and territorial claims. Burgeoning East Asian scholarship, migration studies and indigenous critical works adumbrate a radically opposed view: of a knotted plurality of translocal and transcultural circuits of knowledge, colonization and competition linking peoples and environments across the Pacific and beyond. Imperial science historiography, meanwhile, has undergone a parallel shift from an application of monolithic national and cultural analytical frameworks toward an emphasis on the contingent translation of knowledges in circulation between peoples and localities. Our panel develops these themes with five case studies exemplifying diverse roles played by science in reifying and resisting situations of dominance in Pacific contexts: transglobal parasite research in the service of Hawaiian agriculture, influenza epidemiology as a catalyst for Hong Kong anticommunism, Fijian reef geology as an emblem of Northern Irish imperial identity, ethnoecology versus American imperial and Southeast Asian nationalist conceptions of indigenous knowledge, and marine biology as a site for the assertion of Nationalist Chinese policy vis à vis Japan. Collectively, we extend the reach of Pacific cultural and informational networks from East and Southeast Asia, through the South Pacific and continental United States, to contexts as far afield as Britain, Ireland and West Africa. We also conceptualize Pacific nations and empires as contested, imagined entities, subject to local political and environmental pressures, and implicated in far-flung trans-oceanic and transglobal concerns.Organized by Geoff Bil
The Collected Letters of Sarah Maria Smythe: Communicating Darwin’s Coral Growth Theory to Belfast Readers, Ten Months in the Fiji Islands (1864)
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Anne Ricculli, Drew University
In Ten Months in the Fiji Islands (1864) Sarah Maria Smythe narrated her military husband’s recent evaluation of the strategic and economic feasibility of British plans to annex the Fiji archipelago. Her published letters described her own contributions to concurrent Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew-sponsored explorations of the islands’ floral resources. Her drawings of coral reefs, however, document her application of the science of geology, and Charles Darwin’s theory of reef growth, to explain configurations of Fijian marine regions. Sarah Maria Smythe’s correspondence in Ten Months in the Fiji Islands (1864) has been briefly studied under the genre of Victorian women’s Pacific-region travel narratives (Claudia Knapman 1997). Keeping with the HSS conference theme “Telling the Story of Science,” I situate Smythe’s illustrations of reef architecture, rendered as chromolithographs by the celebrated Vincent Brooks, within the public education on the science of geology during a robust schedule of public lectures in Belfast. I argue that Smythe, member of a prominent household in Protestant Northern Ireland, engaged with theoretical geology during Belfast’s self-identification as active participant in networks of British colonial-region resource management. More broadly, the Belfast education series framed Darwin’s coral research to general audiences in the context of environmental change, themes subsequently conveyed to the public as Origin of Species (1859) circulated in Ireland through lending libraries and in printed reviews. Smythe’s volume demonstrates the nineteenth-century public embrace of contemporary geological theory and field research as one element in a Victorian-era scientific toolkit used to evaluate resources in changing imperial environments.
Insects and Empire: Entomological Expeditions and Biological Pest Control in Early Twentieth-Century Hawai'i
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Jessica Wang, University Of British Columbia
Invasive insect species became a constant preoccupation of agricultural officials in the U.S.-governed Territory of Hawaii during the early twentieth century. Biological control constituted the primary means of pest control at the time, and the territory’s Board of Commissioners of Agriculture and Forestry regularly deployed entomologists to distant parts of the world in order to collect and introduce insect parasites that could keep populations on unwanted insects in check. This paper examines two such expeditions—Filipo Silvestri’s 1912-13 search for parasites in west Africa to combat the Mediterranean fruit fly, and David T. Fullaway’s effort to find melon fly parasites in south and southeast Asia in 1914-15—in order to understand the inter-imperial networks that undergirded tropical agriculture as a disciplinary formation of empire. The history of entomological expeditions and biological pest control in Hawai‘i speaks to the trans-Pacific and global ecological relationships that conditioned imperial agriculture and governance during the era of high imperialism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Nationalizing Science in Republican China: The Birth of China’s Policy on Foreign Biological Expeditions
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Aijie Shi, University Of Wisconsin-Madison
My study addresses the birth of Republican China’s policy on transnational biological expeditions, which, I argue, was enacted in response to a Japanese biological expedition along the Yangzi River in 1929. Through the engagement, Academia Sinica (Zhongyang yanjiuyuan), China’s national academy of sciences, intended to regulate international researchers’ unlimited access to China’s natural resources, which had been facilitated by extraterritoriality and the loss of China’s tariff autonomy since the 1840s. With its enforcement, the policy essentially established scientific research as a national enterprise and biological resources as China’s national property. Focused on Academia Sinica’s policy on foreign biological expeditions in the 1930s, my presentation examines the driving forces behind the institute’s nationalizing efforts: (1) the political instability in a transitional era that allowed for the possibility of institutional reforms and new policy-making; (2) the newfound Nationalist regime’s commitment to solidify the nation’s borders against colonial activities; (3) the transnational nature of the Japanese marine biological study and its potential involvement in the Sino-Japanese fishing wars on the East China Sea; (4) the formation of international academic communities such as biological associations and the global network for specimens exchange; and (5) the presence of a group of Chinese intellectual bureaucrats who dedicated their political power to modernizing China with science. My presentation will conclude with a reflection on the policy’s unintended consequences on China's scientific community, when science became a collectivist interest of the state.
Cultivating Resistance: Ethnoecology, Anticolonialism, and Indigenous Territoriality in Twentieth-Century Southeast Asia
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Geoff Bil, New York Botanical Garden
Over the course of the twentieth century, highland Southeast Asian indigenous societies grappled with the incursions of diverse Western imperial interests and, later, with the more imminent colonization endeavours of newly independent, development-oriened nation states. Disparaging ethnographic assessments of indigenous agriculture and subsistence practices frequently served as justifications for these undertakings. As the century wore on, Western anthropologists adopted more appreciative views of indigenous agrarian lifeways - a shift usually explained as a result of anthropology’s gradual movement away from tiered classificatory approaches toward a Boasian emphasis on the functional sophistication of indigenous cultures in relation to their environments and histories. Focusing principally on the work of Harley Harris Bartlett (1886-1960), a University of Michigan botanist, plant ecologist and ethnographer who analyzed indigenous ethnoecology in interwar Sumatra, and Harold Conklin (1926-2016), a Yale-based ethnobotanist and ethnoecologist of the post-World War II Philippines, this paper instead explores the role played by Batak, Hanunóo and Ifugao strategic priorities in helping to revise this anthropological perspective. I also examine how Conklin’s self-consciously anticolonial stance on Philippine indigenous swidden and terrace agriculture was shaped by Native American-led activism. In addition to situating Southeast Asian indigenous territorial colonization at the temporal juncture of imperial and national projects of dispossession, then, this paper also analyzes American ethnoscientific reassessments as the partial cumulation of indigenous anticolonial efforts that were trans-Pacific in their reach and influence.
Cold War Prevention: The Discourse of Hong Kong Flu and Its Controversies, 1968-1972
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Xianliang Dong, City University Of Hong Kong
1968 is often hailed as the year that “rocked the world.” However, this historical moment is barely evaluated from the realm of medicine. “Hong Kong Flu” pandemic, one of the three worldwide flu pandemics breakout in the last century, was caused by the virus H3N2 and had infected 15 percent of the whole population in 1968. Although its death rate was relatively low, it promoted a medical competition and negotiation between different institutions, from Hong Kong, Japan to the United States. Its breakout also changed the mentality of the world towards unexpected severe diseases. With a study of this case, this paper aims to answer three questions in medical history: 1. How to define “colonial” medicine in a homogenous decolonized era? 2. What could this Asian experience contribute to cold war medicine? 3. When and how did international health transform to global health? Based mainly on articles from English and Chinese newspapers and government reports, this paper argues that a new mode of public health governance and the adoption of preventive medicine had emerged from a new civic discourse in 1968. The paper also seeks to outline an underlying ideological campaign, just after the riots in 1967, which relied on the metaphor of disease to segregate the communist community from its capitalist counterpart. As the flu epidemic spread around the world, the structure of the Cold War was stabilized. And finally, this paper will demonstrate a rise in local consciousness as Hong Kong became a frontier in the Cold War.
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 13, Rm. 003
Practical Mathematics in Early Modern Europe
Format : Organized Session
Track : Mathematics
Speakers
Michael Korey, Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Elena Ausejo, University Of Zaragoza (Spain)
Antoni Malet, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
Thomas Morel, Université De Lille
Ad Meskens, AP University College, Antwerp
Moderators
Margaret Schotte, York University, Canada
During the early modern period, the mathematical sciences dramatically upgraded its status. It went from having a secondary role and ancillary status in the mid 16th century, up to be considered the most powerful tool of scientific research by the turn of the 18th century. As recognized by a large historiography, these transformations cannot be accounted for in terms of internal developments. It is necessary to look outside universities and scholarly mathematics, taking into account the broader social context, in particular the role of social practices of arithmetic, geometry and metrology. These provided essential impulses that help explain the momentous conceptual and methodological transformations mathematics went through in early modern Europe. Our hypothesis, based on several case studies, is that a general mathematization of civil life took place. Elementary arithmetic and geometry became ubiquitous for merchants, gaugers, architects, instrument-makers and engineers, with growing impact on education practices and far-reaching epistemological consequences. To track this evolution, one can study the material culture of practical mathematics, i.e. objects closely linked to what people socially do, both in the higher court culture and in the artisan's workshops. New literary forms developed, such as practitioners commonplace books, booklets and other forms of modern teaching material, printed metrological tables and comptes faits to make mathematics readily usable. We hope to show that these widespread practices, backed by social and political authority, help explain the success of mathematical values (of precision, "application" of mathematics, computation and forecasting) and of new mathematical concepts (most notably "arithmetical" ratios and proportionality), as well as the changing status of early modern mathematical sciences.Organized by Thomas Morel
Using Euclid in a Practical Context: Claude Richard’s Course on Sectors at the Imperial College (Madrid, ca. 1656)
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Elena Ausejo, University Of Zaragoza (Spain)
Father Claude Richard (Ornans 1589 – Madrid 1664) was professor of mathematics at the Jesuit Imperial College in Madrid (1627-1767) from 1630 until his death. He published Euclides elementorum geometricorum libros tredecim Isidorum et Hypsidem et Recentiores de Corporibus Regularibus, et Procli propositiones geometricas (Antwerp, 1645), and Apollonii Pergaei Conicorum libri IV cum commentariis Claudii Richardi (Antwerp, 1655). Furthermore, the Spanish Royal Academy of History keeps a legacy of eleven manuscript files –titled Mathesis varia– by Richard, together with eighty factitious volumes containing Jesuits’ manuscripts on mathematics and physics. Among these, two draft copies of the course on the construction and use of sectors taught by Richard around 1656 have been identified, one written by Richard himself, the other by one of his students. Richard claimed that the whole practical geometry consisted of the brief and easy use of sectors, an instrument first invented by the Flemish Michel Coignet, he said. However, his “Treatise on the division of the twelve diverse straight lines of sectors, with their practical use in practical geometry, and also the proofs of these divisions and the use” was not only concerned with the brief and easy instrumental practice of geometry. It also insisted on demonstrating the solid Euclidean foundations of this practice, which would justify the numerical consideration of continuous magnitudes as quantities –accepting a margin of error sensorially imperceptible and irrelevant for the purposes of application.
Conceptual Change in Early Modern Practical Geometries
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Antoni Malet, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
As recognized by a growing body of literature, most conceptual and methodological shifts in early modern mathematics cannot be accounted for in terms of internal theoretical developments. On the contrary, this literature suggests, social and institutional contexts and the social practices of arithmetic, geometry, and metrology provide inputs that may explain the momentous transformations mathematics went through in early modern Europe. This paper analyses some 16th-century practical geometry books that contain theoretical innovations — as compared to contemporary authoritative editions of Euclid’s Elements. It pays particular attention to old notions (such as ratio and curve) that were newly defined, to new ideas (such as measure) that were introduced as if they were old ones, and to new methods (such as the use of material instruments) that were legitimized in practical geometry books. By paying attention to them the paper aims to document ways in which mathematical innovations “sneaked in” so to speak into the established, ordinary, authoritative body of mathematical results. The emphasis is not only on documenting new concepts and methods connected to social practices, but also on analyzing how practice and practical tools added legitimacy and authority to new concepts and new methods.
Writing, Drawing, and Preaching Geometry in the Early Modern German Mines
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Thomas Morel, Université De Lille
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, mathematical sciences played an increasingly important role in Western societies. Most historical accounts try to understand how the study of nature came to use mathematical methods and how mathematical concepts and tool became the standard tool for scholars. A more fundamental and yet lesser-known shift happened outside of the scholarly world. Practical mathematics, understood as a set of basic skills in arithmetic and geometry, became ubiquitous in European civic life for officials, engineer and artisans of all kinds. Early modern mines build a perfect case study for this hypothesis, both given their crucial economic importance and since they are considered a crucible of modern technical rationality. I will analyze the growing importance and the public nature of mathematical arts in the German mining states. Scholars observed practitioners and then wrote about geometria subterranea. Numerous sketches were drawn to illustrate the surveying methods that were used. Computing schools and teaching contracts attest of a lively and efficient tradition of practical teaching. Even sermons routinely presented to a general audience the essential features and principles of geometric operations. Surveying was a public practice whose geometrical character would lend gravitas and accuracy to legal decisions. These ubiquitous uses greatly heightened a public recognition of the efficiency of mathematics.
Michael Coignet: A Mathematical Practitioner in 16th Century Antwerp
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Ad Meskens, AP University College, Antwerp
Around 1550 Antwerp was a vibrant port. Its many schools catered for the many companies, its Beurs was one of the first stock markets of the world, its printers published books on all subjects. Ships travelled to all parts of Europe, the Baltic, Italy, Scotland, the Azores with merchants dreaming of sailing even further. This optimistic view was shattered by the Iconoclastic Revolt of 1566 and the intransigence of Philip II to make concessions to the protestants. First and foremost among Antwerp’s mathematicians was Michiel Coignet, schoolmaster, winegauger, instrument maker and mathematician to the Archdukes. From the 1570s onwards he kept notes on a variety of mathematical subjects. Parts of these notes written between 1576 and 1603 are preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris (Ms Néer 56, Est de Michaelis Coigneti 1576). They give an insight not only in mathematical developments but also in some sociological changes. The manuscript shows the relation between pure and applied mathematics. In this talk we will address these topics.
True Solar Motion, Eccentric Parameters, and Clocks as Mathematical Instruments: Tracking Planetary Theory within the Gears of Renaissance Automata
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Michael Korey, Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Planetary automata, also called planetary clocks, were expensive and rare masterpieces of technical ingenuity designed to show the subtle motion of the heavenly bodies according to Ptolemaic theory. These automata may justly be considered mathematical instruments for a two-fold reason: they manifest a mechanical transposition of mathematical astronomy, and their conception and design required the mastery of practical geometry and trigonometry. They were almost exclusively the reserve of princes and emperors, and within the history of astronomy notice of about a dozen of them has reached us, of which four from the Renaissance survive (in Paris, Vienna, Kassel, and Dresden). This paper presents new research on these instruments, focusing on the two created under the explicit direction of Landgrave Wilhelm IV of Hesse-Kassel around 1560. Passing from the abstract geometrical models described by Ptolemy to a brass mechanism led Wilhelm, his chief “artifex” Eberhard Baldewein, and the roughly dozen craftsmen working under them to use eccentric axles, epicyclic gears, and cogwheels with deliberately uneven toothing. The research described, part of the ongoing project “Deus ex machina,” aims at deducing certain astronomical parameters implicit in Wilhelm’s mechanisms. In particular, the possibility of deriving parameters for the solar eccentricity will be explored in connection with Wilhelm’s own renowned program of astronomical observation. Could it be that a careful analysis of these machines (and the written sources once accompanying them) allows us to witness in their gearing the birth of a new astronomical theory?
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 204
Science and Religion
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
John Christie, John Christie, University Of Oxford
Eoin Carter, University Of Cambridge
Stuart Mathieson, Queen’s University Belfast
Ahto Apajalahti, University Of Helsinki
Michelle Marvin, University Of Notre Dame
Moderators
Frank James, UCL/RI
Enlightenment's Apocalypse: Providence, Prophecy, and Science in the Work of Joseph Priestley
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
John Christie, John Christie, University Of Oxford
Joseph Priestley had a particular story to tell about his own and others' scientific work, or rather a larger story, religious in nature, which historically placed and specified the fundamental meanings of historically recent and contemporary natural science. This paper will reconstruct these meanings firstly by analysis of his preoccupations with the nature and forms of divine providence, and his concern to detect God's 'different footsteps', the traces of divine action in human history. This analysis produces a concept of Priestley's 'providential epistemics' as the basis of his perception and grasp of historical meaning, and aspects of the natural sciences are among his most significant exemplars. The paper then focuses upon his his hermeneutics of Biblical prophecy, emphasizing its intensely apocalyptic tenor, its presentist interpretation of prophecy, its latter interest in the restoration of the Jews to the land of Canaan and their conversion, and its stress upon the recent course of science as herald of apocalyptic imminence. Priestley's understanding of the historical meanings of the progress of natural science recall that of the Puritan millenarians of the mid- seventeenth century English Revolution. For historians of the eighteenth century, particularly historians of Enlightenment, to which historiography Priestley and his radical Dissenting colleagues are often assimilated, unavoidable problems occur once the apocalyptic disposition of Priestley and his colleagues is taken as a characteristic and forceful feature of their work. The paper thus concludes with consideration of the issues raised for Enlightenment historiography by recognition of Priestley's apocalyptic discourse.
"Science is the Antichrist": Popular Science, Radicalism, and Irreligion in Early Nineteenth-Century Britain
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Eoin Carter, University Of Cambridge
In 1820 the radical journalist Richard Carlile declared in the pages of his 'Republican' that science had for centuries been "continually at war" with religion. While historians have tended to locate the conflict thesis as the product of debates much later in the nineteenth century, in this paper I show how a militant, scientifically-inflected irreligion was a recurrent feature of radical agitation in Britain as early as the 1820s and '30s. What marked Carlilean radicalism out as novel was his recruitment of science as the key vehicle for his proposed programme for the popular overthrow of Old Corruption. As well as science providing the intellectual ground for his materialist doctrines, scientific education would also, through new organisations like the Mechanics' Institutes, act as the means of liberation of the working-class mind. Carlile was joined in his struggle by his 'moral wife' Eliza Sharples (whose short-lived 'Isis' made her the first woman to edit a radical paper in Britain), as well as a cadre of itinerant lecturers, including the 'infidel astronomy' of his friend the Reverend Robert Taylor. Meanwhile, new Zetetic Societies emerged as a freethinking rival to elite provincial literary and philosophical societies. In other words, Carlilean science offered an active intellectual programme to the disaffected artisans of Britain. As well as deserving attention in its own right, greater awareness of this radical counterprogramme is essential in assessing the knowledge politics of other, more familar modes of popular science in this period.
Science, Falsely So-Called? Pseudoscience, Anti-Darwinism, and the Science-Religion Debate at the Victoria Institute
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Stuart Mathieson, Queen’s University Belfast
By the mid-nineteenth century, works by scientists such as Charles Lyell, Alfred Russel Wallace, and Charles Darwin had threatened traditional conceptions of the natural world, drawn heavily from scripture and from the natural theology of William Paley. Much attention has been paid to debates with the scientific community about evolution, human origins, and the age of the earth. Yet much of this has concentrated on the rapidly professionalising area of the natural sciences in academia. Debates within other fields, particularly those of well-educated amateurs, have received rather less attention. This paper attempts to remedy that situation, by examining the nineteenth century’s leading anti-evolutionary organisation. Established in 1865, the Victoria Institute had as its prime objective the defence of ‘the great truths revealed in Holy Scripture’ from ‘the opposition of science, falsely so called.’ Bringing together professional scientists, clergymen, and gentlemen amateurs, the Victoria Institute aimed to investigate the latest developments in science from a religious perspective. Initially, this resulted in attempts to buttress religious belief against scientific discoveries; later, it developed into an opportunity for scientists of faith to discuss their beliefs with a sympathetic audience. Drawing on lectures delivered at the Victoria Institute, correspondence, and proceedings, this paper charts the relationship between religious belief, anti-Darwinism, and pseudoscience in Victorian Britain and Ireland and offers a perspective on scientific developments from an underexplored viewpoint.
Physics for the Believers: The Translation and Reception of Pascual Jordan's Forschung Macht Geschichte in Finland in the 1950s
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Ahto Apajalahti, University Of Helsinki
The German physicist Pascual Jordan (1902-1980) is renown not only for his contributions to the development of quantum mechanics but also for trying to reconcile religious and scientific world views. Science, he thought, had repealed materialism. Aiming at a wider audience, Jordan lectured at Radio Bremen. These lectures were reworked in 1954 into a book Forschung macht Geschichte (Science and the course of history). The book was translated in 1956 into Finnish (Tutkimus luo historiaa) by Dr. Reino Tuokko, who had a PhD in nuclear physics and was the most prominent Finnish popularizer of physics during the early Cold War period. In his book, Jordan argued for a greater role for science in society and culture. He also both defended science from religious criticism, and Christian faith from materialist criticism. In other words, Jordan argued physics for the believers; he attempted to convince a conservative Christian audience of the importance of science and its compatibility with religious faith. His translator Dr. Tuokko subtly commented on Jordan's ideas in his own original works. Jordan's ideas also resonated with the wider intellectual climate in Finland. I present the case of Jordan's Forschung macht Geschichte and its transnational influence from the cross-section of intellectual history, cultural history of science and history of popularization. I also consider theoretical aspects on how people employ knowledge for cultural and ideological purposes.
Paradigms Old and New: Twentieth Century Intersections between Kuhnian Revolutions and the Dutch Catholic Faith
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Michelle Marvin, University Of Notre Dame
The question of how Thomas Kuhn’s work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, has been received by the Catholic church is a topic that has garnered small bursts of attention over the last fifty years. Theologians such as Hans Küng and David Tracy have explored the possibility of analogizing paradigm shifts with dogmatic changes in the history of Christianity, while other scholars such as Paul Ricoeur and Matthew Lamb have taken a hermeneutic approach to scriptural paradigm analysis. However, one perspective that has not received scholarly attention belongs to the twentieth century Dutch Catholic theologian Edward Schillebeeckx, who used Kuhnian epistemological theories as the basis for his 1974 statement that Jesus is the “paradigm of humanity.” My paper proposes that Schillebeeckx incorporated scientific models and Kuhnian paradigms into his influential three-volume Christological work as a response to the mid-twentieth-century European cultural milieu. To support this claim, I examine the way Schillebeeckx countered a debate with his colleague at the University of Nijmegen, Ansfried Hulsbosch, who argued for a scientific evolutionary account of the person of Christ. Further, I discuss how Schillebeeckx prepares his readers with a thorough understanding of the ancient Greek concept of paideia and a Platonic understanding of the divine paradeigma prior to introducing Kuhn’s work. I argue that Kuhn’s paradigm becomes integrated into Schillebeeckx’s work through his historical-critical research. In conclusion, by examining Kuhn’s influence on Schillebeeckx’s theological work, I demonstrate the unrecognized way in which Kuhn’s work has influenced the Dutch Catholic church.
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 13, Rm. 004
The Co-Construction of Nuclear Science and Diplomacy
Format : Organized Session
Track : Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Speakers
Machiel Kleemans, University Of Amsterdam
Robert Van Leeuwen, KU Leuven; Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK•CEN
Hein Brookhuis, KU Leuven; Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK•CEN
Maria Rentetzi, National Technical University Of Athens
Clara Florensa, Center For History Of Science. Autonomous University Of Barcelona
Thomas Kaiserfeld, Lund University, Sweden
Moderators
John Krige, Georgia Tech
During the last decade scholars of international affairs and political scientists along with ambassadors and government officials have extensively focused on the role of diplomacy in settling nuclear issues. Yet, the programmatic separation between science and diplomacy and the instrumental use of science that prevails in diplomatic practice come short in explaining the complex nuclear history. To historians of science it has become clear that international collaborations on nuclear matters have strongly overlapped with diplomatic affairs throughout the second half of the 20th century. This relationship between science and diplomacy has been indeed reciprocal: nuclear knowledge and expertise, as well as access to nuclear technologies, have been used as a diplomatic instrument and have formed diplomatic relations. In return, diplomatic affairs have also shaped the nature of nuclear research: the circulation of knowledge, people and materials has been to a large extent a diplomatic matter. On a national level, political forces have been highly influential in shaping nuclear research infrastructure and nuclear experts have guided governmental policy on nuclear energy issues. This session offers a platform to discuss the various ways in which nuclear science and diplomacy have been co-constructed throughout the history of nuclear energy research. We aim a. to obtain new insights in the interplay of nuclear science and diplomacy and b. to move beyond dominant historiographical perspectives on nuclear energy, which too often revolve around US foreign policy matters and cold war narratives.
Secrecy and the Early Dutch-Norwegian Nuclear Collaboration
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Machiel Kleemans, University Of Amsterdam
In spite of the constraints of the Anglo-American nuclear monopoly in the early Cold War, Norway and the Netherlands managed to build and operate a joint nuclear reactor by July 1951. They were the first countries to do so after the Great Powers. Their success was largely due to the combination of the strategic materials of heavy water (Norway) and uranium (the Netherlands). Nonetheless, they had to overcome significant political and technical obstacles. These existed partly because of strict secrecy policies. Diplomats and scientists in the Netherlands, Norway, Britain, France and the United States interacted to provide or sometimes prevent technical and political support. We highlight the interplay of three elements: strategic nuclear materials, the scientists’ particular transnational networks and state power politics. The transnational network of scientists and diplomats was instrumental for the Dutch-Norwegian collaboration to obtain the required support from third countries. In the end, Norway obtained important reactor design information plus reactor graphite from France. The Dutch quietly exchanged their unpurified uranium ore for ready to use British uranium fuel rods. All this eventually received the reluctant blessing of the United States. In the process, various nuclear secrets were tacitly or explicitly shared. By tracing the development of these secrets, we will show how they were co-owned by scientists and the government. This illuminates the broader co-construction of science and diplomacy.
The Early History of the Nuclear Research Center SCK•CEN: Politics, Industry, Scientific Manpower and Nuclear Science in Belgium
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Robert Van Leeuwen, KU Leuven; Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK•CEN
Hein Brookhuis, KU Leuven; Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK•CEN
The major historical picture for the postwar nuclear landscape is the thesis of American ‘co-produced hegemony’ (Krige, 2008). According to this picture, the US government used its access to nuclear knowledge in order to both help postwar Europe rebuild its scientific infrastructure as well as securing US hegemony. More recently, however, the active role of European nations in the development of nuclear research infrastructure has been stressed by historians of science. The Belgian response to postwar nuclear research has until now received only scant attention from historians. This paper describes the early development of nuclear energy research in Belgium via Belgium’s nuclear research center SCK•CEN, founded in 1952. To what extent can the domains of politics, industry and science be seen as independent in the construction of Belgium’s nuclear research infrastructure? In which way was the training of nuclear scientists and engineers, as well as the construction of nuclear technology, shaped through national and international politics? And how did this in turn affect the organization of nuclear science in Belgium/at the SCK•CEN?
Science Diplomacy on the Road: The IAEA’s Mobile Laboratory Travels to Greece
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
LOUKAS FRERIS, PhD Student, National Technical University Of Athens
This paper focuses on the technical assistance programs of the International Atomic Energy Agency as both the beginning and the embodiment of modern science diplomacy. According to its statute, the Agency, a political and diplomatic international organization within the United Nations system, was authorized to provide technical assistance to those Member States that required it. This paper brings front and center the case of Greece and unravels the complex negotiations between the Greek Atomic Energy Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency. To do so, we follow the first Mobile Laboratory on its maiden trip from Austria to Greece and scrutinize the negotiations that took place among central actors in our case. The mobile lab was one of the two laboratories that the US government donated to the IAEA for the technical training of new physicists on the use of radioisotopes in medicine, agriculture and industry. From 1959 to 1965, the two units visited sixteen countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America and approximately 1500 technicians and students attended training courses. We argue that the laboratory’s trip to Greece was much more than a scientific effort to develop the country’s nuclear program. It had the additional diplomatic mission to enlist Greece as an ally of the western bloc. Without doubt, the case of Greece demonstrates that the IAEA's technical assistance, as it was carried out through the Mobile Labs Program, was not just a moment of international scientific cooperation but it was essentially an aspect of scientific diplomacy.
Science Diplomacy and the Epistemologies of Ignorance: The Nuclear Accident of Palomares (Spain, 1966)
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Clara Florensa, Center For History Of Science. Autonomous University Of Barcelona
Different authors have highlighted that invisibility, doubt or ignorance are not natural states of the population, simple absences of information or knowledge, but the outcome of active and effortful cultural and political processes. This paper argues that science diplomacy has played a crucial role in the processes involved in making invisible nuclear risk. To do so, it focuses on a nuclear accident that took place in Spain, 1966. Four nuclear bombs fell onto a town on the South coast, Palomares, due to a crash between two US Air Force planes. Two of the bombs leaked their radioactive content contaminating wide areas of the territory. I will argue that a key part of the diplomatic strategy adopted to solve this crisis focused on making invisible radiation risk in the public domain. Minimizing public attention to the accident was listed, in scientific and military reports of the accident, as a strong argument during diplomatic negotiations. It justified decisions regarding radioactive protection of the inhabitants and security measures of the clean-up actions. The public campaign to render nuclear risk invisible influenced the popular perception of nuclear risk, but not only this: it also had epistemic effects. The criterion of minimizing public attention shaped also the negotiations on levels and methods of decontamination. At the diplomatic table, scientists from US and Spain had to agree on the decontamination methods and on the levels at which various types of decontamination actions would be taken.
Neutron Partners: Nuclear Science and Diplomacy at the European Spallation Source
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Thomas Kaiserfeld, Lund University, Sweden
Since 1945, nuclear science and technology have oscillated between nationalism and internationalism. While the first decade after WW II was mostly characterized by military applications and national security, the launch of the American Atoms-for Peace-program in late 1953 promoted international cooperation. As a consequence, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the United Nations was formed in 1957 to support peaceful applications of nuclear science. More or less simultaneously, Euratom was formed by the members of the European Economic Community (EEC) as a first attempt to promote cooperation also in science and technology. Already by the late 1950s, nuclear science and technology was thus connected to internationalization processes paralleling efforts in different countries to advance atomic weaponry. Since then, facilities for nuclear research include a mix of national labs such as the one in Oak Ridge, and international ones, for example Institute Laue-Langevin inaugurated in Grenoble in 1970, which includes a significant measure of science diplomacy between France, Germany and the UK. In the mid-1990s, OECD endorsed the construction of three nuclear spallation sources in America, Europe and Asia. This resulted in SNS in USA 2006 and JSNS in Japan 2008 while the most powerful of the three, the European Spallation Source (ESS), in contrast relying on a number of partner countries complicating decision, funding and design processes, is still under construction in Lund in southern Sweden. This example shows how interactions between science and diplomacy may be necessary to create larger facilities while simultaneously prolonging their creation.
10:00 - 10:15
Janskerkhof 2-3, Pantry
Coffee Break ☕ Janskerkhof
10:00 - 10:15
Drift 27, Near Library & Courtyard
Coffee Break ☕ Drift 27
12:00 - 13:00
Drift 13, Rm. 004
The Present and Future of the History of Science Society's Publications
Format : Roundtable
Track : Tools for Historians of Science
Speakers
Matthew Lavine, Society Co-Editor
Suman Seth, Cornell University
H. Floris Cohen, HSS Editor, July 2014 - June 2019
Jay Malone
Stephen Weldon, University Of Oklahoma
Moderators
Matthew Lavine, Society Co-Editor
The passing of the Society Editorship from Utrecht to Mississippi State University presents an opportunity for those overseeing HSS publications to discuss their work with members, and to highlight the range of ways that members of every career stage and specialization can participate in the publication life of the Society. It is also a chance to discuss, within proper bounds, what goes on in the various HSS editorial offices. Matthew Lavine, on behalf of his co-Editor Alix Hui, will outline their plans for Isis and the integration of digital history projects into our mandate, and invite the membership's participation in new forms of public outreach . Suman Seth will speak about the process of assembling a proposal for Osiris, and will address plans to shorten the production time for each volume. Jay Malone will comment on the origins of the Newsletter, and speak about changes planned in the coming year, including the announcement of a new permanent editor. Stephen Weldon will report on the status of the Cumulative Bibliography, as a print and online resource, and introduce the bibliographic essays that will be featured in forthcoming volumes. Floris Cohen, as outgoing Society Editor, will reflect on two aspects of his experience: the everyday realities of the refereeing process, and the consequences of Isis having been run for five years from outside the Anglophone world. These statements would take 45 minutes, with the balance reserved for questions and commentary from the audience, in particular graduate students and early career scholars.
12:00 - 13:15
Drift 21, Rm. 105
Women's Mentorship Event
Format : Special Event
Speakers
Angela N. H. Creager, Princeton University
Anita Guerrini, Oregon State University
Alexandra Hui, Mississippi State University, Society Editor
Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, University Of Minnesota
Anya Zilberstein, Concordia University, Montreal
Moderators
Kristine Palmieri, University Of Chicago
Sarah Naramore, Sewanee: The University Of The South
The Women's Mentorship Event is an informal roundtable discussion that provides participants with a safe space to discuss issues relevant to woman-identifying persons in academia. Questions from participants are encouraged and will help steer the discussion. Mentors at various stages of their academic careers will share their experiences, offer advice, and answer questions. This year's confirmed mentors include:Angela Creager, Princeton UniversityAnita Guerrini, Oregon State University (emerita) and University of California, Santa BarbaraAlexandra Hui, Mississippi State UniversitySally Kohlstedt, University of MinnesotaAnya Zilberstein, Concordia UniversityAll women-identifying persons are welcome to attend.A light lunch will be provided thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous benefactor.Please RSVP to gecc.mentorship@gmail.comby July 20th.If you cannot attend due to a conflict but would be interested in women's mentoring, email gecc.mentorship@gmail.com and we will try to set up a smaller session with one of our faculty. A Graduate and Early Career Caucus EventHSSGECCHSSGECC
12:00 - 13:30
Drift 27, Eetkamer
FHHS Distinguished Lecture & Business Meeting
Format : Special Event
Track : Medicine and Health
Speakers
Nelly Oudshoorn
AbstractIn the past decades we have seen the introduction of more and more technologies that operate under the surface of the body, including artificial hips, knees and hearts, pacemakers, breast and cochlear implants, prosthetic arms and legs, spinal cord stimulators, and emerging human enhancement technologies. Understanding the agency, vulnerability and resilience of people living with technologies inside their bodies is therefore an urgent issue. Technologies inside bodies challenge a longstanding tradition of theorizing human-technology relations in STS, philosophy of technology, and history of science. For a long time, most theories on human agency, including the work of Bruno Latour and Don Ihde, only addressed technologies external to the body. These theoretical approaches conceptualize the interactions between humans and technologies merely as finite and limited, temporal events and focus on devices that are more or less under the control of humans. Technologies implanted in bodies challenge these approaches to human-technology relations in two different ways. First, these devices are designed in such a way that they delegate no agency to its 'users', in terms of how they are supposed to interact with these technologies. Second, implants involve continuous interactions between human bodies and technologies that may last a whole life time. Understanding the agency, vulnerability and resilience of people living with technologies implanted in their bodies also challenges social studies of cyborgs because this scholarship silences the lived experiences and voices of people living with implants and neglects the materiality of hybrid bodies. In my lecture, I will discuss recent feminist studies on the intimate relationships between bodies and technologies that argue that it is important to re-materialize the cyborg. Based on my current research on pacemakers and implantable defibrillators I suggest that medical implants may best be considered as body-companion technologies. This metaphor invites us to approach technologies implanted in bodies as devices that act as life-long companions that are inextricably intertwined with all aspects of life, including the process of dying. Approaching technologies inside bodies as body- companion technologies draws the attention to the multiplicity of human-technology relations co-constituted by gender, age, and the geo-political landscape.BiographyNelly Oudshoorn is Professor Emerita of Technology Dynamics and Health Care at the University of Twente. Her research interests and publications include the co-construction of technologies and users, with a particular focus on medical technologies. She is the author/co-editor of three award-winning books, including The Male Pill. A Biography of a Technology in the Making ( Duke University Press 2003, awarded with the Rachel Carson Prize 2005 by the Society for Social Studies of Science in 2005; Telecare Technologies and the Transformation of Healthcare (Palgrave Macmillan 2011, winner of the Book Prize 2012 of Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness of the British Sociological Association); and The New Production of Users: Changing Involvement Strategies and Innovation Collectives, co-edited with Hyysalo and Elgaard Jensen (Routledge 2016, awarded with the Freeman Prize of the European Association for the study of science and technology in 2016). In addition, she is the author of Beyond the Natural Body. An Archeology of Sex Hormones (Routledge 1994) and co-editor of Bodies of Technology. Women's Involvement with Reproductive Medicine ( Ohio State University Press 2000, together with Saetnan and Kirejczyk) and How Users Matter. The Co-construction of Users and Technology (MIT Press, 2003), together with Pinch.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 21, Rm. 005
Anti-Psychiatry, Deinstitutionalization, and Community Mental Health
Format : Organized Session
Track : Medicine and Health
Speakers
John Foot, Historian, University Of Bristol
Chantal Marazia, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany
Joost Vijselaar, Descartes Centre, Utrecht University
Hans Pols, University Of Sydney
Moderators
Hans Pols, University Of Sydney
In the 1960s and 1970s, the care of individuals with severe and persistent forms of mental illness in mental hospitals came under sustained critique in the developed world. Asylum care was criticized as dehumanizing while several anti-psychiatrists questioned the scientific status of psychiatry. Several countries, led by the United States, the United Kingdom, and Italy, moved to deinstitutionalize individuals with mental illness while making alternative forms of care available in the community. It turned out that initiatives in community mental health were insufficient to meet the needs of individuals with mental illness. The critique of mental hospital care was shared by politicians and mental health personnel in several Western countries. The response to this critique, the commencement of deinstitutionalization, the degree to which mental hospital care was maintained, and the development of community mental health services varied significantly between countries. The participants in this panel review developments in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia to gain insights into international variations in the process of deinstitutionalization.Organized by Hans Pols
The Global Impact of Franco Basaglia and the Italian Radical Psychiatry Movement
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
John Foot, Historian, University Of Bristol
Franco Basaglia was the acknowledged leader of a vast movement of psychiatrists, patients, administrators, students, politicians and others to reform the psychiatric system in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s. This movement transformed individual asylums in Italy and the treatment of patients, and led to the 1978 180 Law (also known as the ‘Basaglia Law’), which eventually closed down the psychiatric hospital system entirely (although this ‘closure’ remains controversial at a number of levels). The impact of the ‘Basaglian movement’ and the 180 law was vast across the world, but very different from country to country and even from city to city. This paper will trace the different forms of acceptance, rejection and non-interest in a number of countries, drawing on research that will (in part) be published in a book co-edited by myself and Professor Tom Burns, to be published by OUP in 2019. This impact or non-impact will also shed light on the varying outcomes of the Italian experience itself, and the debates within Italy over the Basaglian legacy which are ongoing today.
"Despite the Asylum, Not Instead of It": Community Psychiatry in West Germany (1960-1980)
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Chantal Marazia, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany
Histories of the German psychiatric reform usually identify the origin of this process with the so-called Psychiatrie-Enquete. The Enquete, published in 1975, consisted of a comprehensive report of the status quo and concrete recommendations for a structural reorganization of the West German psychiatric care system: community orientation; patient-centred care; coordination of all service institutions and providers; equal treatment and opportunities for the mentally and physically ill. The scholarship seems unanimous in highlighting the importance of some contemporaneous international developments as an intellectual and institutional blueprint for the German reform, especially the Italian initiative led by Franco Basaglia. Some points of the 1975 reform program, however, had already been actualised in the 1960s, most notably some elements of community care. For example, the considered fruitful relationship between psychiatry and anthropology was to be tested on the grounds of community care. This paper considers two of these early instances, later taken as models: the Zentralinstitut für seelische Gesundheit (Central Institute for Mental Health) in Mannheim and the community psychiatry set in place in Mönchengladbach (NRW). The focus will be on their epistemological setting and their concrete solutions, such as day- and night-clinics, sheltered housings and patient clubs. Finally, we will discuss how far at the time and at the direct aftermath of the Enquete the international developments were mobilised as models for the national reform, or if the Germans tired of affirming their own tradition. This paper as been written by Chantal Marazia and Heiner Fangeru, Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf
Deinstitutionalization: The Dutch way?
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Joost Vijselaar, Descartes Centre, Utrecht University
Inspired mainly by the example of Italian ‘Democratic psychiatry’, around the mid-nineteen eighties, the policies of both Dutch government and the field of mental health care turned towards the aim of deinstitutionalization. Official governmental directives included the gradual dismantling of some of the larger mental hospitals, the increase of the number of sheltered homes, and the introduction of e.g. assertive community treatment and rehabilitation. These contributed to a shift towards community psychiatry during the nineties. Nevertheless, at the beginning of the 21st century, the Netherlands figured amongst the European countries with the highest number of institutional beds. The reasons for the ‘lagging behind’ or the different pathway of Dutch mental health care are still a matter of discussion and a subject for historical research. Some possible causes can already be hypothesized. Around 1970 Dutch institutional mental health consisted of medium-sized psychiatric hospitals with comparatively high standards of care. Starting during the 1920s, the Netherlands had a pioneering role in the development of a nationwide system of community psychiatry, which probably resulted in a situation in which the pioneer is lagging behind once all the others followed. Furthermore, parallel and interfering developments in society and government policies during the last decades of the 20th century – e.g. the demise of the welfare state and the liberalization of health insurance – had a negative effect on the reorganization of mental health care. In this paper the development of deinstitutionalization in the Netherlands will be analyzed against the background of the international historiography on this subject, aiming both at the distinction of different (national) models and phases in the history of the transfer of psychiatric care to the community.
On Being Sane in Insane Australian Places: Robin Winkler’s Pseudo-Patient Experiments
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Hans Pols, University Of Sydney
After conducting path-breaking experiments on introducing token economies in mental hospitals, Australian psychologist Robin Winkler spent a sabbatical in the United States (1970-1971). There, he became acquainted with anti-psychiatry and initiatives in community mental health. After returning to Australia, he repeated David Rosenhan’s famous experiment On Being Sane in Insane Places. After two (mentally healthy) psychology students were admitted to a mental hospital, they behaved normally and made observations about the care provided (which left much to be desired). He also conducted a pseudo-patient experiment with general practitioners; students visited them and presented symptoms of depression. In general, discussions between physicians and pseudo-patients were short, no referrals were organised, and all received prescriptions. Winkler conducted these experiments for two reasons. First, he thought that they provided unique insights into the nature of mental hospitals and general practice (he recommended that they were repeated every few years). Second, these experiments were part of a broader critique on the place of medicine in modern society. Winkler was part of a small group of radical psychologists that criticized psychiatry and medicine during the 1970s and 1980s to realize change.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 13, Rm. 003
Art, Science, and Medicine inside and outside the Paris Academy of Sciences during the Old Regime
Format : Organized Session
Track : Medicine and Health
Speakers
Katherine Reinhart, University Of Cambridge
Oded Rabinovitch, Tel Aviv University
Justin Rivest, University Of Cambridge
Rossella Baldi, SIK-ISEA Zurich
Moderators
Nicholas Dew, McGill University
Scholarship on French science during the Old Regime has given considerable attention to the Royal Academy of Sciences, founded in Paris in 1666. This is not surprising, since the Academy quickly became one of the preeminent scientific institutions in Europe, until it was disbanded during the French Revolution. However, such a focus hinders our understanding of the broader contours of French science and medicine during this period, which was hardly limited to the Academy: artists, doctors, apothecaries, surveyors, and engineers (to name only a few groups) devoted considerable interest to scientific topics. Further, even academicians or close collaborators of the Academy were usually active in other fields, from the medical marketplace to the Parisian world of publishing. By focusing on the interactions among academicians, collaborators, and what the French call "fellow travelers," this panel aims to examine French science in the period 1650-1750 through studies that tackle academicians, artists, and other mediators as they negotiated the boundaries of the Academy and other formal institutions, such as the Royal Manufactures at the Gobelins. Collectively, we argue, an understanding of the activities of such mediators is crucial for putting into perspective the role of the Academy, and of science more broadly, in French culture and society during the Old Regime.Organized by Oded Rabinovitch
Image-Making Inside and Outside the Academy: The Artists of the Paris Academy of Sciences
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Katherine Reinhart, University Of Cambridge
The early Royal Academy of Sciences relied on images in the process of their natural philosophical work. Drawings and prints helped communicate new ideas, inventions, and observations, and they circulated both within Academy meetings and to wider audiences. While many members of the Academy made drawings in the process of their investigations, they relied on professional artists to create engravings for their published works. Some of these images, such as the large engraved plates by Sébastien Le Clerc (1637-1714) were celebrated for their artistic skill as well as scientific accuracy. Yet despite the fame of these images, surprisingly little is known about the how the Academy negotiated their relationship with the artists who created them. Still further, the background and training of these artists have been neglected by scholars, nor has their work outside the Academy been taken into consideration. This paper will explore the relationship between the Academy and the artists they employed in the larger context of their artistic and graphic practices. Le Clerc, as well as Abraham Bosse (1604-1676), Louis de Châtillon (1639-1734), and Nicholas Robert (1614-1685) all created prints for the Academy’s earliest folio volumes in the 1670s. But if Le Clerc’s images were celebrated, ones by the others ran into problems, with the artists and Academicians disagreeing on the best means of representation. This paper will examine how these artists balanced artistic convention and tradition on the one hand, and the patronage demands and expectations on the other – to varying degrees of success.
Mathematical Skills and Household Service in the Career of Sébastien Le Clerc
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Oded Rabinovitch, Tel Aviv University
Sébastien Le Clerc (1637-1714), one of the most successful engravers of Louis XIV’s France, was born to a family of goldsmiths in Lorraine, and received classical artisanal training. Yet over the course of a highly successful career as an engraver, he also became a widely published scientific author. His publications ranged from topics commensurate with artists’ interest, such as perspective and optics, to publications on cosmology, far removed from the workshop. This paper argues that mathematical skills played a key role in the dual development of Le Clerc’s career, who simultaneously became an engraver and strove to recognition as a man of letters and natural philosopher. Yet these mathematical skills only came fruition in the context of household service, in particular as an education to the children of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the powerful minister who spearheaded the transformation of the French cultural sphere in the 1660s. By tracing Le Clerc’s dual career arch, and showing how mathematical skills served to integrate Le Clerc into several contexts, from the Colbert’s household, through the world of publishing and the royal manufactures at the Gobelins, this paper seeks to revisit the thorny question of the relations between scholars and artisans during the Scientific Revolution. Rather than relying on hands-on, bodily experience, it was Le Clerc’s skill in mathematics that lend support to his aspiring scholarly career. These skills were published and advertised though his connections to powerful houses, which connected the developing state bureaucracy and manufactures with the market for scientific books.
The French State and “Useful” Medical Knowledge: The Clinical Judgment of Guy-Crescent Fagon, Royal Physician to Louis XIV
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Justin Rivest, University Of Cambridge
My paper explores the role played by the king’s first physician (Premier médecin du roi) in organizing and evaluating a particular form of medical experimentation, namely, clinical trials of novel therapeutic substances. Although the primary responsibility of the first physician was supervising the health of the royal body, he also had a customary role in passing judgment on whether or not a given drug was safe or useful for the king’s subjects. This extended into the realm of state venality through the granting of royally-sponsored drug monopolies. As a case study, I examine the career of Louis XIV’s final first physician, Guy-Crescent Fagon (1638-1718), who organized patient trials and granted monopolies for dozens of drugs. Fagon was a graduate of the Paris Faculty of Medicine, superintendent of the Jardin du roi, and a member of the Académie des sciences, but the trials he organized were personally (rather than institutionally) assessed and occurred outside of the auspices of these bodies. I argue that Fagon’s testing practices testify to the importance of embodied expertise, personal judgment, and authoritative witnessing by trusted practitioners. They also suggest a coherent research programme, one aimed at cheap, “useful” drugs that could be used indiscriminately by large populations in order to further the goals of the French state—particularly in military contexts—but they occurred outside of the institutional spheres that historians usually associate with state-sponsored science in this period.
The Amateur’s Gaze vs. the “Learned” Eye: Theorizing Natural History Collections in the Second Half of the 18th Century
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Rossella Baldi, SIK-ISEA Zurich
The flourishing practice of natural history collecting, which characterized the second half of the 18th century, was supported by a major theoretical effort to define how samples should be collected, preserved and displayed. This specialized literature was mainly produced within the French academic world to educate the non-specialized readership and to provide naturalists with the right methods to set up their cabinets. As a consequence, texts theorized two opposite views on collecting, reflecting two different approaches to nature. On the one hand, the scientific collection, aimed at the most faithful reproduction of nature and its laws through a rigorous and methodical display of the specimens; on the other hand, the amateur cabinet, conceived a space for visual pleasure where to contemplate natural beauty and inside which aesthetic choices offset the difficulty of making natural order visible. This paper will question this theoretic dichotomy. I will argue that the scholarly French élite referred to the “taste vs. method” opposition as a strategy to discredit non-professional collectors in order to legitimize the practice of scientific collecting as the only one able to formulate a valid scientific content. As a matter of fact, was the opposition between amateurs and scientists truly operational? Was it really possible to exhibit nature in a cabinet without using any decorative artificialities which, according to scientists, prevented the visitors of natural history cabinets from experiencing and understanding the natural order?
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 13, Rm. 004
Articulations and Disarticulations: Translation, Medicine, and Knowledge in the Premodern World, Session I
Format : Organized Session
Track : Medicine and Health
Speakers
Montserrat Cabré, University Of Cantabria, Spain
Ahmed Ragab, Harvard University
Elaine Leong, Department Of History, University College London
Sven Dupré, Utrecht University / University Of Amsterdam
Moderators
Alisha Rankin, Tufts University
Research located at the nexus of medicine, knowledge, and translation deals with some of the fundamentals of human experience: the most basic drive to survive and flourish, and the urge to gather and share information. Living with a constant reminder about the fragility of the human condition, people across all levels of society have sought new information about drugs, curative techniques, and therapeutics, and have devised and debated understandings of the body and its relationship to the environment. The centrality and importance of such knowledge necessitates frequent and urgent modes of knowledge transfer. Translation, from one language, site, material, or context to another plays a crucial role in these epistemic acts. In these two panels, we look at the processes of "articulations" and "disarticulations" in the production of knowledge as we bring into focus the importance of translation by groups and individuals, and of languages and concepts, hitherto marginalised in grand narratives. We look at instances of translations from the medieval to the modern period across geographical locations investigating how "translation" can serve as an analytic in history of science to understand movement across linguistic, practical and sign systems. We also investigate how translation functions as a space of power and/or resistance in relation to gender, race and colonialism. The panels' diverse set of papers offers a new approach for a global understanding of the history of science across traditional boundaries, and looks to push theories of exchange towards new more complex understanding of movements and intersections.Organized by Sietske Fransen, Elaine Leong, and Ahmed Ragab
Female Authority in Translation: Medieval Catalan Texts on Women’s Health
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Montserrat Cabré, University Of Cantabria, Spain
My paper intends to explore the impact of translation practices on the construction of female authority in one particular vernacular tradition. My approach traces how late medieval Catalan medicine articulated its own notion of female medical authority by acknowledging, adapting and erasing Latin ideas while translators, adaptors and compilers were working to bring medical literature over to new audiences. It intends to analyze through a focused case-study the gendered effects of a broad cultural process of mediation that has not been explored from this perspective. The Catalan corpus of medical texts is a relevant instance as it belongs to a particularly rich and geographically widespread linguistic tradition in the late middle ages. With the determined political concourse of the Aragonese crown, Catalan became a medical language from the late thirteenth century on, and the ongoing project Sciencia.cat provides a detailed body of evidence for both extant and missing texts allowing for a solid reconstruction of the healthcare corpus. A significant number of texts were produced during the 14th and 15th centuries and extant translations date from as early as 1305, when laywomen and men as well as emerging new groups of healthcare practitioners were involved in commissioning, producing and consuming translations in the vernacular. This essay explores globally 14th and 15th century Catalan medical texts, but it considers especially a mid-fifteenth century translation of the De curis mulierum that I have recently identified in an anonymous surgeon’s handbook.
Translation and the Making of a Scientific Archive: The Case of the Islamic “Translation Movement”
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Ahmed Ragab, Harvard University
Translation plays a central role in the historiography of Islamic science and medicine. Two episodes of translation bookend the “Golden Age”: the translation from Greek to Arabic, and that from Arabic to Latin. In both processes, translation is understood as a mode of acquisition and/or loss where knowledge moves across a linguistic divide in a process that begins (or ends) a particular historical episode. However, this translation-as-transition paradigm fails to capture the linguistic diversity that existed on both sides of this seeming divide, and the production and consumption of this translated knowledge and its diffusion beyond the spheres of learned scientific and medical practice. Moreover, translation-as-transition paradigm foregrounds the fixity and “foreignness” of Greek knowledge rendering Islamic sciences derivative and secondary—a science-in-waiting for European Renaissance. In this paper, I look at translation in the history of Islamic medicine not as a transition but rather as a part of a larger and more comprehensive process of archive-making. Through following the works of translators and historians, I investigate how translation contributed to the production of a particular form of learned medicine, and to the making of specific socio-professional identities. I argue that understanding translations as part of the production of knowledge is key to pushing a more accurate, innovative and comprehensive global history of science in the pre-modern world.
Translating, Printing, and Reading the Art of Distillation
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Elaine Leong, Department Of History, University College London
In 1651, John French (1616-1657) offered the English reading public a new handbook: The Art of Distillation. The work represents the fruits of French’s wide-ranging reading and translating practices and includes large sections (with images) extracted from Johann Rudolph Glauber’s (1604-1670) Furni novi philosophici, a series of five German tracts on distilling published in Amsterdam in the 1640s. In the mid-1730s, the Devon-based Tallamy family obtained a copy of The Art of Distillation. Lead by Rebecca Tallamy, they wrote a cornucopia of annotations into their treasured copy of French’s book, including hundreds of additional recipes and personalised selections from other contemporary medical books including the works of Nicholas Culpeper and William Salmon. The printed medical book, then, is at once a conduit and a receptacle for medical knowledge - a personal archive of know-how strategically assembled to suit the needs of the family. Taking this curious volume as a starting point, this talk explores translation, print, and medical reading in early modern England. I examine the intertwined practices of translation, reading and writing as ongoing, collective, and collaborative projects embedded within practices and local contexts, taking meaning both from its creators and its users. By situating the case study within analytical frameworks developed by historians of archives, I also emphasise how processes of translation, reading and note-taking were all deliberately employed to create an eighteenth-century home-based archive of everyday knowledge.
Commentary: Articulations and Disarticulations: Translation, Medicine, and Knowledge in the Premodern World, Session I
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Sven Dupré, Utrecht University / University Of Amsterdam
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 27, Rm. 032
Digital Humanities and the History of Science
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Sarah Lang, Centre For Information Modelling (ZIM) Of Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Karen Hollewand, Utrecht University
Koen Scholten, PhD Candidate, Utrecht University
Moderators
Joris Mercelis, Johns Hopkins University
The Modeling of Alchemical Decknamen: On the Potential of Digital Representation for Deepening Understanding in the Humanities
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Sarah Lang, Centre For Information Modelling (ZIM) Of Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Alchemical language is an example of scientia poetica, its Decknamen are coded, ornate and instable. But alchemical language shouldn’t remain ultimate riddle it has come to represent. Couldn’t a computer bring clarity into the poetics of alchemy? After all, poetry is a system and systems can be modeled. Alchemical language is full of ambiguity but modern Digital Humanities tools allow to model exactly this uncertainty. Computational methods like Natural Language Processing (NLP), Named Entity Recognition (NER) and knowledge representation technologies, for example using thesauri of the terms of alchemy in SKOS-standard-conformant XML, allow to handle the typical ambiguity of alchemical data. We can make implicit instances of knowledge explicit in a digital thesaurus while the linking between the concrete word (a string or label) in a text to the thesaurus remains loose enough to allow for imprecise poetic language. Modeling is the iterative process of systematic representation of certain aspects of reality. In order to model, we need make knowledge explicit. Once a model is created for the purpose of study, the failings of the model teach us new insights: Computational models are “temporary states in a process of coming to know”, in which computers are not “knowledge jukeboxes” but “representation machines” (McCarty 2004, 255). They create an systematic approximation of reality and from its shortcomings we learn about the reality we aimed to model. This paper aims to show uses of modeling alchemical terms in a digital thesaurus using the example of Michael Maier’s (1568-1622) writings.
Text Mining and the Conceptual History of the "Republic of Letters"
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Karen Hollewand, Utrecht University
All that we know about the early modern Republic of Letters, from the heterogeneity of its membership to its continued significance in the learned world of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, is based on traditional historical research: the close-reading of historical documents. Yet, as the number of primary sources shared online keeps growing, it is time to discover how computational approaches can advance our understanding of this complex community. In my paper, part of my research for the SKILLNET project, I will explore the use of digital text mining in the study of the conceptual history of the ‘Republic of Letters’, investigating if and how the distant reading of a large corpus of letters can trace key concepts that relate to a sense of commonality and to the ideal of sharing knowledge. Looking at the frequency and spread of words, I am mapping the main ethical notions which held this learned community together. Did these notions change over time or differ according to, for example, region, language, or religion? Can they tell us if this knowledge society represented a utopian idea, detached from religious and political concerns, or if we should explain its long-term significance in relation to its pragmatic value, allowing scholars to share their thoughts and texts with each other? Exploring these questions, my paper will touch upon the construction of my principal dataset, comprising of more than 80,000 early modern letters, and discuss the complexities of conducting experiments with a historical and multilingual corpus.
Text-Mining Early Modern Collective Lives of Scholars for Scholarly Virtues
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Koen Scholten, PhD Candidate, Utrecht University
The respublica litteraria, the imagined community of scholars in the early modern period, was kept together beyond confessional borders through collective ideals. These ideals were celebrated and embodied by exemplary scholars – most notably Erasmus – who served as role models for virtue and participation in the learned community. By presenting an overview of the virtues ascribed to exceptional and exemplary learned men we gain insight into the development of the transconfessional respublica litteraria in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Early modern collective scholarly life-writing often referred to as "vitae" or "elogia" offered an overview to early modern readers of the most eminent scholars, their deeds and virtues. This paper will present the results of a text-mining analysis of a variety of collective scholarly life-writings. Vitae and elogia from both sides of the confessional divide will be taken into consideration and compared against each other. Do Italian or Dutch compendia of scholars include the same scholars? And, more importantly, were scholars ascribed the same virtues throughout Europe? All in all, this paper addresses the scholarly virtues expressed in collective scholarly life-writing in the early modern period.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 25, Rm. 101
Experimental Spaces
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Jacob Ward, University Of Oxford
Joeri Bruyninckx, Assistant Professor, Society Studies, Maastricht University
Marco Tamborini, Institut Für Philosophie, TU Darmstadt
Baher Ibrahim, PhD Candidate, University Of Glasgow
Moderators
Antoine LEVEQUE , Adjunct
Science Parks and Instant Villages: Postmodernism and British Telecom in Thatcher's Britain
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Jacob Ward, University Of Oxford
This paper explores the aesthetic of ‘place’ and the emergence of science parks in the 1980s through a study of British Telecom Labs in Martlesham Heath, rural England. Above BT Labs’ entrance is a plaque engraved with ‘Research is the Door to Tomorrow’. BT Labs inherited the plaque from its predecessor, the Post Office Research Station, which BT acquired in 1981 after Margaret Thatcher created BT to take over the British telephone system from the Post Office. The research centre was a modernist, corporate lab, designed to emulate the ‘industrial Versailles’ of Bell Labs and General Motors’ Tech Centre, but in the 1980s, amidst a Thatcherist vogue for science parks, it became ‘Adastral Park’, a ‘science campus’ whose name referenced the motto of the Royal Air Force, deliberately evoking Britain’s WWII spirit. Adastral Park, however, is not Martlesham Heath’s only distinctive feature. From 1975, with the promise of new residents from research staff, an ‘instant village’, built like an ‘unspoiled traditional village’, was built on the heath, a postmodern reaction in architecture and town planning against post-war Britain’s ‘new towns’. Martlesham Heath has multiple, contradictory expressions of temporality, and in this paper I argue that the evolution of this corporate laboratory, from modernist Post Office Research Centre to Thatcherist ‘science park’ experiment, invoked history and futurity in ways that turned ‘Martlesham Heath’ from a heathland space into a ‘place’ in its own right, with a past, present, and future.
Tuning the Workplace: The Herman Miller Research Corporation and the Architectonics of Information
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Joeri Bruyninckx, Assistant Professor, Society Studies, Maastricht University
In the 1960s and 70s, architects and designers looked to the sciences for inspiration and a systematic approach to shaping environments rich in information. This is particularly evident in an approach promoted by the Herman Miller Research Corporation (HMRC), a division of the iconic furniture manufacturer. In 1968, HMRC launched an influential open-office management concept called Action Office. Promising to adapt the workplace to a new era of “knowledge workers” and invoking concepts in management, human sciences and engineering, its developers claimed to tackle problems of information overload, declining productivity and employee satisfaction. Within a decade, the concept got implemented in hundreds of corporate, governmental and public service offices and research laboratories. Focusing on the period 1959 to 1976, this paper catalogues and analyses the firm’s efforts to study, rationalize and measure white-collar creativity and productivity, and in so doing legitimate a discursive and material re-arrangement of the office. In particular, it shows how HMRC researchers drew together concepts and methodological approaches from emerging subdisciplines such as ergonomics, proxemics, environmental psychology and psychoacoustics to develop an embodied model of information processing and recalibrate workers’ comfort, creativity, and exposure to information stimuli—on paper as much as in their social, visual and acoustic surroundings. This paper explores how their efforts to shape and validate such effects on white-collar work contributed to broader transformations in notions of information and productivity, and produced a template, both for a particular approach to corporate research and for future imaginations of the workspace.
The Circulation of Morphological Knowledge: Twentieth-Century Science of Form between Evolutionary Biology and Architecture
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Marco Tamborini, Institut Für Philosophie, TU Darmstadt
In 1971, biologists Stephen Jay Gould and Richard C. Lewontin criticized the agenda that had “dominated evolutionary thought in England and the United States” according to which natural selection is seen as an “optimizing agent”. Conversely, they proposed a different standpoint on evolution, in which body plans are “constrained by phyletic heritage, pathways of development and general architecture”. As they admitted, while this different focus on evolutionary mechanisms was “long popular in continental Europe,” it was almost entirely absent in English-language biology. Given this background, how did this “European” perspective come to form the basis for a major theoretical challenge to Adaptationist thinking? What were the sources of this perspective? In my talk, I point out that this rethinking was possible through an exchange and transfer of practices, data, technologies, and knowledge between biologically oriented students of form and architects, and engineers. Specifically, I analyze how morphological knowledge traveled from evolutionary biology into architecture and back during the 1960s. As a case study, I focus on the Stuttgart Collaborative Research Center on wide span surface structures. In this research center, architect Frei Otto and biologist Gerhard Helmcke developed a structural analysis of morphogenesis. According to this analysis, an efficient form is obtained by using as little material as possible in line with the lightweight principle. Hence, by showing how morphological knowledge traveled during the 1960s, my presentation will provide preliminary insights into a different history of twentieth- and twenty-first-century science of form.
Culture, Trauma, and Confinement: The Making of Psychiatric Knowledge in Refugee Camps
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Baher Ibrahim, PhD Candidate, University Of Glasgow
This paper will examine the history of psychiatry through the lens of the refugee camp, which, I argue, has served as an instrument of accumulation and extraction of knowledge about refugees and their mental (ill)health. Though the voices of refugees are often absent from the psychiatric knowledge created about them, they have nonetheless contributed to and shaped subfields of psychiatric knowledge and practice, such as trauma psychiatry and transcultural psychiatry. Two very different mental health programs delivered by medical humanitarian organizations to Cambodian refugees encamped on the Thai-Cambodian border will be examined, from both the earlier and later years of a humanitarian border crisis that lasted from 1979-1993. Different psychiatric methodologies were introduced, applied, and refined in Cambodian refugee camps, contributing to the genesis of ‘new’ fields of ‘refugee mental health’ and ‘refugee trauma’. The first of these programs involved the appropriation of indigenous knowledge by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which eschewed Western psychiatric concepts completely in favour of Khmer traditional medicine. ICRC set up and administered Traditional Medicine Centres that were staffed by krou khmer, Cambodian Buddhist monks, who practiced their indigenous healing traditions within the framework and limitations set by ICRC. The second involved a landmark study by the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, which introduced and applied new Western psychiatric tools, such as the DSM-III, and diagnoses, like PTSD, in Site 2, the largest camp on the border.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 25, Rm. 201
Mathematical Cultures
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Mathematics
Speakers
Idit Chikurel, University Of Potsdam
Shankar Raman, Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (MIT)
Paolo Rossini, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa
Jenne O'Brien, Princeton University
Moderators
Julia Tomasson, Columbia University
Influences of Greek Geometrical Analysis on Maimon's Notions of Analysis
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Idit Chikurel, University Of Potsdam
It is often claimed that analysis is grounded on the principle of contradiction alone and synthesis is grounded not only on the principle of contradiction but on pure intuition as well. This distinction is inaccurate. In my talk, I discuss the notion of analysis as something that can be grounded on sensibility as well. For this purpose, I present practices of Greek geometrical analysis and discuss how they shaped philosophical and mathematical notions of analysis that are broader than merely logical analysis. I present the case of the philosopher Salomon Maimon (1753-1800) and his work on the different notions of analysis. Maimon's work on analysis is entwined with his work on invention. When writing the outlines of a theory of invention, he turns to Euclidean geometry and practices of Greek geometrical analysis as his main source of influence. This influence is extended not only to his formation of methods of invention but also to his notions of analysis and invention. He presents several notions of analysis, philosophical and mathematical, that are grounded not only on the principle of contradiction but on intuition as well. My discussion of such influences will be accompanied by examples taken from Euclid's Elements and Data. This study of the different forms of analysis is meant to shed light on the less known aspects of the concept and its practices.
Thinking Small: Infinitesimal Thought in Early Modernity
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Shankar Raman, Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (MIT)
As is well known in the history of mathematics, the path to the invention of calculus in late seventeenth-century Europe passed through Buonaventura Cavalieri’s geometry of “indivisibles,” the infinitesimally small slices into which he proposed dividing geometric figures in order to compute the total area contained within their boundaries. The ontological status of these indivisibles was, however, a vexed issue, and the problem of how to deal with the infinitely small would remain a source of much contention for centuries -- as is suggested by Bishop Berkeley’s withering description of Newtonian “fluxions” as the “ghosts of departed quantities.” Tracing the path from Cavalieri’s indivisibles through Leibniz’s infinitesimals, my paper will suggest that early modern attempts to render calculable the minutiae of space and motion have a wide cultural resonance, one that becomes especially visible in literary and metaphysical experimentations with sequences and progressions, in such diverse writers as Gaspara da Stampa, Shakespeare, and Milton.
New Theories for New Instruments: Fabrizio Mordente’s Proportional Compass and the Genesis of Giordano Bruno’s Atomist Geometry
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Paolo Rossini, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa
The aim of this paper is to shed light on an understudied aspect of Giordano Bruno's intellectual biography, namely, his career as a mathematical practitioner. Early interpreters, especially, have criticized Bruno's mathematics for being “outdated” or too “concrete”. However, thanks to developments in the study of early modern mathematics and the rediscovery of Bruno's first mathematical writings (four dialogues on Fabrizio's Mordente proportional compass), we are in a position to better understand Bruno's mathematics. In particular, this paper aims to reopen the question of whether Bruno anticipated the concept of infinitesimal quantity. It does so by providing an analysis of the dialogues on Mordente's compass and of the historical circumstances under which those dialogues were written. Mordente's compass was almost unknown until the late 1800s, as its existence was overshadowed by that of another proportional compass, invented by a better-known Italian scientist: Galileo Galilei. However, Mordente's compass did not go completely unnoticed by his contemporaries, catching the eye of technicians and mathematical practitioners, but also of speculative thinkers like Bruno. Puzzled by the novelty of Mordente’s invention, Bruno offered to write an exposition of the compass in the form of dialogues. In these dialogues, in an attempt to provide a theoretical explanation for the use of the compass, Bruno presented the first version of his atomist geometry based on the concept of the "minimum". This minimum was in essence an infinitely small quantity. As such, I argue that it can be regarded as a forerunner of the infinitesimals.
The Manifold Meanings of Nineteenth-Century Mathematics: Bernhard Riemann’s Construction of the Manifold
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Jenne O'Brien, Princeton University
This paper scrutinizes the revisions of mathematician Bernhard Riemann’s (1822-1862) 1854 habilitation lecture at the University of Göttingen. It argues that the lecture is a reflection of how mathematicians developed non-Euclidean geometries in the nineteenth century, breaking with long-standing professional conventions and philosophical convictions in order to do so. Riemann’s concept of the “manifold,” which he presented in this lecture, was one of the most widespread non-Euclidean frameworks in the nineteenth century, and endures as a foundational concept in mathematics today. This paper argues that, while the manifold (and non-Euclidean geometry) was a “rupture,” it was also continuous with the mathematical practices that came before it, including the study of minimal surfaces. More broadly, Riemann’s papers reveal surprising aspects of mathematical practice, at exactly the moment when mathematics purportedly became abstract, immaterial, and unempirical. Riemann’s mathematical research directly addressed questions of religion and metaphysics: he argued that the “world manifold” was the mechanism connecting human souls to the “world soul.” And Riemann described mathematics as though it could act, and act against him; he frequently was so captivated by his research that he could not pull himself away until he became physically ill. By using Riemann’s revisions to temporally reconstruct the creation of the manifold, this paper challenges two narratives, one historiographical and one cultural: the myth of non-Euclidean geometry as a total rupture, and the notion that mathematics is immaterial and disembodied.
13:30 - 15:30
Janskerkhof 2-3, Rm. 013
Matters Above and Below: Natural Philosophy and Natural History in the Eighteenth Century
Format : Organized Session
Track : Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Speakers
Anna Marie Roos, University Of Lincoln, UK
Victor Boantza, University Of Minnesota
Anna Graber, Program In The History Of Science, Technology, And Medicine, University Of Minnesota
Edwin Rose, University Of Cambridge
Moderators
Anna Marie Roos, University Of Lincoln, UK
The long eighteenth century saw changes in ideas of order not only in politics and society, but also in philosophy, the arts, and natural science. In the aftermath of the seventeenth-century Scientific Revolution, the Aristotelian two-sphere cosmology, which for millennia divided a geocentric universe into the earthly and heavenly realms, gave way to a unified and (semi-) mechanized universe. This had momentous and well-studied implications for astronomy and mechanics. Despite this collapse, the eighteenth century inherited old classificatory schemes-e.g. four ancient elements, three kingdoms of nature, subterranean and terrestrial realms-whose boundaries and aims had to be redefined, especially in experimental and natural historical pursuits. This panel examines some of these processes of conceptual, practical, and institutional renegotiation, and the way they played out in some of the most prominent domains of eighteenth-century scientific inquiry like experimental physics, chemistry, pneumatics, geology, and zoology. The papers assembled here, which span the years 1699–1812, examine British, French, German, Dutch, and Russian case studies to show both why old schemes were still useful in organizing and presenting scientific knowledge but also why and how they had to be revised. We explore shifts in classification before and after Linnaeus's binomial system; the development of early atmospheric and meteorological studies; Lomonosov's mineralogical science in the context of 'mining Enlightenment'; and the relations between collections, classificatory systems, and commercial publishing at the close of the eighteenth century.Organized by Victor D. Boantza
Edward Lhwyd’s 1699 Lithophylacii Britannicii Ichnographia [British Figured Stones]: Old and New Classifications
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Anna Marie Roos, University Of Lincoln, UK
The Lithophylacii Britannicii ichnographia [British figured stones] (1699) by Edward Lhwyd, the second keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, was the first illustrated field guide to English fossils. This paper analyses the book’s physical creation—the collection of specimens, fieldwork sketches and their engravings—with an eye to understanding its use and reuse in eighteenth-century editions and collections that were in the transition to binomial taxonomy. Focusing on the Lithophylacii’s illustrations of fossils, this paper begins by examining how the specimens of crinoids, ichthyosaur teeth and vertebrae, sea urchin fossils, and ‘piped waxen veins’ or fossilized wood were collected in the field by Lhwyd and hired searchers. We then examine the role of these specimens in subsequent editions of the book, demonstrating to what extent the relationship between them influenced collectors like Sir Hans Sloane and Daniel Solander from ca. 1680 to 1760. Finally, we will demonstrate how Ashmolean Keeper William Huddesford repurposed the illustrations in Lhwyd’s book for his own eighteenth-century edition of the Lithophylacii (1760), incorporating new classificatory schemes. Our account provides insight into how a late seventeenth-century book of natural philosophy was used, revised, and repurposed by natural historians and collectors before and during the development of Linnaean taxonomy. We will concentrate upon the implications of migration of natural knowledge from one medium to another, from object to drawing to printed image, as well as its circulation and the establishing of credibility and taxonomic type characteristics in scientific (visual and textual) discourse and illustration.
Fluid Cosmologies, Pneumatics, and Atmospheric Studies in the Early Eighteenth Century
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Victor Boantza, University Of Minnesota
Boyle’s mechanistic interpretations of fire and the ‘spring of air’ are relatively well known. The elusive link between these two branches of his science—in particular his sustained and original work on the nature of fluidity—remains understudied, partly due to Newton’s long shadow in the history of fluid mechanics. This paper explores some early eighteenth-century ramifications of these subjects, epitomized by Roger Cotes’s 1708 comment that “hydrostaticks and pneumaticks have in nature so near a relation to each other, that they ought never to be separated.” Building on Boyle and Newton, the first half of the eighteenth century saw the rise of what I call ‘fluid cosmologies’—broad explanatory frameworks constrained by experimental results—combining themes and methods we associate today with geophysics, meteorology, chemistry, and physiology. Two prominent examples appeared in 1727, in Herman Boerhaave’s New Method of Chemistry, which included a famous treatise on fire (one of his four elements-instruments), and Stephen Hales’s Vegetable Staticks, best known for its new analysis of air. Situated in the context of fluid cosmologies, we see how old elements were still employed while being reimagined as universal agents of change. They straddled and marked new natural boundaries and entities, like activity vs. fixity and solution vs. cohesion; the subterraneous, terrestrial, and atmospheric spheres; and material vs. immaterial bodies and environments. More generally, we gain insights into the relations between natural philosophy and natural history as well as pneumatic matter theory after Newton but before Joseph Black and Antoine Lavoisier.
"A Place for Human Inquiry": Lomonosov’s Mineral Science
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Anna Graber, Program In The History Of Science, Technology, And Medicine, University Of Minnesota
While polymath and first Russian member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences Mikhail Lomonosov’s research interests were famously broad, he began and ended his career as a mineral scientist. After initial study and work in mining science and mineralogy, he dropped the subject, returning to it only 15 years later with a radically new approach. This paper asks why Lomonosov went back to the subject and why his approach to the mineral realm changed. It argues that he returned to the subject in answer to the needs of the Russian court for native mining experts, but also, and more significantly, because from 1757 to his death in 1765 Lomonosov found in mineral science an opportunity to engage in some of the major debates of the Enlightenment. Through his late mineralogical writings, Lomonosov debated the role of religion in scientific inquiry, outlined a vision of science in service to the state, and defended the philosophical tradition of Gottfried Leibniz and Christian Wolff against the attacks of French philosophes in the wake of the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. This paper concludes by situating Lomonosov in a ‘mining Enlightenment’ that engrossed major thinkers, bureaucrats, and mining practitioners in Central and Northern Europe as well as Russia.
Classification and Gentlemanly Capital: Thomas Pennant and British Zoology, 1766-1812
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Edwin Rose, University Of Cambridge
One of the most successful natural history publications of late eighteenth-century Britain was British Zoology, authored by the Welsh naturalist, Thomas Pennant (1726–98). This book, that met four major editions between 1766 and 1812, was produced in a range of different formats and contains numerous copper-plate images based on specimens from Pennant’s natural history collection. Pennant used two main systems of classification in British Zoology. The first, which he used for quadrupeds and birds, was that devised by John Ray in the late seventeenth century. The second, which he used for aquatic organisms, such as fish and shells, was the system developed by Linnaeus from the 1730s. Pennant’s decision to use these alternate classificatory systems was influenced by his different approaches to observing terrestrial and marine animals in the field. Whereas he tended to classify aquatic creatures according to their physical characteristics, in the case of birds and quadrupeds he took into account the sounds they made, their social attributes, and preferred environment. This classificatory divide shaped the physical makeup of the book, which Pennant distributed to ‘every country gentlemen’, utilizing commercial publishing markets. However, Pennant was careful to adhere to gentlemanly etiquette, ensuring that he never directly profited from his publications, showing how natural history collecting and debates regarding classificatory practices were intertwined with the late eighteenth-century commercial publishing industry.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 25, Rm. 102
Objects and Methods between the Sciences and the Humanities
Format : Organized Session
Track : Tools for Historians of Science
Speakers
Suzanne Marchand, Louisiana State University
Sjang Ten Hagen, University Of Amsterdam
Josephine Musil-Gutsch, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Munich
Kasper Risbjerg Eskildsen, Roskilde University
Moderators
Julia Kursell, University Of Amsterdam
This panel is a response to the growing demand for an integrated history of the sciences and the humanities. We identify intellectual common ground between these realms of knowledge by tracing objects and methods that were shared across the boundaries of scientific and humanistic disciplines. Our case studies, which are situated in the nineteenth century, establish links between disciplines as diverse as archaeology and chemistry, physics and historiography, and theology and zoology. These links demonstrate that, even though the late nineteenth century was the period in which the sciences and the humanities came to be defined in distinct terms, it would be wrong to suppose that this prevented scientists and humanists from drawing inspiration from one another's ideals and practices. What is more, we show that scientists and humanists occasionally collaborated on the very same material objects, transferring methods and sharing practices across disciplinary boundaries. In a broader sense, we wish to stimulate further research on the historical relations between the sciences and the humanities which not only acknowledges their differences, but also examines their points of intersection.Organized by Sjang ten Hagen and Josephine Musil-Gutsch
Fact-Checking Herodotus across the Disciplines
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Suzanne Marchand, Louisiana State University
One of the most pressing questions for the historically-minded nineteenth century was this: just how much could one trust Herodotus? Known since antiquity as ‚the father of history,’ Herodotus was also notorious for reporting improbable marvels (immense man-make lakes) and sensational tall tales (Arion the bard saved from drowning by a dolphin). Already in the later eighteenth century, scholars began following in the footsteps of the widely-traveled Greek, measuring the Hellespont, investigating wind patterns on the Nile, following crocodiles to check Herodotus’ accounts. The process involved scholars of all types—military geographers, zoologists, proto-ethnographers, archaeologists, orientalists—and a great deal of controversy about how to translate ancient measurements, how to ‚read through’ Herodotus’ Greek to establish proper Egyptian or Persian terms or names, how seriously to take his account of the flying snakes of Egypt, how much change in ‚oriental’ habits to expect over time. In each case, scholars had to decide what it would mean to verify a report given by Herodotus, and debate led to new cycles of research, and more, often highly creative, strategies of verification (or falsification). In this paper, I will offer a few examples of the ways in which scholars with different backgrounds tried to fact-check Herodotus. I will underscore the difficulties all sides faced in making arguments that stuck, but also the gradual emergence of a consensus across the disciplines that Herodotus, in many cases, was a worthy companion, if hardly an inerrant patriarch.
Training Physicists and Historians in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Berlin: Exercises and Epistemic Virtues
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Sjang Ten Hagen, University Of Amsterdam
A parallel development in the history of the sciences and the humanities was the structural organization of small-scale, practical, and method-oriented training by German university professors in the mid-nineteenth century. For several disciplines in the humanities and the sciences, historical studies exist which deal with the details of such training. So far, however, the results of these studies have hardly been brought into relation with one another. In my paper, I compare the pedagogical methods of physicists and historians in mid-nineteenth-century Berlin. My main focus lies on the schools emerging around the physicist Heinrich Gustav Magnus and the historian Leopold von Ranke. Remarkably, the most advanced exercises (Übungen) that they organized did not take place at the university, but at their private homes. In family-like settings, Magnus and Ranke developed a personal bond with their students, and established standards for the methods and scholarly persona necessary to obtain legitimate “scientific” (wissenschaftliches) knowledge. Drawing the comparison further, I argue that some of the epistemic virtues stressed by historians and physicists trained in these environments were strikingly similar. For instance, Magnus, Ranke, and their students (including Hermann von Helmholtz and Heinrich von Sybel) were all concerned about the proper relation between empirical and speculative methods. While defining this relation, they commonly referred to the importance of ‘exactitude’, ‘skill to combine’ (Kombinationsgabe), and ‘objectivity’, even though the interpretations and practices they associated with these epistemic virtues were different.

Scientific Archaeology: Materially Linking Humanities and Sciences since 1880
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Josephine Musil-Gutsch, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Munich
The sciences and the humanities have not only been sharing practices, concepts or epistemic virtues with one another, they also cooperated in a concrete, practical and material way. Around 1880, scientific archaeology emerged. In several instances, “historians of material culture”, meaning archaeologists, orientalists, (art-)historians and paleographers, and scientists shared a research interest in archaeological objects and the material analysis thereof. Objects excavated during nineteenth-century colonial expeditions shifted the research focus of historical disciplines towards material sources. The materiality of artefacts held information about the object’s date, origin and manufacturing. However, material analysis required scientific methods. What is still largely unknown, is that historians therefore cooperated with chemists or botanists, who e.g. microscopically analyzed plant fibres in ancient manuscripts or Babylonian enameled tiles, and thus were able to answer historico-cultural questions about ancient civilizations lacking textual sources. My project investigates cooperations between the aforementioned disciplines in terms of their formation and development in German speaking countries from 1880-1930. Using two examples of cooperations, between paleography and botany and assyriology and chemistry, I will uncover cooperative networks and transfer of knowledge among cooperators. In addition, through the analysis of the actor’s research objects (such as paper samples) and the construction of the scientific methods applied to them, I explore the cooperations’ underlying shared practices of knowledge organization, knowledge production, and innovation processes. Generally, my case studies provide insights into the dynamics of cooperative research across disciplinary boundaries between the sciences and the humanities around 1900.
Commentary: Objects and Methods between the Sciences and the Humanities
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Kasper Risbjerg Eskildsen, Roskilde University
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 27, Eetkamer
Physical Sciences in the Twentieth Century
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Physical Sciences
Speakers
Quintino Lopes, Institute For Contemporary History [New University Of Lisbon; University Of Évora]
Myrto Dimitrokali, PhD Student, National Technical University Of Athens
Gregor Lax, Max-Planck-Institute For The History Of Science
Moderators
Maria Rentetzi, National Technical University Of Athens
The Scientific 'Centrality' of a 'Peripheral' Laboratory: The University of Coimbra Experimental Phonetics Laboratory (1936-72)
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Quintino Lopes, Institute For Contemporary History [New University Of Lisbon; University Of Évora]
The aim of this paper is to provide a contribution to the historiographic agenda regarding the idea of the circulation of knowledge, the Global History of Knowledge and the debate surrounding scientific 'centres' and 'peripheries' (1, 2). We examine the University of Coimbra Laboratory of Experimental Phonetics (1936-72), traditionally regarded as ‘peripheral’ space, but which nevertheless attracted scientists from all over Europe, the USA, Brazil and Africa seeking specialist training. This phenomenon contributed to the development of teaching and research at other 'peripheral' laboratory spaces (for example, the University of Bahia) and at 'central' scientific institutions (for example, Harvard University). With the growing trend in historiography for the recognition of 'invisible technicians' (3) and 'outsiders' (4) in the production and circulation of knowledge, there is a need for surveying the work of this Portuguese laboratory, whose director, Armando de Lacerda, created new research tools in the field of Experimental Phonetics which were appropriated by institutions and scientists on both sides of the Atlantic. 1) James A. Secord, 'Knowledge in Transit', Isis (2004) 95, pp. 654-672. 2) Mark Thurner, ‘Historical Theory Through a Peruvian Looking Glass’, History and Theory (2015) 53, pp. 27-45. 3) Steven Shapin, 'The Invisible Technician', American Scientist (1989) 77, pp. 554-563. 4) Richard Drayton and David Motadel, ‘Discussion: the futures of global history’, Journal of Global History (2018) 13, pp. 1-21.
Science Diplomats: A Hybrid Role in the History of the Greek Nuclear Program
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Myrto Dimitrokali, PhD Student, National Technical University Of Athens
Focusing on the case of Greece, this paper examines the way nuclear science was introduced to developing countries during the 1950s as part of Cold War political processes. Through the Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” program and before the establishment of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United States sought to maintain and expand its post-war hegemonic position, restructuring Europe as a bulwark against the perceived Soviet threat. The proliferation of nuclear physics and technology, especially in the developing and contested political regions was an effective instrument of soft power to this end. In the case of Greece, the installation of the country’s first research reactor and the establishment of the nuclear center Demokritos, was a complex diplomatic affair between two unequal countries in terms of their diplomatic armamentarium. On the one hand, the United States had a well structured diplomatic activity and developed scientific capital. On the other hand, Greece was just getting out of a fierce civil war having little scientific activity and complex diplomatic practices. Thus, the process of developing the Greek nuclear program emerged as an idiosyncratic practice of science diplomacy. Significant milestones such as the Greece-US bilateral agreement or the choice of the most appropriate nuclear reactor for the newly established center were determined by individuals who took up the role of science diplomats. I argue that these individuals constituted a special kind of science diplomat who, while being neither scientists nor diplomats, acted as such determining in a decisive way the country’s scientific development.
History of the Earth System Sciences in the Max Planck Society
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Gregor Lax, Max-Planck-Institute For The History Of Science
The history of Atmospheric- and Earth System Sciences (ESS) in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) is a desideratum in the history of sciences, compared to developments in other countries, especially the USA (i.e. Oreskes and Conway 2010, Weart 2008, Fleming 2005). Both the establishment of new integrative approaches in German atmospheric research and the history of ESS as a whole are inextricably linked to the Max Planck Society (Lax 2018). The talk examines the role of the MPG in the history of ESS on both the national and international level, focusing on acteurs, institutions, networks and research approaches. Central pillars of this process were e.g. the establishment of a department for atmospheric chemistry at the MPI for Chemistry in Mainz in 1968, under the leadership of meteorologist Christian Junge, the founding of the MPI for Meteorology in Hamburg 1975, and finally the MPI for Biogeochemistry in Jena in 1996/1997. Compared to developments e.g. in the USA or Sweden, integrative research approaches in German atmospheric sciences were established with a ten year delay by Junge in the late 1960's. 20 years later Germany was one of the global leaders in atmospheric sciences and ESS. Junge and other MPG-acteurs like Paul Crutzen (nobel laureate for chemistry, and originator of the anthropocene-thesis), Klaus Hasselmann (director of the Max Planck Institute for Meterology and the German Climate Computing Center) and Hartmut Graßl (amongst others WCRP director), built an extensive ESS-network on the national and international ESS community.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 25, Rm. 301
Science in Russia and the Soviet Union
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Tatiana Levina, Higher School Of Economics (National Research University)
Ekaterina Morgunova, PhD Candidate, King's College London
Helena Durnova, Masaryk University, Brno
Moderators
Anna Amramina, University Of Minnesota
Symbol and Knowledge: ‘Absolute Infinity’ in Georg Kantor and Pavel Florensky
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Tatiana Levina, Higher School Of Economics (National Research University)
The research theme is the reception of Georg Cantor's ideas in Russia. Russian philosopher Pavel Florensky have been influenced by Georg Cantor’s ideas and wrote a paper “On the symbols of infinity” in 1904. In this paper he says that transfinite mathematics of Georg Cantor is an example of symbolic vision of God. Cantor’s idea from the "Grundlagen einer allgemeinen Mannigfaltigkeitslehre” is that “absolute can only be acknowledged but never known”. The absolutely infinite sequence of numbers thus seems to him to be an appropriate symbol of the absolute. Symbol, as Pavel Florensky wrote in his memoirs, was the most important concept in his philosophy throughout his life. Symbol has distinctive ontological modus of existence and its property is to be the reference for the higher being, namely God. It could also be associated with the concept of minimax by Nicolaus of Cusa. I analyze the meaning of symbol in Cantor and Florensky and juxtapose them with the understanding of the symbol by later Florensky and other interpreters. I also examine the view of theologian Christian Tapp, who researched Cantor’s interest in theology. He understands symbol as a minimal in the theory of Cantor. Johanna Van der Ween and Leon Horsten represent Cantor's conception in the context of European philosophers, whom Cantor read. The main problem of the paper is how symbol and absolute infinity could be connected and whether the meaning of symbol implies understanding of the higher being or it is not necessarily incorporated into the concept.
Late Imperial Russian Ethnography and Russo-American Knowledge Exchange
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Ekaterina Morgunova, PhD Candidate, King's College London
This paper will explore Russo-American knowledge exchange in the context of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition (1900-1902). This expedition was organised by the famous American anthropologist Franz Boas, and funded by the president of the American Natural History Museum, Morris K. Jesup. It involved fieldwork in both Northwest America and Northeast Siberia. For the latter, Boas employed Vladimir Jochelson and Vladimir Bogoras, two former Russian political exiles who had reinvented themselves as key international experts on the ethnography of Northeast Siberia. Jochelson and Bogoras were both working together with their wives, who did not have backgrounds in ethnography but conducted part of the research. The Russian ethnographers’ work in the Jesup North Pacific Expedition was part of a complex and challenging network of knowledge exchange. Bogoras and Jochelson were committed to the theory of social evolution which held that all human cultures passed through a universal set of stages, from the most ‘savage’ to the most ‘civilised’. On the contrary, Franz Boas was an outspoken anti-evolutionist who studied indigenous cultures through the lens of cultural relativism. Their collaboration was highly productive yet challenging to each side’s core beliefs. This paper will discuss how Bogoras’s and Jochelson’s views were shaped in a fascinating knowledge exchange which included American anthropologists, Russian ethnographers, their wives and the multiple indigenous ethnic groups under investigation.
Clandestine Revival of Prague Linguistic Circle in Prague, 1945-1968
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Helena Durnova, Masaryk University, Brno
In the decade preceding World War II, the so-called Prague Linguistic Circle (Prague linguistic school) developed the ideas of Ferdinand de Saussure. While the original circle practically ceased to exist during World War II, its ideas were clandestinely revived and developed during the rule of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (1948-1989). Just after WWII, digital computers were entering the scene, promising to provide researchers of all branches with a powerful tool. Linguists, like other researchers, were not entirely united as to their hopes in the new technology. In the Soviet bloc, the visions of using the computer were also influenced by the ideological pertinence of such use. While the use of computers by mathematicians, astronomers, physicists, and engineers was undisputed, using computers to aid linguists was not supported in the early 1950s. Expelled from the Faculty of Arts for their wishes to do linguistics on computers, the Circle found refuge at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. While initially the linguists took their new location only as a substitute to the desired one, they gradually won their position among linguists abroad and after 1989, revived the original name. The presentation will focus on the effects of this forced institutional position of linguists close to the departments of mathematics and computer science and will analyse the development of computer-based linguistics in this context.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 25, Rm. 204
The Global Construction of the Heavens: Worldwide Astronomical Networks, Local Institutions
Format : Organized Session
Track : Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Speakers
Veronica Ramirez Errazuriz, Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, Chile/ FONDECYT Chile
Carlos Sanhueza-Cerda, Universidad De Chie
Lorena B. Valderrama, University Alberto Hurtado
Moderators
Carlos Sanhueza-Cerda, Universidad De Chie
The Session aims at discussing, from different case studies, the importance of global projects in the development of astronomy during the 19th and 20th centuries. The main goal is to reflect about how institutions (astronomical observatories, maritime services, telegraphic and rail offices, etc.) approached locally a whole set of common global problems – from solar parallax in the first half of the 19th century to the "Carte du Ciel", including the problem of time ones, the determination of the prime meridian and the creation of an electrical world map. Another goal is analyzing of how these networks spread from a local-global intersection. Reports from Europe and the US (such as those from the French Bureau des Longitudes and the American Bureau of Navigation), as well as the correspondence and the diaries of astronomers, mostly minimizes and denies the role played by local institutions. This Session aims at making visible such stories. Another objective is to analyze the astronomical enterprises of the period (such as expeditions to observe the transit of planets or total solar eclipses) and the mobility of people and instruments in such global projects. The questions we are looking for are:How do case studies (national, regional, etc.) relate to global networks? What role did play local communities and institutions (observatories, government agencies, amateurs, etc.) in these global networks? How can these networks be studied from a local approach without losing sight of the global meaning they had? How is the globality of science constructed?
Predictions of the End of the World: Circulation of Astronomical Knowledge in Chilean Cultural Magazines from a Global-Local Perspective (1890-1920)
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Veronica Ramirez Errazuriz, Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, Chile/ FONDECYT Chile
During the last decade of the nineteenth century and the first two of the twentieth, theories that predicted the end-of-the-world circulated internationally and were linked to astronomers. The imminence of the end-of-the-world surpassed the fin-de-siècle atmosphere, and it remained until after the passing of Halley´s Comet in 1910, which in the case of Chile was heightened by the 1906 earthquake. Our work studies the end-of-the-world predictions associated with astronomical phenomena - specifically with the passage of comets- that circulated internationally in this period, and analyzes how they were received, re-signified, amplified or counteracted in the main Chilean cultural journals between 1890 and 1920. These theories, disseminated by the press in peripheral areas such as Chile, greatly motivated the generation of local astronomical knowledge, since the inexperienced scientific reading public interpellated and demanded local experts to explain, support or criticize these predictions. The circulation of end-of-the-world forecasts from an astronomical perspective established communication networks between regional and foreign institutions, especially between astronomical observatories and journalistic companies, which read each others works and generated an exchange of knowledge in a global manner that took into account local meanings. Our main questions are: How were the interpretations, representations and national re-significations of these theories related to the versions that circulated in global networks? What role did the local communities and institutions (observatories, government agencies, amateurs, journalistic companies, etc.) play in these global networks of circulation of end-of-the-world theories?
Looking for a Point of Observation in the South of the World: Global Astronomical Networks in the Nineteenth Century
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Carlos Sanhueza-Cerda, Universidad De Chie
One of the main problems of astronomy in the mid-nineteenth century was to calculate the stellar distances and build a system of measurements that would allow to know the positions of the stars, distances, orbits, etc. This scientific task required the search of a point of observation in the south of the world that would allow comparing data between both hemispheres of the earth. In 1847 Christian Ludwig Gerling of the University of Marburg in Germany, suggested that the solar parallax could be calculated by measuring the position of Venus near its lower conjunction from observatories in distant latitudes, but close in a same meridian. James M. Gillis, an astronomer at the United States Naval Observatory, proposed to Gerling an expedition to Chile in order to do observations that would be compared with those made in the United States. This talk aims to analyze the uncertainties and difficulties to build global networks of astronomical knowledge. This will be done by studying the unpublished correspondence between Gillis and Gerling. This correspondence allows us to understand the discussions between both scientists about the planning and preparation of this southern expedition, the choice of the observation point, the methodological scope of the fieldwork and the possible use of the equipment in a different hemisphere.
Photographing The Sky: Female Work in Astronomical Observatories
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Lorena B. Valderrama, University Alberto Hurtado
The contribution of women to astronomy has been studied focusing in European and North American observatories (Kistiakowsky, 1979, Rossiter, 1984, Pérez and Kiczkowski, 2010). However, we do not know about the contribution to global projects of female South American astronomers, who have been excluded from the local histories of these scientific institutions, often because their contribution has not been in the records of their contemporaries (institutional reports or scientific publications). Photometry was a task rejected by many men and assumed by women who began working in astronomical observatories during the second half of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century. This proposal is part of the Fondecyt Regular 1170625 project "Looking at the stars of the south of the world: The National Astronomical Observatory of Chile (1852-1927)" and analyze the role played by the women workers at the National Astronomical Observatory of Chile, who participated in the observation and registration of Halley's Comet in 1910 and of the Cape Photographic Durchmusterung.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 25, Rm. 302
Visions of the Future
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Tom Kayzel, Universiteit Van Amsterdam
Rita Meyer-Spasche, Max-Planck-Institute For Plasma Physics, Garching Near Munich
Jiemin Tina Wei, Harvard University, History Of Science
Angela Yu, University Of Oxford
Moderators
Gerard Alberts, University Of Amsterdam
The Politics of Future Images: Visions of the Future in Dutch Scientific Advisory Councils, 1967-1980
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Tom Kayzel, Universiteit Van Amsterdam
During the height of the Cold War, the future as an object of scientific inquiry gained traction among both Western and Eastern nations, resulting in new fields such as future studies. Yet future studies was a motley field with a variety of techniques, conceptions of the future, and political vision. The relation between state and science; between science, democracy and citizenship were constantly at stake in the images of the future that future studies provided. This paper takes a look at the institutionalization of scientific expertise on the future in the Netherlands from 1967 to 1980, and investigates the ideas on democracy, citizenship and state planning present in the competing imaginaries of the future at the time. By investigating the different modeling techniques of the different future research group active in the Netherlands during that period, I will argue that these ideas were intrinsic to the scientific practices of future researchers. Modeling was instrumental for forming images of the future, while the politics of future images informed the modeling practices. I will thus try to show that different research groups with different models also adhered to different political ideals. At the end of the paper, I want to shed some light how future research has influenced the organization of advisory councils and policy analysis by considering how modeling techniques from the 60s and 70s have been repurposed to fit neoliberal agendas.
Science Fiction Meets Reality: Hannes Alfven's 1966 Vision of Future Computers
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Rita Meyer-Spasche, Max-Planck-Institute For Plasma Physics, Garching Near Munich
A few programmable computers existed already in the 19-thirties and forties. Around 1955, larger numbers of commercially produced computers became available. In the years 1968-1974, researchers working in different fields of mathematics and physics met at international conferences with titles like `Computers in Mathematical Research' (1968) or `The Impact of Computers on Physics' (1972). To my knowledge, the Swedish-American plasma physicist Hannes Alfven (1908 - 1995) did not attend any of these meetings. Also, he did not mention computers in his Nobel Lecture in 1970. Under the pseudonym Olof Johannesson, however, he published a science fiction story about the future impact of computers, in Swedish (1966), English (1968), and in German (1970), describing how the development of computers did lead to a global world society in which everything is automated and organized by computers. Finally computers even reproduce themselves and some computers service the others and prevent the whole system from breaking down. It is amazing to read this text today: some of Alfven's predictions did become real in the meantime, others are still desirable for the future, and others are a strong warning or clearly a satire. It is unclear how much Alfven's booklet influenced the development of technology and society. In Germany, Klaus Brunnstein (1937-2015) used it in 1973 to start a public discussion about the future role of computers. Brunnstein (computer scientist, politician and IFIP officer) had strong influence on German legislation with respect to IT security, social accountability and information privacy.
A Variety of Futurologists: "Feminist" Speculative Fictions in the Wake of the Pill
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Jiemin Tina Wei, Harvard University, History Of Science
Clustering around the introduction and proliferation of the birth control pill in 1960 U.S., I present a cultural history of this invention’s enduring consequences for the liberatory imagination through an intertextual conversation between an unexpected trio: science fiction novelist Ursula Le Guin, radical feminist Shulamith Firestone, and the Pill co-inventor Carl Djerassi. This talk explores three of their experiments—Le Guin’s 1969 novel Left Hand of Darkness, Firestone’s 1970 manifesto Dialectic of Sex, and Djerassi’s 1998 play An Immaculate Misconception—which employ speculative literary techniques to interrogate the naturalness and immutability of female sex, and to envision a radical future vis-à-vis gender, reproduction, and technology. What emerges is a distinct dialogue about a science- and technology-assisted dismantling and unmaking of the fundamental constituents and functions of biological sex. In their own way, they each feature a radical undoing and refashioning of biology, helping their readers dream of a world in which women’s biological reproductive function is not a given, presenting an alternative tech-utopian feminism that runs counter to much of the modern Western feminist tradition—finding a path to liberation via biologistic thinking. In this story about the cultural aftereffects of oral contraceptive technology, we see an instance of a larger story about the interaction between technology, speculation, and freedom. Technology and imagination can work iteratively, in tandem, in pursuit of social progress. In this case, the introduction of a new technology is the very thing which opens up an imaginary space for fantasies about future liberatory technologies.
Between "Ethics and Embryos": Reading Assisted Reproductive Technology as Material Fiction
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Angela Yu, University Of Oxford
From its inception, assisted reproductive technology (ART) – ranging from artificial insemination and in vitro fertilisation to surrogacy and egg freezing – invoked public questions of the world to come. This constellation of emerging technologies was simultaneously credited with the disruption of the sanctity of heterosexual marriage, technological control of women’s bodies, the promotion of eugenic fantasies, and the impending creation of a separatist feminist society. Following the first successful birth by in vitro fertilisation in 1978, a growing scientific and medical community coalesced around the field of ART, and joined the public in these practices of speculation and debate through their professional work and popular communication. Researchers and practitioners readily engaged questions of how and by whom these technologies would be used – and for what purposes – amid their contested efficacy and ethical status. Through their published research, public advocacy and popular memoirs, infertility treatment pioneers, including Sir Robert Edwards, and Drs. Howard and Georgeanna Jones, actively shaped the material and discursive contours of assisted reproduction. This paper explores how research in ART emerged with and through scientific speculation about the future of society in the United States and United Kingdom during the late 20th century. It further argues that ART occupied the position of a ‘material fiction’ whereby narratives of anticipated and unsettling futures became essential to address the practical limitations of reproductive technologies themselves. ART researchers and practitioners spoke to the popular fictions of their time, providing insight into the intersection between biomedical research and rhetoric.
13:30 - 18:00
Drift 21, Rm. 105
THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp)
Format : Special Event
Track : Tools for Historians of Science
Welcome to THATCamp HSS 2019 in Utrecht!We are excited to be able to offer two afternoons of THATCamp at HSS this year. THATCamp will take place on Thursday July 25 and Friday July 26, from 13:30-18:00, with a coffee break at 15:30-16:00. We hope in splitting up THATCamp, interested people can stop by when it is convenient for them, rather than having to set aside an entire day.If you've never attended THATCamp, or "The Humanities and Technology Camp," it is an unconference. An unconference is an open, inexpensive meeting where humanists and technologists of all skill levels learn and build together in sessions proposed on the spot.We are looking forward to inviting two keynote speakers, one for each afternoon, to speak on important issues that face the humanities in the use of technology.Our schedule each afternoon will look something like this:keynote + Q/A: 13:30-14:00session 1: 14:30-15:30Break 15:30-16:00session 2: 16:00-17:00session 3: 17:00-18:00Each session will be organized in smaller chunks of time: making the schedule (10 min), then three 15-min. sessions - with breakouts if there are enough people.Please register for THATCampHSS and be sure to propose your topic for a presentation on either day.
15:30 - 16:00
Janskerkhof 2-3, Pantry
Coffee Break ☕ Janskerkhof
15:30 - 16:00
Drift 27, Near Library & Courtyard
Coffee Break ☕ Drift 27
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 13, Rm. 004
Articulations and Disarticulations: Translation, Medicine, and Knowledge in the Premodern World, Session II
Format : Organized Session
Track : Medicine and Health
Speakers
Sietske Fransen, Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max Planck Institute For History Of Art
Shireen Hamza, Harvard University, History Of Science
Dror Weil, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
Neil Safier, John Carter Brown Library, Brown University
Moderators
Projit Bihari Mukharji, University Of Pennsylvania
Research located at the nexus of medicine, knowledge, and translation deals with some of the fundamentals of human experience: the most basic drive to survive and flourish, and the urge to gather and share information. Living with a constant reminder about the fragility of the human condition, people across all levels of society have sought new information about drugs, curative techniques, and therapeutics, and have devised and debated understandings of the body and its relationship to the environment. The centrality and importance of such knowledge necessitates frequent and urgent modes of knowledge transfer. Translation, from one language, site, material, or context to another plays a crucial role in these epistemic acts. In these two panels, we look at the processes of "articulations" and "disarticulations" in the production of knowledge as we bring into focus the importance of translation by groups and individuals, and of languages and concepts, hitherto marginalised in grand narratives. We look at instances of translations from the medieval to the modern period across geographical locations investigating how "translation" can serve as an analytic in history of science to understand movement across linguistic, practical and sign systems. We also investigate how translation functions as a space of power and/or resistance in relation to gender, race and colonialism. The panels' diverse set of papers offers a new approach for a global understanding of the history of science across traditional boundaries, and looks to push theories of exchange towards new more complex understanding of movements and intersections.Organized by Sietske Fransen, Elaine Leong, and Ahmed Ragab
Reconstructing the Medical Canon: Seventeenth-Century English Physicians and Their Notebooks
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Sietske Fransen, Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max Planck Institute For History Of Art
Based on two collections of personal notebooks I will investigate the role of translation in the re-creation and reconstruction of the medical canon in seventeenth-century England. One of the results of the so-called “scientific revolution” on the traditional medical corpus was that classical medicine was re-framed and interspersed with vernacular, practical, and local knowledge. The medical practitioner John Ward (1629-1681), an Oxford man, left seventeen volumes of ‘diaries’ in which he recorded what he read, with whom he spoke or corresponded, and in which he noted down medical practices and recipes. A contemporary of his, the physician Daniel Foote (1629-1700), had trained in Cambridge. Foote left more than thirty-five volumes of notebooks, giving an insight into his university education and his many different interests and occupations. The Ward volumes, which have been described before, will form the context in which Daniel Foote’s collection will be analysed. Foote’s notebooks contain many extractions from canonical texts both in Latin and translated into English, but they also contain translations, from Latin, German, Dutch, and French lesser-known texts into English. Apart from textual translations the volumes also contain books of tables, summarizing and visualizing classical and vernacular medical information into manageable portions. By comparing the note-taking practices of these two medical practitioners, this talk will make clear how translation of texts and practices from a variety of sources was essential in building a new medical canon.
The Urge to Gloss: Multilingualism in the Making of Ṭibb
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Shireen Hamza, Harvard University, History Of Science
Manuscripts of medical texts composed in medieval and early modern South Asia frequently included glossaries (“farhang”) of technical terminology. These were structured around entries for disease categories in Arabic, with translations in Persian and "hindī" (vernacular South Asian languages). Medical glossaries, titled “farhang-i ṭibb,” or less commonly “lughat-i ṭibb," were part of a broader literary practice of producing farhangs in Persian literature. Glossaries were composed to accompany a variety of texts, from the Quran to epics of poetry. The medical glossaries were iteratively produced through reading, citation, medical practice and writing. Translation in these glossaries is not just the “transfer” of knowledge from one language to another; rather, it acknowledges the continued use of multiple languages, and enables readers with different kinds of linguistic skills. I draw on manuscripts of medical texts composed between the 14th and 16th centuries in Yemen and India to investigate the iterative and collaborative process through which these glossaries were produced -- and their role in the formation of the medical tradition known as "ṭibb." Modern scholarship on ṭibb, called Graeco-Arabic or Islamic medicine, has focused on texts composed in Arabic in the Near East. However, this focus neglects the life of ṭibb around the Indian Ocean World, where it underwent some of its most lasting developments. By analyzing the profusion of multilingual glossaries transmission from the western Indian Ocean World, I aim to understand ṭibb across a fuller geography, in which physicians worked continuously across linguistic regimes to pursue efficacious knowledge.
Nature in Rubrics: The Role of Taxonomies in Translating Arabo-Persian Physiology in Late Imperial China
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Dror Weil, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
During the 17th and 18th centuries a network of Chinese savants, interested in studying Arabo-Persian natural philosophy strove to reconcile conceptual and theoretical differences between the traditional Chinese and Arabo-Persian treatments of the natural world. For that end, members of that Sino-Islamic network experimented with methods of textual analysis and presentation with an explicit aim of bridging the linguistic, conceptual and theoretical gaps. The proposed talk will juxtapose the history of late imperial China's readership and the history of Chinese physiology, and spotlight the methods of translating and interpreting Arabic and Persian physiological knowledge by a number of Chinese savants during the mid-17th and early 18th centuries. It will focus on the use of taxonomies both as a didactic device and as a representation of the natural order. It will bring to light the challenges faced by translators in the negotiation of this foreign knowledge with the established Chinese categories, and the ways by which they were successful in reconciling the theoretical and conceptual differences. In this talk I will argue that organizing knowledge in rubrics was a translation device utilized by the Chinese translators to localize Arabo-Persian theories and concepts, and situate their scholarship on a par with the various projects of knowledge collecting and organizing that took place in China of the period. At the same time, the use of taxonomies allowed the translators and the promoters of Arabo-Persian knowledge to claim a universal applicability of their translated texts, and their representation of the natural order.
Commentary: Articulations and Disarticulations: Translation, Medicine, and Knowledge in the Premodern World, Session II
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Neil Safier, John Carter Brown Library, Brown University
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 25, Rm. 302
At the Crossroads of the Senses: Human Sciences and their Material Cultures ca. 1900
Format : Organized Session
Track : Social Sciences
Speakers
Cameron Brinitzer, History & Sociology Of Science, University Of Pennsylvania
Judith Kaplan, University Of Pennsylvania
Michael Rossi
Laurel Waycott, Yale University
Moderators
John Tresch, Warburg Institute, University Of London
Ever since the human mind was constituted as an object of science in the late-nineteenth century, its immateriality has remained an enduring stimulus. Curiously, for most of a century, in most of the world, making the human and the mind susceptible to scientific investigations has required the use of a wide range of materials. New material technologies---aidophones, vowel-tracers, phonoscopes, mechanical recording and time-keeping devices, among others---were paired with new methods to produce scientific knowledge across the human sciences, as they professionalized and institutionalized in Europe and North America. While founding experimental psychology, Hermann von Helmholtz and Wilhelm Wundt modified technical devices like the stopwatch and metronome in efforts to more scientifically measure mental operations. Between 1870 and 1914, laboratory and field scientists in anthropology, linguistics, and psychology experimented widely with spools of yarn, color chips, illustrated flip books, naturalia, light reflected through plastic sheets, and other sundry measurements of the senses. This panel explores scientific attempts to produce knowledge about the human, the mind, language, and culture at the intersections of the senses. By attending to the material instruments, techniques, and technologies of human sciences circa 1900, this panel sheds light on scientific attempts to materialize the intractably immaterial human mind. By revisiting human sciences like anthropology, linguistics, and psychology around the turn of the twentieth century, with a focus on the material conditions and substrata of scientific knowledge production, this panel provides historical material with which to reconsider the historiography of the human sciences more broadly.Organized by Cameron Brinitzer
Between the Lab, Field, and Garden: Experimental Psychology and Ethnology ca. 1900
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Cameron Brinitzer, History & Sociology Of Science, University Of Pennsylvania
In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, a methodological controversy emerged around the scientific problem of understanding human color vision in evolutionary terms. While the first experimental psychology laboratories were being constructed across Western Europe and North America to subtend a natural science of mind, zoologists and ethnologists were simultaneously researching color vision among populations outside Europe. In the early-twentieth century, the “colour-sense controversy” crystalized among experimentalists seeking an understanding of human color vision in ontogenetic and phylogenetic terms. To build a natural science of mind capable of accounting for visual perception and attendant forms of cognition, these experimentalists moved between psychological laboratories, anthropological expeditions and field sites, and experimental apparatus which some built in their own homes and gardens. This paper shows that an overlooked product of the colour-sense controversy was the methodological specification of “looking-time” (a combination of direction and duration of optic fixation) as a scientific measure of perception and cognition. At the turn of the century, these experimentalists argued that measures of looking-time provided access to the nonverbal minds of human infants, while also authorizing research among linguistically-diverse peoples. While looking-time is often thought to have been operationalized during the 1950s, attention to the material stuff of psychological experimentation around the turn of the twentieth century reveals a sustained methodological controversy surrounding the utility of looking-time as an experimental measure in research concerned with color vision. Finally, attending to the material cultures of human sciences circa 1900 calls into question neat divisions between laboratory and field sciences.
The Use of Sensory Stimuli in Linguistic Fieldwork
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Judith Kaplan, University Of Pennsylvania
The 1874 edition of Notes and Queries on Anthropology was written, like other such protocols of the nineteenth century, “to promote accurate anthropological observation on the part of travelers,” enabling those who were not “anthropologists themselves to supply the information…wanted for the scientific study of anthropology at home.” It was an attempt to discipline a potentially unruly observer—officers, administrators, missionaries—one who was nevertheless charged with collecting the ‘raw data’ of anthropology. But new disciplinary constellations, methodological norms, and attitudes toward experimental subjects, were beginning to shift the ways in which questions were asked and answered during this period. Increasingly, emphasis moved from the observer to the observed, corresponding to a raft of new fieldwork instruments that engaged experiences across the sensorium. This presentation will focus on exchanges between students of language, culture, and the mind, attending to practices of interrogation that eschewed the use of language—spools of yarn, color chips, illustrated flip books, naturalia, and the like. As this partial list already suggests, attempts to innovate assays of the mind that were not mediated by translation brought anthropologists and linguists into unlikely collaborations with artists, industry, and other scientific disciplines. While highlighting the networks that gave rise to these tools, the presentation will simultaneously trace theoretical implications for how researchers conceptualized correspondences between linguistic forms, concepts, and things in the world.
It’s Very Difficult to Sing a Daisy: Adventures in Aesthetics and Experimental Phonetics at the Turn of the Century
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Michael Rossi
Among the many passing fascinations of turn of the century America, consider the eidophone pictures of Welsh singer Megan Watts Hughes. An accomplished vocalist, Watts Hughes discovered that singing into a mouthpiece connected to a resonant plate upon which had been placed a thin film of paste would cause the paste to contort into strange and wonderful shapes. By carefully modulating her voice as she sang into the mouthpiece-plate-paste apparatus — which she called the “eidophone” – Watts Hughes could cause pictures to appear at will: surreal landscapes, spiraling abstractions, even pansies, roses, and other flowers of specific type and species. It was notably difficult, however, to “sing a daisy,” she said, because of the extremely low tones and precise control required. This paper will take Watts Hughes’s pictures as a jumping off point from which to explore the field of experimental phonetics in the United States at the turn of the century. By no means the first instance of “hearing with the eyes,” as one scientist put it, Hughes’s “voice graphics” nevertheless caused a stir among physiologists, psychologists, and physicians in the United States who believed that transducing sound into vision was the best way to study speech. In the nuances of precisely-recorded human vocalizations – whether made from eidophones, vowel-tracers, phonoscopes, or other recording devices – practitioners of experimental phonetics found new methods for treating speech “disorders” and new ways for (literally) envisioning the neurological and cognitive roots of language. At the same time, the difficulty of “singing a daisy” wasn’t simply practical – in deciding on the meanings of the tracings that their machines produced, researchers also faced questions about formalism, aesthetics, interpretation, and the correspondence between representation and the notional real.
Tracing the Zigzags of Early Anthropology
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Laurel Waycott, Yale University
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” or so said Keats. Historians of science are very adept at understanding the complexities involved in translating natural phenomena into fact, and fact into truth. Less critical attention, however, has been paid to beauty and how it has shaped expectations of what the truth looks like. How have aesthetic judgments of beauty, shaped by the senses, contributed to the construction of knowledge in the human sciences? In this talk, I explore anthropological efforts to understand art-making in the late nineteenth century. In particular, I examine biological attempts to explain the evolution of ornament, conducted by an array of zoologists and anthropologists between 1870 and 1900, which applied the analytic tools of embryology and morphology to the products of human craft. As a result, simple geometric patterns like the zigzag were understood to be the most primitive. These analyses were based on western aesthetic judgments of beauty, and characterized the art of non-western peoples as degenerate and unsophisticated. Through this study, I show how scientists relied on their own aesthetic sense while denying taste to the people they studied. Applying a biological frame to the problems of culture assumed that non-western peoples were only capable of replication, thereby denying artistic sensibility and creativity to Indigenous makers. In doing so, anthropology translated taste into scientific knowledge of human difference. Truth could indeed be built upon beauty, but only the right kind of beauty.
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 21, Rm. 005
Colonial Science
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Marina Lopez, Universidad Michoacana De San Nicolás De Hidalgo - Mexico
Lachlan Fleetwood, University Of Cambridge
Evan Arnet, Indiana University - Bloomington
Maximilian Georg, Leibniz Institute For Regional Geography, Leipzig
Moderators
Matthew Franco, College Of William And Mary
The Namban Screens and the Maps of the Relaciones Geográficas De Indias: Two Visual Representations of the Global Encounters in the Early Modern Europe
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Marina Lopez, Universidad Michoacana De San Nicolás De Hidalgo - Mexico
In the history of the circulation of knowledge certain objects may be considered as paradigmatic of the ways through which information about territories and people was produced. The namban screens and the maps of the Relaciones Geográficas de Indias – RGI, both produced in the second half of the sixteenth century, provide two visual representations of the encounters resulting from the Spanish and Portuguese largescale empires. These two sets of objects brought novelty in the forms of representation of space used, and reflected particular relationships established between Europeans and other cultures. The namban screens represent the nexus between Europe and the Orient; and the maps of the RGI the imperial territories of the Spanish Crown. Together they speak of a significant way of knowing and connecting the entire world. By associating the two instances, I argue that these visual and material objects are documents that allow for a clearer understanding of the early stages of European modernity since they both circulated within a network of data, visual representation, luxury, and power.
Connection and Disconnection in the Global Scientific Imagining of the Himalaya
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Lachlan Fleetwood, University Of Cambridge
It was for both science and empire that East India Company employees lugged (or rather, employed Asian porters to lug) a panoply of fragile instruments into, and specimens out of, the Himalaya in order to account for what were only just coming to be acknowledged were by far the highest mountains on the globe. Measuring altitude accurately had never really been necessary before, but elevation was becoming a critical variable in many sciences, especially biogeography, altitude physiology, and geology. This scientific engagement with three dimensions was nevertheless complicated by surveyors’ dependence on their guides and the limits of imperial mastery along nascent high mountain frontiers. By focusing on the first half of the nineteenth century, often overlooked for the later period, I show that the gradual accumulation of scientific, political and imaginative coherence in the Himalaya occurred simultaneously with a recognition of the commensurability of mountain environments. Mountain science was thus, I argue, always global science. This had both a material dimension in the movement of things – specimens, scientific instruments, inscriptions and drawings – and an imaginative dimension in the way that plants, fossils and bodies increasingly had to be located on globe that was vertical as well as round. Practising science was thus an inherently comparative process, and even while physically ascending into the Himalaya, surveyors had to engage with a vertical globe that already prominently featured the Alps and Andes, even if tracing these equivalencies sometimes caused more confusion rather than coherence.
Scorpion Suicide: Experiments and Anecdotes in Colonial England (and beyond)
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Evan Arnet, Indiana University - Bloomington
I examine conflicting accounts of “scorpion suicide” to explore the entanglement of colonialism, anecdotes, and nascent scientific journals in the late 1800s. The tale of the scorpion surrounded by fire choosing to turn its sting on itself is one of the most striking images of animal self-destruction. While the experimental tradition on scorpion suicide is almost 300 years old, dating back to work by the French natural philosopher Maupertuis in 1731, the British were relative latecomers. They had a distinct dearth of scorpions until encountering them in colonial holdings like South Africa and India. I show how venues for the international circulation of animal anecdotes and at-home experiments like Nature magazine, mixed with British colonial access to scorpions, mixed with concerns about the evolutionary implications of a self-destructive instinct, led to vigorous debate over the reality of scorpion suicide in the 1870s and 1880s. Ultimately, I argue, it was not just the grisly experimental evidence, but also shifting epistemic standards in scientific journals and a denial of the implicit epistemic authority granted to the reports of explorers and colonialists in exotic places that led to the British scientific community turning against scorpion suicide. However, despite this century-old scientific conclusion, the present day persistence of the tale of scorpion suicide, on Youtube and Reddit, on yahoo answers and pet shop owners forums, and even in non-biology academic papers, reminds of us the complex nature of not just the development, but also the distribution, of scientific findings.
Henry Morton Stanley: An Explorer of Africa as a Popular Guest of Geographical Societies, 1872-1891
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Maximilian Georg, Leibniz Institute For Regional Geography, Leipzig
Before there were chairs, institutes and courses of geography at universities, the discipline had its institutional basis in "Geographical Societies". The purpose of these more or less amateur associations, which started emerging in the 1820s, was to promote and disseminate geographical knowledge. When it came to distant, unknown lands, they received such knowledge especially from travelers. One of the most famous (or, given his involvement in the Belgian colonization of the Congo, infamous) travelers of the 19th century was the British-American Henry Morton Stanley who, between 1871 and 1889, conducted four explorations in central Africa. Upon his returns, he paid a total of twenty visits to a total of thirteen Geographical Societies in Europe, Africa, America, and Australia. He received honors from them, and gave talks about his journeys and geographical findings, concerning most importantly the sources of the Nile and the rest of the central African water system. In my paper, I analyze Stanley's talks to the Societies as they are recorded in the latter's journals. What knowledge did he convey to them, and how did he adapt his communications to the specifics of Geographical Societies of different cities and countries? Moreover, as it was an age of intense colonialism, Stanley's knowledge on Africa had, at least for European Geographical Societies, colonialist dimensions. How did these dimensions materialize in Stanley's visits to, and invitations by, the associations?
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 25, Rm. 204
Cultivating Knowledge
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Justin Niermeier-Dohoney, University Of Chicago
Deirdre Moore, Harvard University
Laurence Douny, Research Associate, Humboldt University, Berlin
Anahita Rouyan, Independent Researcher & Consultant
Moderators
Anya Zilberstein, Concordia University, Montreal
"The Easy Transmutableness of Water": The Alchemy of Seed Steeps and "Fructifying Waters" in Seventeenth-Century English Agriculture
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Justin Niermeier-Dohoney, University Of Chicago
Johan Baptista van Helmont’s famous willow tree experiment purported to demonstrate that “164 pounds of wood, bark, and roots had come up from water alone,” suggesting the preeminence of water as the foundation for botanical growth. This experiment has a long afterlife among agricultural reformers in seventeenth-century England, but rather than accept water as the sole driver of the development of plants, many of these reformers adopted various alchemical techniques designed to determine what discrete substances within water conveyed fertility. In the process, they explored the nutritive properties of substances such as alum, quicklime, natron, distilled water, blue vitriol, potash, vitriolic acid, verdigris, copperas, and all manner of salts, and created mixtures of numerous, sometimes secretive substances often called “fructifying waters,” among many other things, as liquid solutions in which to steep seeds or use as pest control for crops. In this presentation, I argue that these reformers incorporated these chymical substances normally associated with alchemical laboratories and apothecaries into agriculture and aqua-culture. Their goals were manifold: they sought to improve agricultural yields, increase the quantity of viable seeds and alleviate the risks of poor harvests, and develop marketable and sometimes patentable recipes for profit. In the process, they added to the growing body of knowledge about the function of seed growth, the lifecycle of plants, and the relationships between plants and soil, water, air, and fertilizers. They also sought to answer two of the knottiest questions in botany—what caused seed germination and could this be controlled?
Cochineal Husbandry in Eighteenth-Century Mexico and India
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Deirdre Moore, Harvard University
During the eighteenth-century, the Spanish Empire held a virtual monopoly on the production of cochineal, a lucrative red dye commodity sourced from insects grown on cacti largely in the south of modern day Mexico. The cochineal insect had been domesticated and grown by the indigenous peoples of central America for centuries before the arrival of the Spanish. It was widely known as ‘nocheztli’ or ‘blood of the nopal cactus’. Cochineal was situated in a cultural matrix which influenced the insects’ complex husbandry and development as a domesticated species in southern Mexico. In the late eighteenth-century the British East India Company attempted to turn southern India and Bengal into production zones for cochineal (Fray, 2012). In making India a major producer of cochineal the Company hoped to turn a substantial profit and break the Spanish monopoly. British promoters of this scheme assumed similarities between India and Mexico in areas of landscape, peoples, cultures, plants and insects. Critically British colonial promoters believed the landscapes and indigenous peoples of southern Mexico would be interchangeable with the landscapes and peoples of southern India and Bengal. These assumptions led to the failure of the project. Even in Guatemala, geographically next to Mexico, the cochineal industry had been impossible to transport until native Oaxacan cochineal growers had accompanied their insects and taught methods of husbandry. The movement of the cochineal industry to Guatemala in a similar time period offers a contrast to the failed British project in India.
Materiality in the Wild: A Posthumanist Approach to Indigenous Knowledge of West African Wild Silk
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Laurence Douny, Research Associate, Humboldt University, Berlin
This paper studies conceptions of Indigenous knowledge-based material practice in the trade, production and use of wild silk within a posthumanist theoretical framework (Barad 2007). By focusing on actual conceptions of its material and symbolic agency, affinities and affordances, it inquires about the silk’s materiality that helps to inform about an Indigenous science of materials that entangles knowledge, technical and belief systems. Wild silk that is produced by silkworms of genus Epanaphe or Anaphe has been for centuries locally harvested in the forests and the Sahelo-Sudanian areas of Nigeria and throughout West Africa. In the Hausa region of Northern Nigeria, indigenous silk that is considered as a material of prestige, has been mainly used in hand embroidery, produced on traditional male robes known as babban riga (Kriger 2010). On these garments, silk patterns that remind of Islamic calligraphy enact as a form of talismanic magic that protect against the evil eye and confer charisma to the wearer. By using travelers’ accounts, colonial reports, museum collections and oral tradition recorded through systematic ethnographic interviews, this paper looks at aspects of Indigenous conceptions about the material, cultural and historical significance of wild silk, starting from the 19th century Sokoto Caliphate located in Northern Nigeria until the contemporary period. Framed within a historical and anthropological approach to materials, the paper’s posthuman focus lies in the examination of silk’s material qualities and properties that include intertwined medicinal and magical values for which this elusive insect material has been praised across West Africa.
The Species Transmutation Debate and Agricultural Science in the Antebellum United States, 1820-1859
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Anahita Rouyan, Independent Researcher & Consultant
The paper traces a debate about species transmutation that unfolded in agricultural periodicals published in the Northeastern United States between 1820 and 1859. During the nineteenth century, numerous members of New England farming communities believed that particular environmental conditions could prompt wheat seeds to produce a variety of weed called cheat or chess. The widespread belief in the “transmutation” of wheat into chess was mobilized by testimonies shared by farmers in letters to agricultural periodicals where the topic was widely debated. The group of agricultural reformers that curated the content of these publications at the time promoted agricultural improvement by disseminating knowledge about relevant science and technology topics. The widespread discussion about the transmutation of wheat offered these editors an opportunity for sharing scientific knowledge about plant heredity and botanical classification systems, encouraging experimentation among audiences prejudiced against “book farming.” In their assessment of the theoretical contributions of botanists and practical experiments conducted by farmers, the reformers negotiated the authority of scientific expertise in the study of nature and delineated standards of scientific inquiry into agricultural matters. Their engagement with the transmutation debate contributed to the democratization and professionalization of agrarian improvement, laying the groundwork for the activities of agricultural research institutions that emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century.
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 27, Rm. 032
Early Modern Astronomies and Cosmologies
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Physical Sciences
Speakers
Tayra Lanuza-Navarro, Universitat De València
Luís Tirapicos, Centro Interuniversitário De História Das Ciências E Da Tecnologia, Faculdade De Ciências, Universidade De Lisboa
Antoine Gallay, University Of Geneva / University Paris-Nanterre
Moderators
Stephen Case, Olivet Nazarene University
Discussing the Legitimacy of Astrology with Inquisitors: Non-Scholar Witnesses on Free Will and University Lectures in Seventeenth Century Trials
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Tayra Lanuza-Navarro, Universitat De València
In their efforts to follow the instructions emanated from the Council of Trent, Sixtus Vth Bull Coeli et Terrae, and the rules established by the commissions of the Roman and the Spanish Indexes of Forbidden Books, Spanish Inquisitors involved in trials for the practice of astrology dealt with not only the reports of experts about the discipline, but also with the testimonies of people of all levels of literacy and social class origins. Previous studies have focused on the scholarly debates held by theologians, astronomers, mathematicians, physicians and natural philosophers on astrology and its practice (Pardo-Tomás 1991, Caro-Baroja 1992, Lanuza-Navarro 2017). The objective of this paper is to put the focus on non-scholar witnesses involved in trials related to the practice of astrology, with the aim of revealing their attitudes towards the discipline and their knowledge of the extent of the prohibitions, as well as the opinions they expressed on crucial aspects of the debate such as free will. It aims to contribute to the study of the circulation of concepts related to the prohibition and persecution of astrology outside scholar circles, among wider audiences, and the strategies members of the popular classes used when confronted with the Inquisitors to present their own and others’ cases.
Tycho Brahe and the Inquisition in Iberia
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Luís Tirapicos, Centro Interuniversitário De História Das Ciências E Da Tecnologia, Faculdade De Ciências, Universidade De Lisboa
It is known that throughout the seventeenth century the world system proposed by Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) assumed a preponderant position in the Iberian cosmological debate, affirming itself as the one with the best agreement to empirical evidence. Moreover, the Tychonian model (or variants thereof) did not present the difficulties of apparent contradiction with the scriptures, as the heliocentric proposal of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) did, since it kept the earth fixed at the centre of the world. However, Tycho as a Lutheran author was targeted by the Inquisition. Passages of various works of the Danish astronomer were included in the Spanish indexes of 1632, 1640 and 1707, although the formal condemnation of the Roman Inquisition never materialized. In the network of the Society of Jesus a seemingly informal censorship also circulated, apparently based on Tridentine determinations, published in 1651 in the influential work of Giambattista Riccioli (1598-1671) Almagestum novum. I will discuss the scope, effects and limitations of the censorship of Tycho's scientific books in Portugal and Spain, through the analysis of several annotated copies, preserved manly in Iberian libraries, with a special attention to books from ancient Jesuit colleges.
The Rise of a Utilitarian Concern in Seventeenth-Century Moon-Mapping: The Case of Giovanni Domenico Cassini’s Grande Carte de la Lune (1679)
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Antoine Gallay, University Of Geneva / University Paris-Nanterre
After Galileo’s remarkable demonstration of the rugged surface of the moon, several attempts to provide a comprehensive cartography were conducted, culminating with Johannes Hevelius’s lavish Selenographia (1647). By representing each phase of the moon, Hevelius did not only intend to give an accurate description of the satellite, but also to provide a detailed physical explanation of its behaviour. Such a clear purpose contrasts with the Grande Carte de la Lune completed thirty years later in the Royal Academy of Sciences. The project, directed by Giovanni Domenico Cassini, began in the early 1670s, soon after the construction of the Observatory. Once achieved, the map was deemed the most precise ever done, and yet its purpose and application have hitherto remained mysterious. While the print was directly financed by the Surintendance des Bâtiments du Roy, the few scarce copies retained in public collections lack any dedication or legend, suggesting that the project was not deemed as desirable as it may have been at the beginning. Indeed, a few years later, Cassini felt compelled to justify the usefulness of moon-mapping. Through the careful analysis of the fabrication and reception of the Grande Carte de la Lune, I hope to detail the shift from a conception of science closely associated to courtly practices to a more utilitarian view. I will then attempt to discuss how such a shift was partly determined by the economic policy of the Bâtiments du Roy, but also by internal conflicts within the Academy.
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 25, Rm. 101
Medicine in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Medicine and Health
Speakers
Abigail Fields, PhD Student, Yale University
Alexander Wragge-Morley, New York University
Cristiano Turbil, University College London (UCL), UK
Axelle Champion, University Of Edinburgh
Moderators
Ian Davis, Ph.D. Candidate, Universidade De Coimbra
The Smell of the Sick: Odor in Eighteenth-Century French Medicine
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Abigail Fields, PhD Student, Yale University
Eighteenth-century France was marked by distinctly “odored” phenomena. The rise of industry led to the emission of mephitic aerial pollutants while disease outbreaks caused an overcrowding of hospitals, which became noxious institutions in many cities. These smelly realities and the anxieties that they provoked led to an increased attention to atmospheric aromas and personal bodily odors. While French cultural historians such as Alain Corbin (Le Miasme et la Jonquille, 1982) and Robert Muchembled (La Civilisation des Odeurs, 2017) have studied scent and smell during this period, the topic has been largely ignored by historians of science and medicine. This lacuna is striking, given that the medical literature from this period demonstrates a heightened concern with the importance of odor and odorants in medical practice. The use of odor in medicine participated in a medical epistemology that interfaced with contemporary theories and experiments on air quality and composition in relation to human health.In this paper, I explore the ways in which scent figured into medical thought, and the social ramifications of this development. My analysis centers on the relationship between odor and disease, focusing on (1) the role of odor in explaining the cause of diseases, (2) the importance of odor as a symptom in disease diagnosis, and (3) aromatic and olfactory treatments of diseases that were supported in the period. I conclude by showing how representations of odor helped to define what it meant to be healthy and normal in eighteenth-century France, in the medical realm and beyond.
Involuntary Motion and the Origins of Aesthetic Experience, 1700-1750
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Alexander Wragge-Morley, New York University
It used to be widely accepted that the eighteenth-century emergence of the 'aesthetic' as a category of experience and philosophical inquiry depended on an explicit denial of the pleasures, pains, and functions of the body. In recent years, however, scholars have become increasingly interested in how medicine and theories of matter shaped the development of art criticism and philosophical aesthetics. In this paper, I argue that changing ideas about the body's involuntary functions - along with their pathologies and therapies - had a crucial role in the development of aesthetics and art theory in Britain during the first half of the 18th century. Drawing on a wide range of sources concerning the imperceptible motions of plant and animal bodies, I show how debates about the the body's involuntary responses to the world outside it shaped claims about what we now call aesthetic experience - the experience of beauty and sublimity. This paper will do more than simply show that art theorists such as Jonathan Richardson and William Hogarth responded to philosophical and medical attempts to describe and control the body’s involuntary motions. Rather, it will seek to demonstrate that a concern about involuntary motion was a central theme in 18th century thought, animating a range of interconnected discourses and practices concerned with the mind's non-cognitive or affective responses to sensory experience. Those ranged from debates about the how invisible attractive forces shaped the temperaments to questions about the forms of experience arising from mysterious, involuntary vibrations taking place inside the body.
Politics in the Bedroom: Paolo Mantegazza and the Rise of Sexual Medicine in Post Unified Italy (1861-1900)
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Cristiano Turbil, University College London (UCL), UK
In the late nineteenth century, questions regarding hygiene and public health became central to the medical, cultural and political debates in Italy. Particularly during the first few decades after the unification (1861), public health campaigns became a key element in the creation of the new kingdom. One of the key figures who contributed to the establishment of the practice of hygiene in the country was the polymath Paolo Mantegazza. Mantegazza introduced the culture of hygiene in a variety of ways: from laboratory and hospital practice to the creation of sexual medicine. The Italian polymath published widely on sexual medicine for both the professional and general audience with controversial books such as Physiology of Love (1873), The Sexual Relationship of Mankind (1886) and The Art of Taking a Wife (1894). The aim of this paper is to look specifically at his physiological work on sexuality, showing how the control and management of any sexual desires became key to the welfare of the new kingdom. This paper will also look at how the author communicated his controversial ideas about sex and its practices to the general public. This will provide an overview of the circulation of controversial medical knowledge in the post-unification Italian context and the importance this had for national public health.
The Alienisation of Childhood and Adolescence in France and Scotland, 1870-1914
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Axelle Champion, University Of Edinburgh
During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the medical gaze turned itself upon the child and the adolescent, promoted them as new objects of science. In both Scotland and France, an alliance between political and medical men was formed to deal with their respective demographic crisis: public health, hygiene, as well as personal behaviours were targeted to improve child health. Both nations developed similar anxieties and fears over their population growth, and addressed these challenges in a similar way - through the introduction of pieces of legislations as well as formulating social and medical precepts promoting child welfare. Yet, some crucial differences in their implementation emphasise distinct approaches to the medicalisation of childhood and adolescence, which would ultimately bear consequence to the ‘alienisation’ of both periods of life. This paper addresses the question of child and adolescent development and its interpretation within psychiatric discourses in both France and Scotland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It will stress out how paediatrics became a separate field of study in both countries, signing off different perspectives to the question of the young body in health and sickness. This will allow us to understand how the medicalisation of childhood and adolescence, under the influence of evolutionary psychology and pedagogy, concurred to form different discursive traditions on mental abnormality in young people. In other words, this paper will show how the emergence of child and adolescent psychiatry sits at the crossroads of competing, yet complementing, medical, psychological, social and educationist discourses.
16:00 - 18:00
Janskerkhof 2-3, Rm. 013
Past, Present, and Future: Science Studies and the Historian's Role in Contemplating the Future
Format : Organized Session
Track : Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Nadia Berenstein, Independent Scholar
Peter Kleeman, UMass Amherst / Space Age Museum / Smithsonian National Air And Space Museum
Emily T. Hamilton, University Of Massachusetts, Amherst
Luis Campos, University Of New Mexico
Moderators
Emily T. Hamilton, University Of Massachusetts, Amherst
This panel will address the use of science and technology studies to address particular audiences, re-evaluate perceptions of failed promises, and examine how the history of science and technology can be utilized as a tool for reconsidering the future. Presenters will focus on three case studies: 1) how Space-Age-era mythic visions of a future in outer space should be historically considered alongside the contemporaneous public recognition of the ecological fragility of the planet. These popular culture conceptions of the cosmos will de examined within a context of Space Age materialism and consumerism that led to ecological consequences still today tied into futuristic visions of humanity; 2) the history of 20th century food science and technology in the United States with a focus on its prospective and promissory orientation and the role of consumer rejection in shaping the marketplace and research and development in food science, ultimately questioning the fate of the imagined futures embedded in failed technologies; 3) the importance of a historical analysis of past reform efforts in math and science education in the U.S. as a tool aimed at the specific audience of policymakers to help them better understand the perception of crisis and failure in past reform efforts and using this analysis to inform future educational reforms. These case studies will open a discussion about the goals of science and technology studies, the role of the historian in reaching particular audiences, and the utility/limitations of historical analysis in contemplating the future.
The Delayed Arrival of the Future: The Case of General Mills’ Bontrae in Cold War America
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Nadia Berenstein, Independent Scholar
Much of mid-twentieth-century US food science and technology had a prospective and promissory orientation — one that combined dire forecasts of a food-scarce future with robust claims by industry to provide solutions that could mitigate the effects of the coming catastrophe. Such was the case with many of the novel protein-based food sources under development during wartime and in the postwar years, including chlorella algae, powders made from fisheries bycatch, and plant-based protein products. But what happened when industry failed to commercialize on this research, or when consumers rejected these products in the marketplace? This paper will consider the case of General Mills’ Bontrae, a unique “spun” soy protein product developed over more than a decade and at the cost of millions of dollars in R&D investment, only to vanish from the US market within a few years of its launch in the 1970s. This paper will tell the story of Bontrae’s development and failure in the US marketplace in the 1960s and 1970s and its global afterlives. The story of Bontrae is not only about a consumer technology that flopped; it also has cultural implications for the technoscientific narrative of Malthusian crisis that justified, at least in part, its intensive development — and for our own era of promissory technologies. I will ask, what is the fate of the imagined futures embedded in failed technologies?
Can Space Age Cultural History Help Save the Future
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Peter Kleeman, UMass Amherst / Space Age Museum / Smithsonian National Air And Space Museum
How can we envision our Star Trek future in space? Contributing to the conference theme of “Telling the Stories of Science,” this paper will discuss the intersection of audience, concepts of failure, and visions of the future as represented in the cultural history of the Space Age. Mythic visions of a future in outer space were central in Space Age imagination and deeply engaged public audiences, particularly through material culture and science fiction. Burgeoning 20th-century technologies allowed people to contemplate humanity’s place in the cosmos in a more imaginative and technological way than ever before. Part of that philosophical-cultural exercise involved pondering the distant future of humanity, one that was often imagined as unfolding beyond the confines of planet Earth. But what happens when public interest in lunar landings dwindles to the point of NASA canceling the Apollo program early? And how do we reconcile the excessive consumerism that delivered Space Age ideals with the environmental consequences of manufacturing and waste? Now, over ninety-years since the dawn of the Space Age, we can look back at the dreams of the era and reflect on how they have both served society, and failed us. Disenchanted by failure to quickly realize utopian dreams off-world, photos shot looking back from the Moon reveal our fragile “Spaceship Earth” floating in the void. Forced to reflect upon our planetary failures, particularly regarding ecological challenges, what can we learn from past mythic visions of the future to better tell stories of science that empower audiences today?
History as a Policy Tool: Re-Envisioning How the Historian Might Bring Historical Thinking into Legislative Decisions
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Emily T. Hamilton, University Of Massachusetts, Amherst
While historians most often write to an audience of fellow historians and academics, clear exceptions are made—for instance public history efforts or the development of textbooks and curricular materials. This paper will explore the use of historical analysis specifically as a tool for policymakers to help them better understand the perception of crisis and failure in past reform efforts in math and science education, with the goal of using this analysis to inform more effective future educational reforms. This paper will explore the importance of developing accessible history for a specific audience, with clear goals for impacting the future. Through the lens of the history of education in America, this paper will open a discussion about the goals of science and technology studies, the role of the historian in reaching particular audiences, and the utility of historical analysis in contemplating the future.
Commentary: Past, Present, and Future: Science Studies and the Historian's Role in Contemplating the Future
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Luis Campos, University Of New Mexico
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 13, Rm. 003
Psychological Debates
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Medicine and Health
Speakers
Alexandra Prince, University At Buffalo SUNY
Madhusudan Rimal, University Of Alberta
Andrew Hogan, Associate Professor Of History, Creighton University
Moderators
John Carson, University Of Michigan
Medicalizing Religion: Christian Science as a Historical Cause of Madness
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Alexandra Prince, University At Buffalo SUNY
At the turn of the twentieth century, hundreds of Christian Scientists, including their founder Mary Baker Eddy, were charged with insanity owing to their religion. As a new religion, Christian Science became part of the medically-sanctioned etiology of insanity at the time. Newspapers were swift to pathologize Eddy and the members of her church thus justifying their institutionalization. Their stories were manufactured into tabloid sensations that depicted Christian Scientists in a variety of denigrating frameworks such as murderer, family-disrupter, and subverter of gender roles. Superintendents of insane asylums served as expert witnesses in trials where they were utilized by both the defense and prosecution to demonstrate the scientific credibility of belief in Christian Science as a precipitator of insanity. The proposed paper examines how turn of the century American politics of religion and medical science intertwined to construct Christian Science as a cause of insanity. I draw not only from medical sources such as scientific journals and medical conference proceedings, but popular coverage of emerging tropes of madness in connection with religion. To focus my discussion, I employ historical media coverage of two trials in which Christian Scientist defendants were adjudged both sane and insane by physicians. In both of these cases, the female defendant's mental capacity was questioned owing to their religious identity. I argue that historical charges of insanity levied against members of Christian Science reveal complex tensions concerning the historical negotiation of faith within medical discourse.
Psychiatry in Indian Traditional Medicine?
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Madhusudan Rimal, University Of Alberta
Ayurveda, an Indian traditional medical system is an all-embracing system of medical teachings which encompasses a number of different historical lines and layers. The term āyurveda means, literally, “the knowledge or science (Sanskrit veda) for longevity (āyus)”. There are eight branches of āyurveda. One of the divisions of āyurveda is called bhūtavidyā (studies of disorders or possessions). This paper argues that a characteristic of Indian traditional medicine, āyurveda covers important aspects of psychiatry even though like other traditional and ancients of medicine there is the absence of a distinct discipline that is comparable with psychiatry as it has developed in Western medicine. What are those indicating factors that show the characteristics of psychiatry in āyurveda? Is there any religious connotation in those characteristics? These are the major dealing matters in my paper. Keywords: Ayurveda, psychiatry, religion, possessions, traditional
Standing with Science: Ideology and Advocacy for Developmental Disabilities after 1980
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Andrew Hogan, Associate Professor Of History, Creighton University
The prominence of disability advocacy grew significantly after 1980. While research, assessment, and therapies for mental retardation and related developmental disabilities were traditionally in the realm of specialist psychologists, burgeoning advocacy organizations began challenging the classifications and interventions of these experts. This included calls by advocacy organizations like the American Association for Mental Retardation (AAMR) for research on aversive forms of behavior modification—involving electric shocks and other punishments—to be banned. In 1992, AAMR also significantly revised its longstanding and highly influential Manual on Mental Retardation, shifting its focus for classification away from individual impairments and toward societal supports. Some psychologists who specialized in developmental disabilities pushed back, calling these policies and revisions “postmodern,” “politically correct,” and anti-science. They defended scientific research and evidence-based care, framing their approaches as advocating for people with disabilities’ right to scientific knowledge and effective treatments. Advocates countered by arguing that reframing disability as a social issue was not an attack on science. The identity of developmental disability specialists as either primarily scientific or social problems-oriented was central to these debates. Sociologist Sydney Halpern has argued that clinical specialties associated with scientific innovation have greater prestige than those who address social problems. Building on the work of Halpern, as well as historians of psychology Jill Morawski and Deborah Coon, I argue that these specialist psychologists, who defended their approaches as scientific, sought to maintain their central role in developmental disabilities research and support, while enhancing the status of a historically low prestige field.
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 27, Eetkamer
Reshaping Nature: Atomic Agriculture in the Cold War Era
Format : Organized Session
Track : Technology
Speakers
Francesco Cassata, University Of Genoa (Italy)
Anna Tunlid, Lund University, Sweden
Karin Zachmann, Technical University Of Munich
Angela N. H. Creager, Princeton University
Moderators
Angela N. H. Creager, Princeton University
Historians of science have widely investigated the impact of the atomic bomb on the development of post-WW2 life sciences, thoroughly documenting how the dissemination of scientific resources associated with nuclear energy shaped biological knowledge, laboratory instrumentation, and medical practices. In this burgeoning historiographic context, the application of nuclear science in agriculture has hitherto attracted relatively little scholarly attention. In particular, despite the pioneering contributions of Helen Anne Curry, Jacob Darwin Hamblin and Karin Zachmann, the development of mutation breeding in other national contexts different from the United States and, more in general, the global spread of atomic agriculture remain uncharted territory. The aim of this session is to partially bridge this gap, by providing a broader perspective, both geographically and analytically. First of all, the session will examine the transnational dimension of atomic agriculture, drawing attention on little known, yet fundamental, national case-studies, such as Sweden and Italy, but also exploring the transnational circulation of research methods, technological systems, irradiated organisms, from the United States to Europe (and vice versa), as well as from Europe to the Middle East and Central Africa. Secondly, the session will explore the complex interaction between the establishment of mutation plant breeding as a transnational scientific field, on the one hand, and the global geopolitics of atomic agriculture, on the other, involving conflicting actions and relationships between different United Nations' organizations, such as the FAO and the IAEA.Organized by Francesco Cassata
"Atomic Spaghetti": Nuclear Energy and Agriculture in Italy, 1950s-1970s
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Francesco Cassata, University Of Genoa (Italy)
The presentation will focus on the mutagenesis program in agriculture implemented by the Italian Atomic Energy Commission (CNRN-CNEN), starting from 1956, through the establishment of a specific technological and experimental system: the so-called “gamma field”, a piece of agricultural land with a radioisotope of Cobalt-60 at the center. The Cobalt-60 would emit constant radiation, primarily gamma rays, which would bombard the specimens planted in concentric circles around the source, inducing genetic mutations. The CNEN gamma field went into operation in May 1960 at the Casaccia Laboratory, about twenty miles north of Rome, with a radiation device made available by the US Government for the Atoms-for-Peace program. Among the many research projects of the Casaccia Laboratory, the durum wheat program, strictly connected with the industrial production of Italian pasta, was particularly relevant. The extensive durum wheat mutation breeding work resulted in fact in the obtention of eleven registered varieties. In particular, “Creso” became the leading Italian variety with the highest percentage of durum certified and distributed seed. This presentation will analyze, first of all, how the American-Swedish experimental model of mutation breeding was translated into the Italian context, becoming instrumental for the modernization of Italian agriculture as well as for the establishment of plant genetics within the local academic system; secondly, it will describe how the FAO/IAEA network of durum wheat trials in the Mediterranean region contributed to the controversial diffusion of mutation plant breeding technologies in the developing countries.
Artificial Evolution: Åke Gustafsson and the Development of Mutation Breeding
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Anna Tunlid, Lund University, Sweden
In the late 1920s, Åke Gustafsson and Herman Nilsson-Ehle started experiments of induced mutations at the Svalöf Plant Breeding Station in Sweden. Already in the mid-1930s, the first viable mutations appeared, and in 1940 an extended research program was set up. Gustafsson devoted much of his scientific career to mutation research. With funding granted by the Swedish government, he established a large national research group with the aim to investigate theoretical and applied aspects of induced mutations. During the 1960s, he became increasingly involved in the FAO/IAEA Joint Division. In opposition to many contemporary geneticists and plant breeders, Gustafsson never doubted the value of induced mutations for plant breeding, which according to him dealt with the artificial evolution of crop species by changing and accommodating them to human needs and demands. He was dubbed the “father of mutation breeding”. In this presentation, I will outline Gustafsson’s research on induced mutations by using Sheila Jasanoff’s concept sociotechnical imaginaries. I will argue that Gustafsson’s view on induced mutation was part of a sociotechnical imaginary in Sweden that emphasized the close links between basic research and its practical applications and the value of science for the development of society and the welfare state. This imaginary promoted the advancement of science-driven plant breeding technologies to improve crops, increase productivity and achieve national food security. During the 1960s, the sociotechnical imaginary of plant breeding was extended beyond the national borders to include the developing countries, which further stimulated Gustafsson’s engagement in the FAO/IAEA activities.
Semantics of Biofacts: Introducing Atomic Agriculture in Africa
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Karin Zachmann, Technical University Of Munich
The proposed paper will narrate the story of projects to establish nuclear techniques in agriculture, focusing in particular on Africa. It aims at exploring how arrangements of nuclear and agricultural things gave birth to a third class of objects, i.e. biofacts (irradiated organisms). The questions at stake here are firstly, whether and how irradiated organisms as biofacts acquired meaning on the basis of the competing grammars of both nuclear and agricultural systems, and secondly, to what extent biofacts (of the nuclear age) have impacted the semantics of its constituent realms (nuclear technology and agriculture). Arrangements of nuclear and agricultural things, each emerging from distinct technical and spatial contexts and each based on differing rules/principles of composition, require processes of translation and mutual adaptation, resulting in transformations such as irradiated organisms. The paper will explore how these transformations gave rise to new grammars as techniques of composition, enabling the biofacts of the nuclear age to work. This will help us to understand the success or failure of nuclear projects in agriculture because these projects will only work when they build on a new grammar that imbues agricultural biofacts with meaning and significance. The paper will first introduce the historical context and one main actor for the development of nuclear techniques in agriculture. Then, two applications – radiation breeding and the sterile insect technology – will be highlighted. Special attention will be payed to attempts to install these applications in Africa, based on sources from the IAEA, especially with respect to Ghana and Nigeria.
Commentary: Reshaping Nature: Atomic Agriculture in the Cold War Era
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Angela N. H. Creager, Princeton University
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 25, Rm. 303
Science and Medicine in the Twentieth Century
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Medicine and Health
Speakers
Hieke Huistra, Utrecht University
Frank Blibo, PhD Candidate, Department Of The History Of Science, Harvard University
Matthew Paskins, LSE
Coreen McGuire, University Of Bristol
Moderators
OLIVAL FREIRE, UFBA - BRAZIL
Staying Home: Modernity, Science, and the Absence of Hospital Birth in the Netherlands, 1918–1940
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Hieke Huistra, Utrecht University
Around 1900, almost all European and American births happened at home, but soon after, birth moved into the hospital. Historians such as Judith Leavitt have analyzed the role of obstetrical science in this shift. New scientific insights on how to prevent infections favoured the strictly controlled birth environment only the hospital could offer. Furthermore, pregnant women strongly believed modern science could make birth safe and comfortable – a modern, 'scientific' hopsital birth was seen as a good birth; a traditional home birth was not. Thus, in the 1920s and the 1930s, birth started to move into the hospital in most western countries – with one major exception: the Netherlands. Although trust in science was high in the interwar Netherlands, the number of hospital births remained low, a remarkable contrast still visible today. In this paper, I investigate this difference, which so far, I argue, has not been sufficiently addressed. Most historical work on the Dutch birthing system focuses on the strong position of Dutch midwives, but although midwives are necessary for home births, their presence is in itself not a sufficient explanation for the lack of hospital births. In other European countries with similar numbers of midwives, home births did decline nonetheless. To figure out what made the Netherlands different, I analyze scientific textbooks, practical handbooks, medical case notes, and women's diaries. Together, these sources help me explain why, in the interwar Netherlands, the 'scientific' hospital birth did not acquire the same popularity as elsewhere.
Relocating the Neurosciences and Decentering Euro-America: The Ibadan Neurosurgery Clinic and The Evolution of Antiracist-Decolonized Neuro-Oncology and Egalitarian Styles of Thinking on Intracranial Neoplasms in Africa and the United States
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Frank Blibo, PhD Candidate, Department Of The History Of Science, Harvard University
During the first half of the twentieth-century, neurosurgeons in the US linked differential experiences of brain/intracranial tumors such as meningiomas, gliomas, lymphomas, pituitary adenomas, and craniopharyngiomas to biological difference. In 1937, for instance, Harvey Cushing wrote that “brain tumors of any kind were rare in negroes.” Having seen only four meningiomas out of some two thousand brain tumors in his practice, Cushing concluded that negroes were exempt from meningiomas because their skulls were denser and thicker than those of whites. But differential incidence of brain tumors was not only racialized, but also gendered and geneticized; the latter especially in the 1970s by pathologists like Joseph Kovi and Kenneth Earle. However, by the last quarter of the century, a more egalitarian style of thinking on intracranial neoplasms would evolve in the US, which held that these neoplasms also affected negroes. My paper argues that the evolution of this new knowledge was not an exclusively US production, but drew extensively on the knowledge produced on intracranial neoplasms by African neurosurgeons, neurologists, and pathologists like Latunde Odeku and Adelola Adeloye during the period 1960s-1980s. It examines the why and how of the production and circulation of this style of thinking from Africa to the US. Thus, by locating the evolution of this new style of thinking not in the United States, but in Africa, and paying attention to the contributions of non-Western actors to western knowledge production, my paper, contributes and extends the new scholarship on global perspectives on science.
Substitute Materials during the Twentieth Century
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Matthew Paskins, LSE
Attempts to discover whether or not one material can be used in place of another run through the history of science from antiquity to the present. This paper gives an overview of twentieth century histories of substitute materials as a technoscientific-political project. Successful substitution typically involves a coordination between material availability, narratives of use, experimental practices to discover similarities and differences between material affordances, and regimes of testing and regulation. Substitute materials are also invested with potent narratives which connects them with political aims. During the twentieth century historians have associated substitute materials primarily with a range of political projects, notably the chemurgical movement in the USA during the 1930s, British colonial development schemes in the post-world war two period, and the ersatz economies of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. It is thus framed as arising in exceptional condition, arising with conditions of war and emergency. Substitution can also be understood as a more gradual and quotidian series of material transitions and coexistences. Examining these more chronic attempts to substitute gives a way to relate histories of chemistry to geographies of production, and their associated ideologies.
The Categorisation of Hearing Loss through Telephony in Inter-War Britain
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Coreen McGuire, University Of Bristol
The telephone in inter-war Britain was an important tool for both the identification and categorisation of individual hearing loss. Between 1912 and 1981, the British Post Office had control over a nationalised telephone system. Linkage between telephony and hearing has long been noted by historians of sound and science and Post Office engineers in the inter-war period had considerable expertise in both telecommunications and hearing assistive devices. This talk will first demonstrate how the interwar Post Office categorised different kinds of hearing loss through standardising the capacity of its users to engage effectively with the telephone, and secondly investigate how successful it was in doing so. By utilising the substantial but little used material held by BT Archives, we can trace the development of the Post Office’s 'telephone for deaf subscribers’, and explore how it was used to manage and standardise the variability of hearing and hearing loss within the telephone system. This talk will highlight that institutional decisions about the types of measurements we prioritise and the types of bodies we choose to measure as standard have been heavily weighted with historical biases and discrimination. Examining the creation of 'normal hearing' in inter-war Britain thus allows for wider consideration of the technological construction of disability.
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 25, Rm. 102
Sonic Imperium: Sound and the State in the Twentieth Century
Format : Organized Session
Track : Technology
Speakers
Elizabeth Bruton, Science MUseum Group
J. Martin Vest, University Of Michigan
Alexandra Hui, Mississippi State University, Society Editor
Graeme Gooday, University Of Leeds
Moderators
Jaipreet Virdi, University Of Delaware
In the first decades of the twentieth century, state administrators helmed organizations historically-unprecedented in their size and degree of centralization. Growing armies of state employees collected taxes; generated and distributed government statistics; administered fitfully-growing welfare programs and, perhaps most saliently, conducted military operations of hitherto-unimaginable scope. The modern enterprise of war required state coordination of millions of combatants and the surveillance of citizens on the battlefield and the home-front alike. This panel explores the place of sound, hearing, and non-hearing in the operations of the twentieth century state, paying particular attention to the contexts of war, surveillance and propaganda. The relationship between twentieth century states and sonic techniques and technologies is unsurprising given the historical contemporaneity of developments in both spheres. Beginning in the late 1800s a panoply of new techniques and technologies arose for the control and communication of sound. Edison's phonograph facilitated the mass reproduction of sounds. Radios and loud speakers expanded exponentially the reach of centrally-produced sounds while the telephone allowed for the instantaneous (and more-or-less private) communication of sonic data across vast expanses. At the same time, new techniques and technologies allowed scientists and technicians to attend to the evolving soundscape in increasingly sophisticated ways. They measured and tested the volume of urban and industrial environments and the acuity and pitch-range of subjects' hearing. All of these developments in the control and measurement of sound attracted the attention-and resources-of the state.Organized by Jacques Vest
Flying Caps and Throat Microphones: Solving the Problems of Aviation Communication in World War One
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Elizabeth Bruton, Science MUseum Group
Large-scale conflicts have long generated new practices and technologies of communication. As we have argued elsewhere (Bruton & Gooday 2016), long-distance aural communications became especially important in the First World War. In this paper we explore the new challenges of sky-borne telecommunication in that conflict as parallel innovations in aircraft and wireless (radio) brought opportunities for near real-time intelligence. Airborne wireless sets using Morse code existed prior to the war’s outbreak in 1914 and voice-over-wireless systems were developed for airborne use by former Marconi Company engineers working for the British Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in 1915. Yet the conjunction of enormously noisy engines and open cockpits in First World War aeroplanes initially created great difficulties for pilots to hear Morse code and even (later) voice messages. Even with noise-reducing adaptations of aircraft engines nearly a quarter of airmen suffered the additional problem of permanent hearing loss. Both problems were solved in the development of pilot’s flying caps equipped with sound-resistant headphones around 1917. Combined with the new throat microphone, this system was successfully adopted by pilots into the Second World War and beyond.
The Malingering Ear: Audiometric Surveillance in the Early Twentieth Century United States
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
J. Martin Vest, University Of Michigan
In the late nineteenth century, new opportunities arose for practicing that most venerable and ancient of military arts—malingering. The expansion of workplace benefits made "playing sick" profitable in a range of new occupations while the growth of the workforce militated against close surveillance of sick workers and soldiers. Feigned deafness, in particular, presented a promising field of endeavor for the malingerer. The cacophonous modern battlefield and factory made hearing damage plausible and the technical demands of modern labor meant it often unfitted one for duty. Most importantly, unilateral deafness was easy to fake and difficult to detect. This paper examines one front in the state’s turn-of-the-century war on malingering—the use of hearing tests as a form of surveillance. Beginning around 1900 physicians associated with corporate and military employers developed audiometric techniques to sort malingerers from those with genuine hearing damage. In so doing they participated in an intensification of the logic of surveillance, peering past workers’ behaviors and utterances to probe directly the content of their sensory experience. In this respect, audiometry represents a close relative (and predecessor) of the polygraph.
Huxley’s Loudspeaker: Dystopian Sounds of Control during the Cold War
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Alexandra Hui, Mississippi State University, Society Editor
In this paper, Hui examines the proliferating and often conflicting attitudes about background music in laboring and public spaces from the 1940s through the 60s. It was alternately described as a tool of fascism, a tool of communism, a solution to petty crime, a form of therapy, a delightful experience. The power of the disembodied voice mattered but even more so, the loudspeaker itself mattered. Anxieties about the power of the state were refracted through the form and function of loudspeakers. Psychologists performed experiments to better understand how people experienced sounds generated by loudspeakers. Sound engineers refined techniques for generating realistic, or at least believable, sound effects. We can interpret some of this as indications that the listening public developed new standards and credulities. This shift was further reinforced by the use of loudspeaker sound in dystopian literature to advance narratives, suggestive of a public that not only recognized the ironies and sonic experiences of these supposedly futuristic soundscapes (so, can create them in their minds’ ears) but also created new ones. That is, the act of reading about futuristic sound as a tool of the state, reflected and reinforced new understandings of the environment.
Commentary: Sonic Imperium: Sound and the State in the Twentieth Century
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Graeme Gooday, University Of Leeds
16:00 - 18:00
Drift 25, Rm. 301
Transmitting Knowledge in Chinese and Arabic Contexts
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Scott Trigg, Society Of Fellows In The Humanities, University Of Hong Kong
Yunli SHI, Department Of The History Of Science And Scientific Archaeology, University Of Science And Technology Of China
Sean Hsiang-lin Lei, Institute Of Modern History, Academia Sinica, TAIWAN And Institute Of Science, Technology And Society, Yangming University.
Hsiang-Fu Huang, University College London
Moderators
Sarah Lang, Centre For Information Modelling (ZIM) Of Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Commentary as an Epistemic Genre: Making and Transmitting Knowledge in 15th ca. Islamic Astronomy
16:00 - 16:30
Presented by :
Scott Trigg, Society Of Fellows In The Humanities, University Of Hong Kong
Ulugh Beg’s 15th c. Samarqand observatory and associated madrasa is one of the most famous Islamic scientific institutions, producing astronomical observations that were not equalled until Tycho Brahe. Less is known, however, about the process of research and education at Samarqand, but a number of commentaries produced by Samarqand scholars shed light on the intellectual life of the classroom and the role of patronage in scholars’ careers. In this paper, I explore the ways in which such commentaries reflect a critical engagement with problems in theoretical astronomy as well as the educational practices of Ulugh Beg’s madrasa. I argue that commentaries functioned as a means of making as well as transmitting astronomical knowledge, highlighting how commentaries served to fulfill both research and teaching goals within the context of an Islamic educational institution. I draw examples from the works of three scholars: Qadizade al-Rumi, observatory director and Ulugh Beg's personal tutor, who wrote a commentary on the Almagest and whose commentary on a popular elementary astronomy treatise became a widely-used intermediate textbook in Ottoman madrasas; Qadizade's student Fathallah al-Shirwani, who wrote a supercommentary on Qadizade's textbook in addition to his own commentary on Nasir al-Din al-Tusi’s famous work of theoretical astronomy; and Ali Qushji, a close companion of Ulugh Beg who later became head of the Ayasofya madrasa in Istanbul under Sultan Mehmed II, and who wrote commentaries on cutting-edge theoretical astronomy and philosophical theology in addition to his own works on mathematics.
From Scientific Understanding to Ideological Fantasy: Chinese Image of Arabic Astronomy in the 16th to 17th Centuries
16:30 - 17:00
Presented by :
Yunli SHI, Department Of The History Of Science And Scientific Archaeology, University Of Science And Technology Of China
During the Hongwu Reign (1368-1398) of the Ming Dynasty, a set of Zij was translated into Chinese under the Chinese title Huihui lifa (Chinese-Islamic System of Calendrical Astronomy). This paper will try to show how the Zij was looked upon and understood by Chinese astronomers thereafter. In view that the Zij contained some astronomical techniques that Chinese astronomy did not cover, Chinese astronomers kept a high opinion on Islamic astronomy at first. When the Datong li was found inaccurate, some of them even attempted to understand the scientific principles of the Zij in order to seek the inspiration for a calendar reform. With very little knowledge about the underlying astronomical theories of the Zij, however, their explanations and discussions of the Zij are full of misunderstandings and mistakes. A systematic introduction of European astronomy into China in the 1630s to 1640s brought about a correct understanding of the scientific principles of the Zij, but due to the lack of the knowledge about the cultural background for its development, an earlier imagination about its origin was activated and evolved into a cultural fantasy concerning the origin and dissemination of Indian, Islamic and European astronomy and religions.
A Science without Nature in China: Heaven (Tian), Morality, and Darwinian Competition from 1890 to 1923
17:00 - 17:30
Presented by :
Sean Hsiang-lin Lei, Institute Of Modern History, Academia Sinica, TAIWAN And Institute Of Science, Technology And Society, Yangming University.
An intriguing, but little noticed, puzzle exists in the historiography of science in modern China: While Tianyanlun (On Heavenly Evolution), the Chinese translation of Thomas Huxley’s Evolution and Ethics, is widely celebrated as THE most influential book in modern Chinese intellectual history, it received little credit in the history of science. Taking this puzzle as a clue, this paper argues that the publication of Tianyanlun by Yan Fu in 1898 was a watershed event since it popularized a distinctively novel vision of Western science. As indicated by the Chinese title, Tianyanlun addressed the key concerns of Chinese literati, showing that the Chinese have failed to comprehend the “Way of Heaven (Tian),” namely, competition. In order to connect science with Tian, the “cosmic foundation of morality,” Yan Fu strategically downplayed the Western notion of “nature” throughout his book. When the May-4th intellectuals in the 1910s endeavored to replace Yan Fu’s “science without nature” with a more radical, modernist vision of science, they strove to “naturalize” the notion of Tian. Following their lead, historians thereafter have dismissed Tianyanlun as not truly a work of “natural” science but merely “social” Darwinism. By way of situating this foundational text/event in the context of science, this paper shows how the history of science can offer insightful and fresh perspectives on issues crucial to modern Chinese cultural and political history, such as the emergence of “the natural” and “the social” (as actors’ categories), the transformation of Tian, and the contentious relationship between science and morality.
Knowing the World's Past and Future: H. G. Wells's "The Outline of History" and Its Reception in Interwar China
17:30 - 18:00
Presented by :
Hsiang-Fu Huang, University College London
"The Outline of History" (1920) by H. G. Wells is an ambitious title narrating the "whole story of man" from prehistory to the Great War. Wells adopted an unconventional approach comprising the natural world and human civilizations together. Before introducing the dawn of early civilizations, the book starts with what we regard as "popular science" today: the Earth in the Universe, the evolution of life, and human origins. Wells's approach reflects an evolutionary perspective of historiography in the early twentieth century, which regards human society and natural environment as a coherent entity governed by scientific laws and patterns. His political agenda also shaped the title's cosmopolitan theme, particularly in the proposals of global security and peace initiative. Well's unconventional treatment of history writing received mixed responses. "The Outline of History" was a phenomenon not only in the Anglosphere but also among Chinese intellectuals during the interwar period. Fu Ssu-nien (1896-1950) and Chen Yuan (1896-1970), who studied in London, assisted Wells in the writing of ancient China. Fu and Chen belonged to a group of liberal intellectuals advocating the New Culture Movement, which appealed for radical Westernization of Chinese society to achieve modernity. New Culture intellectuals regarded Wells's works as accessible inspirations for scientific thinking and social reform. Some Chinese pacifists and religious groups shared Wells's anti-war agenda and concerns for the abuse of scientific advances. My research shows how Wells's narrative of universal history influenced different Chinese readers' perceptions of science, progress and civilizations.
18:30 - 19:15
Dom Church, Domplein
HSS Prize Ceremony
Format : Special Event
Moderators
Jan Golinski, University Of New Hampshire
19:15 - 19:30
Pandhof, Domplein
Intermezzo
19:30 - 20:30
Dom Church, Domplein
HSS Distinguished Lecture: Thomas Kuhn, Ear Witness. Fieldwork and the Making of a New History of Science
Format : Special Event
Track : Tools for Historians of Science
Speakers
Anke Te Heesen, Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin
Moderators
Erika Milam, Princeton University
What are the narratives that guide the history of science? For sure one of the more recent ones was ‘science in action’, the emphasis on practices and the imperative on studying science as performed. Perhaps not surprisingly, this story has itself a history, which starts in the early 1960s, when the project “Sources for History of Quantum Physics” was established. The main task of Thomas Kuhn’s, John Heilbron’s and Paul Forman’s work, lasting three years, was to interview old heroes of Quantum Mechanics and to archive the spoken word. While giving an account of the project’s history, this talk will focus on analyzing the process of interviewing and characterize its wider context. Not only does their approach offer us important insights into the shaping of the persona of the scientist, it also presents an important step towards the post-Kuhnian way of doing history of science. Photo by Marcin Kłucik
20:30 - 21:30
Pandhof, Domplein
HSS Prize Reception
Light hor d'oeuvres.Sponsored by Wiley
Friday, 26 Jul 2019
07:30 - 09:00
Drift 27, Eetkamer
Women's Caucus Breakfast
Format : Special Event
The Women's Caucus of the History of Science Society focuses on the role and status of women in the profession. The caucus serves as a forum for those interested in the history of women, as well as the wider role of gender in science, medicine, and technology. The caucus also helps sponsor and administer the Dependent Care Grants and a nursing mother's room at the annual meeting. The co-chairs of the caucus act as a resource for the History of Science Society on questions pertinent to the role and status of women in the profession and in the Society. We also coordinate a list serve and a Facebook group.All are welcome to attend the Women's Caucus annual breakfast.Women's Caucus Minutes 2018 - Tickets required for this event. Purchase tickets or add them to your existing registration by visiting the registration page.With generous support from Linda Hall Library
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 25, Rm. 004
Meditation Room
Format : Essentials
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 21, Rm. 004, Antichambre
Registration
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 21, Hall & Rm. 006
Book Exhibit
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 21, Rm. 003
Meeting Point
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 25, Rm. 104
Quiet Space
A quiet room is available for conference attendees. Quiet rooms are designed to provide a quiet, calm, alcohol-free space away from the noise, lights, and business of the general conference environment. Our goal is too keep the room at a very low level of stimulus, so remember to keep meetings and conversations elsewhere.
08:00 - 17:30
Janskerkhof 13, 113
Nursing Mother's Room
Privacy and other accommodations available for nursing mothers. Visit the registration desk for the key.
08:00 - 17:30
Drift 21, Rm. 109
GECC Welcome Room
Did you attend any GECC events? Did you like them? Or did we bore you to tears? What have we done well and what could we do better? Come to our business meeting and tell us!Are you interested in becoming a part of the GECC team? Come to our business meeting and find out more about GECC and what we do.If you can't make it but would like to provide feedback or learn more about GECC and our activities, e-mail hss.gecc@gmail.com.Graduate and Early Career CaucusHSSGECCHSSGECC
09:00 - 09:45
Drift 21, Rm. 105
Graduate and Early Career Caucus
Format : Special Interest Group
Track : Tools for Historians of Science
Moderators
Sarah Naramore, Sewanee: The University Of The South
Kristine Palmieri, University Of Chicago
Did you attend any GECC events? Did you like them? Or did we bore you to tears? What have we done well and what could we do better? Come to our business meeting and tell us!Are you interested in becoming a part of the GECC team? Come to our business meeting and find out more about GECC and what we do.If you can't make it but would like to provide feedback or learn more about GECC and our activities, e-mail hss.gecc@gmail.com.Graduate and Early Career CaucusHSSGECCHSSGECC
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 21, Rm. 005
Bourbaki Reconsidered: Origins, Operations, and Legacies
Format : Roundtable | Special Interest Group
Track : Mathematics
Speakers
Michael Barany, University Of Edinburgh
David Aubin, Sorbonne Université
Anne-Sandrine Paumier, Chercheur Associé Centre François Viète, Nantes
Leo Corry, Tel Aviv University
Natalie Berkman, SAE Institute Paris
Christophe Eckes, Archives Henri-Poincaré
Gatien Ricotier, University Of Strasbourg
Moderators
Michael Barany, University Of Edinburgh
Eighty years ago, in 1939, a radical collective of French mathematicians published the first installment of a monumental effort to rewrite the foundations of mathematics under the pseudonym Nicolas Bourbaki. The Elements de Mathematique, collectively planned, written, and revised, quickly became an icon for a highly influential approach to modern abstract mathematics that found currency and controversy in fields as varied as elementary education, anthropology, art, literature, philosophy, physics, and economics. Bourbaki's collective animators cultivated an atmosphere of mystery and misdirection around their creation, and only a small fraction of the voluminous writing about their project has managed to probe beyond its considerable mythology. Our roundtable discussion brings together several of the scholars who, in the last three decades, have applied detailed historical investigation to forge new understandings of Bourbaki's origins, operations, and legacies. We will discuss recent archival findings and interpretations that significantly revise the prevailing lore about Bourbaki, explaining the project's origins and collective practices in its interwar French contexts, specifying the social and epistemic effects of the group's approach to parody and hoax, and tracing the collaboration's later cultural significance in and beyond France. Our discussion will focus on how historical understandings of Bourbaki have changed, what methodologies and sources have made these changes possible, and what major questions animate current and future scholarship on one of the most famous names of twentieth-century mathematics.Sponsored by the Forum on the History of Mathematical Sciences
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 102
Classifications and Categories in the Early Sciences
Format : Organized Session | Special Interest Group
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Anne-Laurence Caudano, University Of Winnipeg
Andrew Hull, Northwestern University
Dominic Nicolas Dold, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science (Berlin)
Mackenzie Cooley, Assistant Professor, Hamilton College
Cristian Tolsa, AvH Postdoc
Moderators
Hannah Marcus, Harvard University
This panel explores systems of classification across the many disciplines that constitute the early sciences. It interrogates the particular ways in which historical contexts shaped how natural philosophers, scientific practitioners, and scholars organized and categorized people, plants, nature, and ideas. Juxtaposing perspectives from different times and places that make up the early sciences, the papers question whether early scientific categories allow for meaningful or even valid comparisons between cultures and periods.
Aristotle's Rivals: Early Categorialism in Ancient Greek Philosophy
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Andrew Hull, Northwestern University
Aristotle's Categories is one of the most influential and heavily commented on texts to survive from antiquity. It is so influential, and presents such a neat contrast to Plato's Theory of Forms, that he is often taken as virtually inventing categorialism as a tradition single-handedly. Yet this is far too neat a picture as his contemporaries Hermodorus (Simp. Phys. 247,33-248,20), Xenocrates (Fr. 12 Lang), and Speusippus (Simp. Cat. 38,19-24; SE Adv. Math. vii 145-146) are all attested as having posited their own categorial schemes. Late Classical Greek philosophy presents us with an abundance of attempts to "carve nature at its joints," but I will be focusing on Speusippus' categorialism as it is the most attested and is likely the one Aristotle was most concerned with given his comments at Posterior Analytics II 13. 97a6-11 and in Parts of Animals I.2-3. I will examine Speusippus' "categorial holism" in this paper, particularly as he applies it in the surviving fragments of his scientific works Likes and Definitions. I will examine how divisions of plant species in Likes depart from Aristotle's own criteria for definitions in the Topics while also addressing some of the potential problems of Speusippus' approach (particularly that objection that it is too epistemically demanding). Despite some shortcomings, however, I will argue that Speusippus and Early Academics were establishing their own unique taxonomy of the world, revamping Plato's method of division to present a powerful alternative that avoids some of the shortcomings of Aristotle and Theophrastus.
Classifying Animals: Aristotelian Zoology in Thirteenth-Century Latin Scholasticism
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Dominic Nicolas Dold, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science (Berlin)
How are animals to be classified? What gives unity to an animal species? What are the criteria for animals to be part of the same species? Variants of such problems are as intriguing to contemporary philosophers as they were to Scholastic scholars after Michael Scot translated three of Aristotle’s works on animals (History of Animals, Parts of Animals and Generation of Animals) from Arabic into Latin at the beginning of the thirteenth century. The first extant commentary (1240s) on this compilation, entitled De animalibus, was written by Peter of Spain, a physician, who most likely also commented on the Articella, a standard medical textbook at the time. Somewhat later, Albert the Great (1200-1280) wrote a second and much more influential commentary on the same compilation with more than 40 manuscripts still extant. In my presentation, I intend to explore the fabric of questions about animal species and classification as it was proposed in the commentaries of Peter and Albert, and I will show that these classifications extended well beyond an easy appeal to common natures or essences. I also intend to show how these classifications of animals were inseparably linked to the way in which the science of animals was construed, and how it was supposed to relate to natural philosophy and to medicine.
Zoology of Mixing: Discourses of Race and Species in Early Modern Europe
10:14 - 10:45
Presented by :
Mackenzie Cooley, Assistant Professor, Hamilton College
As the Spanish Empire grew and society stabilized in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, European agents transposed both their breeding practices and zoological language to organize proliferating human difference. Amidst the hubris of imagining how breeding could create a more perfect society, Renaissance European husbandmen and patrons had first developed the term “race” to describe animal offspring born on stud farms. In its original Renaissance conception, race was thought to be malleable while gender and sex were fixed. Within the Spanish Empire, power relations concretized emergent racial categories like mestizo, mulatto, and criollo – terms originally used to describe animal mixing. In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, naturalists bolstered their convictions that species boundaries were unassailable. This paper shows how race and species were more discursive constructs than material realities by following the ideas’ proliferation in European discourse beyond the Spanish empire. To that end, this paper analyzes an extensive database that traces the movement of the language of race in humans and animals in published and manuscript sources in Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, German, Latin, and English between 1400 and 1700. I argue that race—originally a fragile category designating the human artifice that shaped one generation at a time—began to designate traits fixed across generations by the early 1600s, rendering a temporary social hierarchy embodied and permanent. This growing belief in the fixity of difference transferred from Spanish society to the emergent field of natural history, where the most exciting research was being done in the Spanish American empire.
The Importance of Well-Proportioned Wholes: From Archytas’ Division of Mathematics to Ptolemy’s All-Emcompassing Philosophy
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Cristian Tolsa, AvH Postdoc
The Pythagorean Archytas at the beginning of his work on music theory (fr. 1 Huffman) established a division of the mathematical sciences in astronomy, geometry, harmonics, and arithmetic which became famous thanks to Plato’s adaptation in Republic VII. Socrates praises geometry (way over the other sciences) for its abstraction from reality and for its value as a means to comtemplate the forms, in contast with Archytas himself, who had argued for the superiority of arithmetic on the grounds of its attachment to real-world concerns, and because it allegedly contained the ultimate first principles of the other sciences (fr. 3). From Plato’s and Ptolemy’s discussion, it is clear that proportion (i.e. ratio), a basic tool of arithmetic, underlies the Archytan division of the mathematical sciences, in the sense that arithmetic and geometry are both to be seen as playing the same structural role in relation with harmonics and astronomy respectively (i.e. harmonics is to arithmetic as astronomy is to geometry). It is from this perspective, I propose, that we are to understand the intriguing statement that “our predecessors made good distinctions in the nature of wholes, and therefore they were likely to see well how things are in their parts” (Archytas fr. 1): a good harmony in the division of the sciences is the appropriate basis for the development of these very sciences. Then I will show (and attempt to interpret) that Ptolemy adapted Archytas’ concept of well-proportionate division of the sciences in two ways: first, by imitating the text of Archytas fr. 1 in the beginning of the Almagest, where he discusses his predecessors’ divisions of philosophy, including mathematics as a contributor to physics and theology in the theoretical part. Secondly, some of Ptolemy’s works, in particular his Harmonics, are divided in two sections, the last of which consisting of an “application” of one department of knowledge to another, and bearing what seems to be a fixed proportion, in length, with the main part.
Commentary: Classifications and Categories in the Early Sciences
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Anne-Laurence Caudano, University Of Winnipeg
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 13, Rm. 003
Cosmic Stories: Astrophysics and the Invention of Cosmology in the Early 20th-Century
Format : Organized Session | Special Interest Group
Track : Physical Sciences
Speakers
David DeVorkin, Smithsonian Institution National Air And Space Museum
Scott Walter, University Of Nantes
Florian Laguens, IPC-Facultés Libres De Philosophie Et De Psychologie, Paris, France
Chaokang Tai, University Of Amsterdam
Robert Smith, University Of Alberta
Moderators
Matthew Shindell, Smithsonian National Air And Space Museum
The papers in this session recall the intellectually-challenging context in astronomy and astrophysics at the turn of the 20th century, when a wealth of empirical data became available, giving rise to a host of new, and quite puzzling statistical correlations, the reality of which was often deemed uncertain. Several theorists braved the uncertainties, drawing on the new correlations to elaborate models of stellar dynamics, and of the nature and structure of the universe. Inspired by kinetic gas theory, in 1901 William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) calculated the dimensions of the universe based on star velocities in the vicinity of the Solar System, giving rise to "stargas" models of the universe, pursued from various angles by J. C. Kapteyn, Henri Poincaré, Arthur Eddington, Karl Schwarzschild, James Jeans, C. V. L. Charlier, and Albert Einstein, from 1906 to 1924. Meanwhile, new theories of the electron and the atom enabled astronomers to investigate the physical properties of stars and explain many of the new correlations. Both Eddington and Anton Pannekoek took a pragmatic, inquisitive approach: Eddington, in his investigations on the internal constitution of stars, valued gaining physical insight over mathematical rigor, while Pannekoek focused on precision measurements and laborious numerical models to determine the physical conditions in the outer layers of stars. Together, these four talks, based largely on previously-unexploited archival sources, provide a richer picture of the ground-breaking developments in early 20th-century astrophysics and cosmology.Organized by Scott WalterCo-Sponsored by the HSS Physical Sciences Forum and the IUHPST/DHST Commission on the History of Physics
The Great Correlation Era in Astronomy
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
David DeVorkin, Smithsonian Institution National Air And Space Museum
Before astrophysics became truly physical in the 1920s, it was typically described as either "photographic" or "spectroscopic," where empirical mapping campaigns made it possible to intercompare the observed properties of the stars. From this effort, many correlations were established including the HR diagram, spectroscopic parallaxes, a mass-luminosity relation and a period-luminosity relation. But what did they mean?, some astronomers asked. Some speculated about what they implied about stellar development, or about the history of the structure and nature of the universe. But what did these correlations really mean, physically? And were they even real? We explore this question and explore how it resulted in the creation of modern astrophysical practice.
Stargas Models of the Universe and the Rise of Statistical Astronomy
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Scott Walter, University Of Nantes
At the turn of the 20th century, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), inspired by kinetic gas theory, calculated the dimensions of the universe based on stellar velocities in the vicinity of the Solar System, giving rise to "stargas" models of star clusters -- and of the universe -- pursued from 1904 to the early 1920s by J. C. Kapteyn, Henri Poincaré, Arthur Eddington, Karl Schwarzschild, James Jeans, C. V. L. Charlier and Albert Einstein. The attraction of stargas models, and subsequent formation of statistical astronomy as a subfield of astrophysics, is clarified by the correspondence of Kapteyn and Schwarzschild, in particular. Stargas models of the universe, including Kapteyn's island universe, did not stand up well against observations afforded by the big new North-American telescopes, as E. R. Paul pointed out in 1981. However, the demise of stargas cosmological models in the 1920s did not spell the end of stargas models of star and galaxy clusters. On the contrary, the theorems and methods introduced in this context served as the foundation for stellar dynamics in later decades.
Trial and Error in Astronomy: Arthur S. Eddington's Stellar Models
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Florian Laguens, IPC-Facultés Libres De Philosophie Et De Psychologie, Paris, France
Arthur S. Eddington (1882-1944) certainly was one of the world’s most famous astronomers during the interwar period. For thirty years he was the director of the Cambridge Observatory and taught astrophysics at Trinity College. From 1916 onwards, he endeavored to develop a series of stellar models and a decade later he published his influential Internal Constitution of the Stars that Henry Norris Russell dared call “a work of art”. Besides the different steps that led Eddington to his famous mass-luminosity relationship in 1924, enlightened by some unpublished correspondence, this paper addresses some original views in terms of methodology. Indeed, Eddington purposely used trial and error, which he considered “as scientific as any other method”, the important point being to obtain physical insight on the problem one intends to tackle, and to keep mathematics “as the tool and not the master in physical research”.
Precision and Exactitude in the Analysis of Stellar Spectra: How Conviction and Circumstance Shaped Anton Pannekoek’s Scientific Persona and Practice
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Chaokang Tai, University Of Amsterdam
The astrophysical research of Anton Pannekoek (1873-1960) is characterized by epistemic virtues like precision, diligence, and exactitude, which he valued over expeditiousness or scope. In theoretical research these virtues were present in his development of laborious numerical methods for the fine analysis of stellar spectra, while in observation research, they were evident in the excruciating detail with which he and his students measured the spectra of only a small number of stars. In part, his approach to astrophysics was shaped by the fact that he was an isolated astronomer without an observatory. The early twentieth century saw the founding of large photographic observatories taking on massive broad-scope cataloguing projects. To establish his own niche, Pannekoek decided to focus on the precise measurement of stellar spectra, spending years measuring only a small number of borrowed photographic plates. While Pannekoek’s adherence to precision and exactitude complied with practical constraints, it also reflected his ideas on the role of science in society. A reputed astronomer, Pannekoek was also a noted and influential Marxist theorist. In his socialist and historical writings, he emphasized that science had above all to be beneficial for society – not only by providing technological advances, but especially by exemplifying a way of thinking. From this standpoint, Pannekoek’s projected self-image of an observational astronomer who focused on precision and work ethic over expeditiousness or scope coincided with the general role he envisioned for scientists in society.
Commentary: Cosmic Stories: Astrophysics and the Invention of Cosmology in the Early 20th-Century
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Robert Smith, University Of Alberta
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 204
Forum for the History of Health, Medicine and the Life Sciences
Format : Roundtable | Special Interest Group
Track : Medicine and Health
Speakers
Dora Vargha, University Of Exeter
Joel Klein, The Huntington Library
Angela N. H. Creager, Princeton University
Harold Cook, Brown University
Suman Seth, Cornell University
The Forum for the History of Health, Medicine, and the Life Sciences aims to create a venue at the HSS for historians of the medical and life sciences (including nursing, traditional health practices, dentistry, veterinary medicine, public health, pharmacy etc.) to engage in conversations across disciplinary and chronological boundaries around shared themes and methodological questions. It takes an inclusive approach to its represented area, in order to promote chronological, geographic and thematic diversity and broaden the potential for collaborative interactions. The Forum organizes roundtables and sessions at the HSS, collaborates with societies and associations for the history of medicine to promote cross-meeting interaction, and supports graduate student work with its essay prize.
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 101
Intoxicating Histories: Chemicals and the Altered Body in the 19th and 20th Centuries
Format : Organized Session | Special Interest Group
Track : Chemistry
Speakers
José Ramón Bertomeu-Sánchez, López Piñero Inter-university Institute, University Of Valencia
Theresa Levitt, University Of Mississippi
Lucas Mueller, Université De Genève
Jelena Martinovic, University College London (UCL), UK
Moderators
Nadia Berenstein, Independent Scholar
The ability of vegetable and mineral substances to affect the human body has long stood poised between the desirable (food and drugs) and undesirable (poisons and toxins). The demand for the intoxicating virtues of drugs both therapeutic and recreational has been paralleled by the aversion to harmful toxins. Chemists, pharmacologists and toxicologists took a correspondingly strong interest in understanding the material underpinnings of these desirable and hazardous properties, which were not only significant in themselves but also provided windows into the relationship between living nature and nonliving or human-made materials during the 19th and 20th centuries. The papers in this panel addresses these sciences of toxins and intoxicants, taking up chemists' efforts to identify, map, and control the action of chemicals on the body, whether in the service of prevention or enhancement. These take place in the various contexts of the courtroom, borrowed hospital laboratories, drug companies, and regulatory agencies. Shared themes include the interplay between pharmacological or toxicological effects and sensory qualities like taste, smell, and appearance, the distinction between natural and artificial chemicals, and the challenge of rendering invisible agents legible.Organized by Theresa LevittSponsored by the Forum on the History of the Chemical Sciences
Lead Poisoning in France around 1840: Criminal Justice, Industrial Poisoning, and the Making of Ignorance
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
José Ramón Bertomeu-Sánchez, López Piñero Inter-university Institute, University Of Valencia
French nineteenth-century toxicology was a science made for the prosecution in criminal poisoning cases – a science conceived for and mostly made in the Cour d’Assises. The main purpose of toxicologists was the detection of small quantities of poisons in corpses in order to provide unquestionable evidence in courts. This approach was based on high sensitivity tests based on qualitative analytical chemistry and proved to be very useful in many criminal cases. It faced the anxieties of the French notables and the main political and economic powers. However, this approach could hardly be employed in cases of industrial poisoning, where other forms of evidence were needed not only to detect but mostly to prevent poisoning in workers’ bodies. These dramatic health problems in the industry were largely neglected by toxicologists, judges and decision-markers during the nineteenth-century. The paper focusses on a particular case (the Pouchon affair, 1843-1844), which took place in a crucial period, either in the development of forensic medicine (new high sensitivity methods were introduced around 1840 and a controversy took place on their virtues and delusions) and occupational health (Tanquerel des Planches published his seminal book on lead poisoning in 1840). My paper is based on studies on history of toxic products connecting research on history of crime with recent works on history of occupational health, particularly the practices of agnotology and undone science related to the visibilization/invisibilization of toxic risks.
Morphine Dreams: Auguste Laurent and the Active Principles of Organized Matter
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Theresa Levitt, University Of Mississippi
In the 1840s, the French chemist Auguste Laurent turned to the study of the “active principles” of alkaloids, which ranged from the medicinal properties of quinine and cinchonine, to the deadly poison of strychnine, to the intoxicating effects of morphine and nicotine. Laurent had recently returned from working with August Hofmann in Giessen, and soon after began using aniline to synthesize his own, artificial alkaloids. On hearing this, the physicist Jean-Baptiste Biot then approached him to compare the optical properties of his artificial alkaloids to the natural ones. Working with Biot and Apollinaire Bouchardat, the head pharmacist at the Hotel-Dieu, they found that while all the natural alkaloids deviated the plane of polarization of light, or were optically active, the artificial ones were not. Informed by earlier debates about the optical activity of sugar, and whether its conversion into alcohol was a chemical or biological process, they emphasized their results indicated a level of organization that went beyond chemical composition. This paper explores the way that Laurent, Biot and Bouchardat mobilized the concepts of activity and organization to explore the ability of plants to affect the body and maintain a distinction between natural and artificial compounds in the post-vitalist landscape. It also addresses the contextual factors suppressing these views in the chemical community, the use Pasteur made of them uniting his work on fermentation and crystallography, and his subsequent efforts to deemphasize his association with Laurent.
The Synthetic and the Natural in Chemical Control in the United States and Europe
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Lucas Mueller, Université De Genève
In the twentieth century, the proliferation of synthetic chemicals prompted US and European governments to introduce regulatory regimes for the control of chemicals. It was especially consumers’ concerns about artificial food additives and synthetic pesticides that inspired environmentalism and prompted a wave of environmental regulations in the postwar decades. However, aflatoxin, a mold-produced carcinogen, has challenged scientists’ and regulators’ notions of toxic substances and control ever since its discovery in 1960. This paper describes how scientists of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Scientific Committee on Food of the European Commission studied this “naturally-occurring” toxic substance and developed regulatory strategies from 1960 to the early 1990s. The agencies quickly devised ways to classify and regulate aflatoxin within the legal frameworks for synthetic contaminants. In the early 1980s, Bruce Ames challenged the whole regulatory framework by arguing that the health effects of synthetic chemicals were insignificant compared to the ones of unavoidable natural toxins, such as aflatoxin. In the meantime, agricultural scientists had shown that the formation of aflatoxin depended as much on human agricultural practices as on environmental conditions. This paper analyzes when, how, and why Ames, Philippe Shubik, René Truhaut, and other key figures evoked aflatoxin’s naturalness. The paper argues that evoking the difference between synthetic and natural chemicals served the justification and legitimacy of regulations at specific points, rather than reflecting different ontologies or research practices in the study of toxic substances
The Synthetic Illness: Mescaline Intoxication and Schizophrenia, ca. 1920-50
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Jelena Martinovic, University College London (UCL), UK
The common tale about the “chemical revolution” in psychiatry is that it begins with the introduction of neuroleptics in the 1950s. The latter led, as most historians argue, to the dismantling of mental asylums: patients suffering from mental illnesses were increasingly treated as out-patients. This paper starts from a different standpoint. It discusses a series of works that were published in an era that predates the so-called “chemical revolution”: the first half of the twentieth century. The paper argues that the foundation of chemical interpretations of mental illness (and pharmacological treatment) was laid in the interwar period within clinical and experimental studies with mescaline. Research on the alkaloid mescaline, extracted from peyote and first synthesised in 1919, focused from the early twentieth century on possible analogies between mescaline intoxication and psychosis. This led to claims that biochemical or hormonal imbalances were the cause of mental illness (illustrated in particular with the example of schizophrenia and the so-called "m substance" in 1952). Focusing on published works by psychiatrists and neuroscientists (i.e. John Raymond Smythies, Humphrey Osmond, Roland Fischer, Kurt Beringer, Heinrich Klüver), the paper highlights the determinant role that biochemistry played for brain-centered explanations of mental illness, and conceptions of personality. It furthermore discusses how the senses (in particular eyesight) were examined in experiments to further the clinical association between mescaline intoxication and schizophrenia
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 13, Rm. 004
New Directions in the History of Science and Science Education
Format : Roundtable | Special Interest Group
Track : Tools for Historians of Science
Speakers
Megan Raby, University Of Texas At Austin
Lloyd Ackert, Teaching Professor Of History, Department Of History, Drexel University
Allison Marsh, University Of South Carolina
Adam Shapiro
Andreia Guerra De Moraes, Professor At Technological Centre Of Education Rio De Janeiro- Brazil. Current President Of IHPST Group
Moderators
Megan Raby, University Of Texas At Austin
The importance of the history of science to science education has been recognized since the founding of HSS, formalized in the establishment of the Committee on Education in 1981 to facilitate "the role of history of science in education at all levels." While most members of HSS are involved in undergraduate education in some form, significant gaps between the profession and the field of K-12 education remain. This roundtable session will provide a venue to discuss new opportunities for engagement and collaboration between historians of science and educators at all levels, with a focus on new media and expanding initiatives in middle and high school teacher training. It will explore the variety of ways that historical perspectives can enrich science teaching––by providing compelling narratives; by demonstrating the methods and nature of science; by building cross-curricular connections; by humanizing scientists and addressing issues of diversity in STEM; and by exploring the ethics, values, and social context of science. This roundtable includes participants involved in science education efforts in the private (CrashCourse) and government (Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State) sectors, as well as academia (UTeach). Participants will share their experiences both in the classroom and in developing film and online resources to transfer the insights of the history of science beyond the profession.Sponsored by the Committee on Education and Engagement
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 27, Rm. 032
Science and its Local Readers in British India
Format : Organized Session | Special Interest Group
Track : Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Speakers
Sarah Qidwai, University Of Toronto
Charu Singh, Adrian Research Fellow, Darwin College, University Of Cambridge
Sthira Bhattacharya, PhD Student, Centre For English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Minakshi Menon, Max Plank Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
Moderators
Minakshi Menon, Max Plank Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
This panel examines the role of print in the production and circulation of scientific knowledge in colonial South Asia. It brings together rich empirical histories of the process of selecting, translating, and publishing the sciences by indigenous elites for Indian readers in regional languages. These papers are based on printed materials in Urdu, Bengali and Hindi – three regional languages widely used across the subcontinent and often associated with distinct communities of religion and knowledge, Muslims and Hindus. Together these papers provide dense case-studies of the reception, translation and reconfiguration of scientific knowledge in a multilingual colonial context with pre-existing knowledge communities and longstanding intellectual traditions. The panel engages with an existing geography within the historiography of science in the British empire, which has London and Calcutta as its centers, by situating its inquiries in the cities of Aligarh, Allahabad and Hyderabad, and their attendant cultures of knowledge. These case-studies aim to demonstrate the cultural embeddedness of knowledge production; the interactions between categories of science and religion; and the importance of language and translation to the global circulations of scientific discourse.Organized by Sarah QidwaiSponsored by the Forum for the History of Science in Asia
Translating Science: Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s Scientific Discourse in Print
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Sarah Qidwai, University Of Toronto
In 1848, Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) published an article in which he defended the theory of a motionless Earth. By 1865, he had changed his position and argued that the Earth did revolve around the sun. Curiously enough, his defense of this idea is presented in his bilingual publication The Muhammadan Commentary on The Holy Bible (1865). As a historical figure, Sayyid Ahmad is frequently characterized as a forefather of Muslim nationalism in India and a reformer of both Islam and education. Throughout his life, he established several educational institutions, publications and societies. Most famous is the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, established in 1875, now called Aligarh Muslim University. However, his attempts to popularize science in colonial India are overlooked. This paper focuses on three distinct areas where Sayyid engaged with scientific discourse in print. Bringing together the fields of the history of science and religion, print culture, and science popularization, I argue that Sayyid Ahmad was not simply translating or transmitting “Western” knowledge. In fact, he was drawing on ideas already present in India alongside new theories in his popularization efforts. The publications include the translations of The Scientific Society (est. 1864), The Commentary on the Bible and select articles from the journal Tahzib-ul-Akhlaq (A Refinement of Manners), established in 1870. Of particular interest is the role of translating concepts in Urdu. What terms were used and how were concepts translated or combined? Overall, can we as historians label Sayyid Ahmad a popularizer of science?
Vigyan, Scientific Readerships, and the Colonial Lives of Science Popularization in North India, ca. 1915
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Charu Singh, Adrian Research Fellow, Darwin College, University Of Cambridge
This paper brings together histories of science, print, nationalism and empire through the case study of a popular science monthly established by Indian intellectuals in early twentieth century north India. In April 1915, a new monthly called Vigyan appeared in the Hindi public sphere. It was brought out by a voluntary society, the Vigyan Parishad, which had been established in 1913 in Allahabad to spread scientific knowledge among Hindi readers through the production, translation, and publication of scientific works. Vigyan was advertised as the ‘one and only illustrated scientific monthly journal in Hindi’, and carried articles on both technical and popular subjects as diverse as magnetism, evolution, electricity, as well as the need for science education in Hindi. This paper focuses on Vigyan to bring to light an important historical source for the production and circulation of scientific knowledge in print which has been equally ignored by literary historians and historians of science of South Asia. It engages with the self-description of the monthly as a ‘science periodical’ and ‘science’ in the periodical as an actors’ category to raise questions about the nature of the journal and the knowledge contained and presented within its pages. Finally, the paper reflects on the historical significance of “popularisation” in a multilingual colonial context, marked by hierarchies of knowledge, power, as well as languages; especially in an era of anticolonial nationalism and linguistic mobilization, when calls to serve the language, nation, and science were often deeply entangled.
'Itibritto' and 'Upokarita': Tracking a Historically Conscious Narration of Chemistry in Nineteenth Century Bengali Periodicals
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Sthira Bhattacharya, PhD Student, Centre For English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Partha Chatterjee in 'Texts of Power' emphasizes the need to track institutional practices while tracing the emergence of disciplines in colonial Bengal. In his account of the processes of hybridization of the natural sciences however, the role of popular periodicals is limited to merely translating science for the common public. In my paper I argue that instead of using the antiquated model of “dissemination” to understand the work of popular science, an examination of the textual universe of periodicals like 'Tattvabodhini Patrika' and 'Aryadarshan' reveals the ways in which choices of genre and practices of translation themselves were preparing readers to ‘read’ disciplines in particular ways. I shall study a set of writings narrating the “history of” and “usefulness of” chemistry in the early 1870s - soon after the subject was introduced in undergraduate colleges in Bengal and nearly a decade before the making of the first professional Bengali chemists. Earlier impersonal descriptions of chemical laws and substances give way during the 70s to genres and narrative voices firmly located in the present colonial context. These perceive chemistry as an expanding field rooted in a history (part world-, part nationalist-) and wielding significance in everyday lives of readers. I argue that these vernacular writers’ disputes over chemistry’s origins or their call to readers to recognize it as a “useful” science must be read as interventions into the life led by the discipline within institutional sites in the colony.
Commentary: Science and Its Local Readers in British India
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Minakshi Menon, Max Plank Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
09:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 302
Scientific Cultures in Africa
Format : Organized Session
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Sarah Ehlers, Technical University Of Munich
Jules Skotnes-Brown, University Of Cambridge
Julia Cummiskey, University Of Tennessee-Chattanooga
Morgan Robinson, Mississippi State University
Ray Thornton , PhD Student, Princeton University
Moderators
Morgan Robinson, Mississippi State University
Science in Africa has often been perceived as a tool of empire, a force of 'epistemicide', or as diametrically opposed to African knowledge. Recently, historians of science have adopted a more nuanced view which, while sensitive to colonial hierarchies, emphasises circulation, appropriation, and translation of knowledge between the West and Africa. This panel brings together such trends by examining scientific cultures in twentieth-century south and east Africa. Panellists examine how African knowledge shaped sleeping-sickness research and tropical medicine in the Lake Victoria region; how Zulu knowledge was mobilised as evidence for and against animal-trypanosomiasis control strategies in Zululand; how medical cartographers studying Burkitt's lymphoma configured Uganda as a centre for medical research; how the construction of Standard Swahili, intended as a tool of colonial power, became the language of Tanganyikan nationalism; and how educational computer technologies in Nairobi schools offered a path to economic growth, yet perpetuated colonial hierarchies. Our papers show that Africans not only served as sources of field data for scientists, but often provided foundations for scientific theories. Likewise, the 'tools of empire' were sometimes turned upon their creators: scientific projects had unintended consequences and exposed the limits of colonial dominion. This would have lasting impacts after decolonisation, where scientific institutions were transformed into centres of national development. Together, these papers attempt a different reading of scientific cultures in Africa, showing how science could both oppress and empower, and how local and foreign forms of knowledge-making interacted and influenced one another.Organized by Jules Skotnes-Brown
Colonial Science and Local Knowledge: Environmental Sleeping Sickness Control in East Africa, 1900-1920
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Sarah Ehlers, Technical University Of Munich
This paper addresses the transnational history of British, German, and Belgian colonial environmental action to combat sleeping sickness in East Africa. Following the discovery that vector-borne diseases and tropical environments were highly interrelated phenomena, colonial scientists and doctors developed disease control schemes that targeted not only pathogens and parasites but also their vectors, their habitats and their animal reservoirs. This new type of environmental disease control relied heavily on the local population and on their knowledge of their natural surroundings. This paper explores the scientific pursuit of this knowledge: what kind of data was collected, which categories were applied? How was this process of understanding and conceptualizing nature embedded in colonial rule? In which ways was scientific inquiry dependent on local knowledge? Secondly, this paper deals with the mechanisms through which local environmental knowledge attained the status of evidence, and with shifting concepts of expertise in colonial contexts. How did European scientists interact with local healing cultures and indigenous knowledge? How did they present their findings to different audiences (scientific circles in Europe, colonial administration, local elites and inhabitants of infected areas)? In which ways did new forms of indigenous participation in science transform data acquisition and medical approaches in tropical medicine? Although colonial experts only rarely acknowledged indigenous knowledge in their publications, local expertise and agency mattered in many ways. Colonial health campaigns thus offer an exemplary domain of environmental interventionism for exploring the connections between Western and colonial sciences, local knowledge and the history of colonialism.
Starving Flies, Exterminating Animals: The Game-Nagana Link, the Great Game Drive, and the Dynamism of ‘Zulu Knowledge’, ca. 1890s-1920s
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Jules Skotnes-Brown, University Of Cambridge
In the 1890s, the British sought to open the Colony of Zululand to European settlement. The country, characterised by abundant green pastures, was a paradise for cattle, but had been plagued by a livestock disease that the Zulu called uNakane (Anglicised as nagana). Its cause, Zulu farmers insisted, was the presence of legally-protected big-game. David Bruce, a Scottish surgeon-major was commissioned to investigate the disease. His revelations would stimulate a thirty-year controversy into the “game-nagana link” – whether big-game were the source of the disease, and whether exterminating them would eradicate nagana. In 1920, this culminated in a field-experiment dubbed “The Great Game Drive”, in which two-thousand settlers and six-hundred Zulu attempted to exterminate all wildlife south of the Umfolozi Game Reserve. This ‘experiment’ and its reception shaped nagana science in Zululand and entangled the fate of the fauna in a web of class and race conflicts. The game-nagana controversy complicates ideas about the relationship between African knowledge and the sciences as being one of appropriation and erasure. ‘Zulu knowledge’ was a dynamic construct: some settler scientists mobilised it as a form of ancient wisdom, while others took it as a touchstone of ‘primitivity’ and used it to challenge their opponents. In the wake of the Great Game Drive, it lost its intellectual currency as the purview of science narrowed. The Umfolozi Game Reserve was transformed into a field laboratory in which big-game extermination became yoked to ‘African primitivity’, while bionomics and bacteriology became the ‘official’ means of nagana control.
Medical Mapping, Burkitt's Lymphoma, and the East African Virus Research Institute, 1962-1979
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Julia Cummiskey, University Of Tennessee-Chattanooga
The discovery of Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL), a childhood cancer that appeared to be limited to particular parts of Africa and caused by a virus, attracted a range of researchers with a stake in the field of cancer viruses to Uganda. Between 1962 and 1979, the East African Virus Research Institute (EAVRI), a laboratory founded in Entebbe in 1936, conducted a series of investigations into the etiology of the lymphoma. This research took place in a period of intense change at the Institute and in Uganda in general, coinciding with the advent of national independence, the first administration of a Ugandan president, and the rise and fall of Idi Amin. These changes cast uncertainty onto the future of the EAVRI. Drawing on oral histories, archives, and published material, this paper examines the cartographic practices of the EAVRI’s research on BL, both in the preliminary exploratory stage and in the later cohort study. These investigations offer a window into the use of medical maps to configure independent Uganda as a valuable site of medical research and to tease out the relationship between cancer, a putative infectious agent, and the natural and social environment. This story sheds light on the negotiation of the roles of EAVRI’s African and expatriate researchers, international visiting scientists, the study populations in West Nile, Uganda, missionaries, government officials, and a wide array of intermediaries. It also highlights the ways that scientists in Uganda invested in strategies that would facilitate new research programs in the post-colonial period.
A Standardized Vernacular or a Vernacular Standard? The Position of Swahili in the Early Twentieth Century
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Morgan Robinson, Mississippi State University
This paper explores a 1925 meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika, during which the British colonial administrations of eastern Africa agreed upon the dialectical basis for Standard Swahili. If examined from the standpoint of the 1920s, this decision seems a typical story of imperial appropriation and imposition, a moment in which the colonizer decided what language was ‘best’ for the colonized. By placing this decision in the context of the longer social and intellectual history of Standard Swahili, however, we can see that it is just one pivot of many between ‘vernacular’ and ‘official’ knowledge production—a process that had taken place over the course of many decades, and that would continue for many decades to come. Building upon the idea of ‘linguistic ecosystems,’ the paper brings to the fore the host of interlocutors involved in the lead-up to 1925 and its reverberations across the region. Exploring this single shift between 'vernacular’ and 'official’ knowledge production sets us up to understand how quickly proponents of the latter (in this case, the British colonial regime) lost control of the process. Over the course of just two decades, Standard Swahili, once a tool of colonial rule, became the language of Tanganyikan nationalism and independence. Even more importantly, the paper demonstrates how ‘vernacular’ and ‘official’ knowledge production often work in tandem, arguing that they can be mutually constitutive.
A Language for National Development: The Computer Literacy Program at Starehe Boy’s Centre and School, 1980-1990
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Ray Thornton , PhD Student, Princeton University
In 1980, Starehe School in Nairobi became the first Kenyan second-level institution to introduce computer education. From a small pilot-scheme reliant on the University of Nairobi’s mainframe computer, Starehe’s program expanded rapidly. Student enthusiasm and an ambitious school leadership convinced international donors to provide mini-computers and construct a computer laboratory. Starehe soon became Kenya’s strongest advocate for the adoption of computer technology, with visits from the President, Daniel Arap-Moi, and local and international business and NGO leaders. Indeed, Kenya’s present status as a technology hub in east Africa has often been attributed to Starehe’s early experiment in promoting computer literacy. With Starehe’s computer education program as its central focus, this paper sheds light on three interlinked aspects of the adoption of technology in Kenyan history. Firstly, at the level of the school, it explores the significance of technology education as a form of pedagogy, building on work in gender and sexuality studies that considers how computer environments have been constructed as masculine spaces. Secondly, it considers the role of the school in shaping, and responding to, national debates around technology policy in a Kenya (at least at the government level) that was initially reluctant to see the widespread adoption of computer technology. And finally, in a school that was designed to promote national development, it explores how computer literacy was cast as a means to rapid growth in an era of economic stagnation.
09:00 - 11:45
Janskerkhof 2-3, Rm. 013
The Epistemology of the “Match”
Format : Organized Session | Special Interest Group
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Carla Bittel, Loyola Marymount University
Hansun Hsiung, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science / Durham University
Erika Milam, Princeton University
Elena Serrano, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
Dan Bouk, Colgate University
Moderators
Dan Bouk, Colgate University
"It's a match!" To date, the phones of 91 million persons around the globe have already buzzed with these words – the opening salvos of courtship in the world of online dating. Yet what, precisely, is a "match"? Behind the multi-billion-dollar dating industry stand programmers and statisticians seeking to bring, in the words of OkCupid's Christian Rudder, "mathematically-minded … analysis and rigor to what had historically been the domain of love 'experts' and grinning warlocks like Dr. Phil." Far from a hot-headed discourse of the passions, the "match" is about cool-headed engineering: the concepts and practices for sorting personal information and targeting individuals from among larger populations. The history of the "match" is a history of knowledge. Elena Serrano examines how early-eighteenth-century theories of the female body taught men to distinguish, from outward traits and gestures, between "physical" and "moral" love. Carla Bittel uncovers the role of phrenologists as experts in the marital marketplace, detailing the creation of cranial "profiles" to aid in selecting partners. Hansun Hsiung explores Charles Fourier's "calculus of passions," asking why the mathematization of partnership formed an essential component of utopian socialism. Erika Milam traces how the evolutionary study of same-sex behavior in animals initially naturalized heterosexual courtship norms but transformed into a defense of gay rights. From the eighteenth century through the twentieth, from humoral medicine and phrenology to mathematics and evolutionary biology, this panel explores the shifting sciences that have promised solutions to courtship, guaranteeing the "congeniality" and "harmony" of partners' bodies and minds.Organized by Hansun Hsiung and Elena SerranoSponsored by the Forum for the History of the Human Sciences 
Cranial Compatibility: Phrenology, Measurement, and Marriage Assessment
09:00 - 09:30
Presented by :
Carla Bittel, Loyola Marymount University
This paper demonstrates how phrenological tools of character assessment were used to measure marriage compatibility in the nineteenth century. It will examine how the knowledge and practices of cranial measurement produced character “profiles" for the purpose of judging suitable marriage partners. A popular but contested science of the mind, phrenology articulated a relationship between the mental and the physical, and maintained that one could truly know others and oneself through measuring “organs” of the mind, or protrusions on the skull. While much has been written about phrenology, less attention has been paid to its focus on marriage, mating and motherhood, and how its epistemic practices supported a model of courtship based on numerical and empirical assessment of gendered and racialized character traits. Focused on the North American context, this paper will use phrenological materials -- advice literature, personalized charts, photographs, mail order submissions and testimonials -- to illustrate how phrenology packaged cranial knowledge, promoting it as superior to other forms of matching. Many “practical” phrenologists claimed expertise on marital harmony, and sold their analyses as more accurate and reliable than personal experience or familial knowledge. Many consumers pursued this knowledge, hoping to find a partner with compatible crania, but more often to assess themselves and the fitness of a current suitor or spouse. Ultimately, this paper will show that notions of race and gender, heredity, and sexual “relations" were embedded in the shorthand of phrenological measurements.
Between Harmony and E-Harmony: Sexual Minima and Utopian Matching in Fourier’s "Calculus of Passions"
09:30 - 10:00
Presented by :
Hansun Hsiung, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science / Durham University
In his manuscript of 1818 entitled “System of radical sympathies and antipathies,” Charles Fourier claimed to have devised “the art...of finding all those persons with whom one is in complete sympathy, and of surrounding oneself with them instantly and constantly.” Unfolding across 117 pages the “algebraic formulas” that would allow for this “matching [assortiment] of characters,” Fourier argued that a “calculus of passions” was key to the management of relations in his phalanstères -- communities dubbed simply “Harmony” by Fourier, and envisioned as a socialist solution to the woes of capitalist “civilization.” Whereas, in “civilization,” persons “often spend years in a city without encountering sympathetic partners in love,” in “Harmony,” “no one would be left out or miss out on an appropriate match.” This paper unpacks the political stakes, informational processes, and mathematical techniques of Fourier’s “calculus of passions,” to argue that so-called “utopian” socialism in part pioneered the discourses and practices of “matching” behind contemporary data-driven approaches to finding “matches.” As a self-styled Newton of the social world, Fourier championed the need to discover laws of “passionate attraction” analogous to universal gravitation. As an early critic of industrial capitalism, Fourier proposed that “free love” required scientific management, lest it degenerate into an unequal free market of love. Technologies of matching, in this sense, went hand-in-hand with his problematic demand for the right to a “sexual minimum” alongside universal basic income, and his faith that this minimum, through proper practices of information collection and analysis, was an achievable reality.
Animals as Evolutionary Models of Human Sexuality in the Late 20th Century
10:15 - 10:45
Presented by :
Erika Milam, Princeton University
How evolutionary biologists have defined animal courtship has had profound consequences for their understanding of how Charles Darwin’s theory of sexual selection might operate among humans. One of the most remarkable applications of evolutionary logic to human behavior came from Donald Symons’ Evolution of Sexuality, published in 1979. If male and female heterosexual reproductive strategies fundamentally differed, then Symons reasoned that every sexual encounter between a man and a woman represented a compromise between their dueling desires and agendas. How best, then, to understand true male behavioral patterns? In matches unfettered by female reluctance. For Symons the frequency of homosexual encounters was the best yardstick by which to measure normative heterosexual desire. His account reinforced gendered stereotypes already inscribed in sociobiology: males possessed a greater sex drive than females, derived from the evolutionary importance of male sexual pleasure. Critical of this argument, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy pushed back by suggesting the variety of female-female sexual encounters in primates provided robust evidence of sexual drive in all females. This paper explores these debates and subsequent transformations in late-20th-century evolutionary accounts of the match. What began as a means of naturalizing heterosexual courtship norms would eventually transform into a potential defense of gay rights as biologists documented numerous examples of same-sex behavior in animals. As a result, the logic of using any one animal as a model of human courtship gave way to seeing human sexuality as reflected in the wide diversity of sexualities found in the animal kingdom as a whole.
Looking for Moral Congeniality: Lust, Love, and Physical Bodies in Eighteenth-Century Spain
10:45 - 11:15
Presented by :
Elena Serrano, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science, Berlin
In 1726, the Spanish Benedictine friar Benito J. Feijoo (1676-1764), in his best-seller Teatro Crítico Universal, defended women’s intellectual capacities. Analysing medical and philosophical theories about how ideas were produced, he argued that female bodies (cold and humid) were perfectly suited to intellectual pursuits. Feijoo’s ultimate goal in demonstrating the equality of sexes was moral. By championing women’s mental capacities, he sought to prevent male sexual attacks, and buttress the bond of marriage. Specifically, Feijoo was one of many during his time who advocated that spouses needed to be morally 'congenial' (congeniar) for a successful marriage. To achieve such 'congeniality,' however, one had to discern a potential lover’s moral characteristics from her external traits and gestures. This paper traces the shifting somatic understandings underpinning such an amorous hermeneutics, excavating the relationship between love, desire and physical bodies in 18th-century Spain. In particular, the paper addresses the rise of medical interest in erotic and pornographic representations. Across anatomical and medical treatises -- yet also disguised in painters’ manuals, guides to conduct, marital and moral-philosophical works, and novels -- sensual paintings and erotic descriptions were analyzed for the different ways in which they both produced bodily effects (e.g., sexual arousal), as well as excited ‘higher’ sentiments (e.g., ‘moral love’). In turn, these analyses were used to instruct potential lovers in Catholic Spain as to how they might interpret visual features and performances so as to successfully distinguish between ‘physical love’ and ‘moral love’, avoiding a marriage premised on false appearances.
Commentary: The Epistemology of the “Match”
11:15 - 11:45
Presented by :
Dan Bouk, Colgate University
09:45 - 11:45
Drift 21, Rm. 105
Tacit Knowledge Event: Academic Internationalisms
Format : Special Event | Special Interest Group
Speakers
Projit Bihari Mukharji, University Of Pennsylvania
Lisa Onaga, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science
Willemijn Ruberg, Utrecht University
James Secord, HPS, University Of Cambridge
Moderators
Sarah Naramore, Sewanee: The University Of The South
Kristine Palmieri, University Of Chicago
The GECC Tacit Knowledge Series brings together established scholars with a wide array of experiences and expertise in order to discuss an array of topics that are important to junior scholars and that are difficult to learn about independently or without prior experience.Inspired by this year's conference location, the 2019 theme is "Academic Internationalisms." Our panelists discuss a range of topics ranging from the structure of post-docs and faculty positions to grant applications and professional norms. Come with questions of your own, or simply an open mind! This year's panellists are: Projit Mukharji (Penn) Lisa Onaga (Max-Planck Institute for the History of Science) Ahmed Ragab (Harvard)Willemijn Ruberg (Utrecht) Jim Secord (Cambridge)Graduate and Early Career CaucusHSSGECCHSSGECC
10:00 - 10:15
Janskerkhof 2-3, Pantry
Coffee Break ☕ Janskerkhof
10:00 - 10:15
Drift 27, Near Library & Courtyard
Coffee Break ☕ Drift 27
10:00 - 11:00
Drift 25, Rm. 303
Technology and Communication Committee Meeting
Format : Committee Meeting
Follow us on Twitter: k8shep | THATCampHSS
11:00 - 11:45
Drift 25, Rm. 301
Earth and Environment Forum
Format : Special Interest Group
Track : Earth and Environmental Sciences
The Earth and Environment Forum is a lively group of scholars interested in histories of knowledge about the land, sea, and sky, and in all manner of physical, human, and life sciences as they have been practiced outdoors, in transit, or on a global scale. We share a long tradition of helping to welcome students into the discipline, and we warmly encourage any interested parties to join us for our annual get-together at HSS. At these meetings we make introductions between scholars, renew friendships, and hear updates about ongoing work in the history of the environmental and earth sciences.
11:45 - 12:15
Drift 25, Rm. 101
Forum for the History of the Chemical Sciences Business Meeting
Format : Special Interest Group
Track : Chemistry
The business meeting of the Forum for the History of the Chemical Sciences will take place immediately after its sponsored session at this year's HSS. All with interests in the history of alchemy, chemistry, and related fields are warmly welcome to attend.
12:00 - 13:00
Drift 21, Rm. 005
Collections, Archives, Libraries, and Museums (CALM) Caucus: Organizational Meeting
Format : Special Interest Group
Speakers
Pedro Raposo, Adler Planetarium
Benjamin Gross, Linda Hall Library
The Collections, Archives, Libraries, and Museums (CALM) Caucus aims to provide a space for scholars interested in the history of collection-based institutions or efforts to mobilize collections to explore the history of science, technology, and medicine in new and creative ways. The CALM Caucus will also serve as a venue where experienced professionals can provide guidance and support to scholars seeking to pursue careers as curators, librarians, or archivists. In this organizational meeting, the CALM Caucus will focus on gauging broader interest in these topics and how best to address them at future HSS conferences.
12:00 - 13:00
Janskerkhof 2-3, Rm. 013
Beyond the Shadow of the Telescope: Recontextualizing John Herschel
Format : Roundtable
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Stephen Case, Olivet Nazarene University
Charles Pence, Université Catholique De Louvain
Kelley Wilder, Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University
Gregory Good, American Inst
James Secord, HPS, University Of Cambridge
Moderators
Omar Nasim, University Of Regensburg
The British natural philosopher John Herschel (1792–1871) remains a paradoxical figure in the historiography of modern science: simultaneously recognized as pivotal in the development and professionalization of modern science while curiously under-examined. Herschel's career spanned fields from astronomy to chemistry and optics to the first writings in English on scientific methodology (his 1831 Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy) at a period in which these fields were first becoming professionalized. He had leadership roles in the Royal Astronomical Society, the Royal Society, and BAAS, while his popular textbooks were translated into dozens of languages and were the means by which a new reading public formed their views on science and its practice. His investigations in large part defined what it meant to "do science" throughout the Victorian period. This panel offers the opportunity to recontextualize Herschel's work and discuss recent scholarship on Herschel and remaining questions. Herschel's influence during his lifetime, his extensive published corpus, and the immense amount of surviving correspondence and archival materials make him an important means of investigating a wide array of issues of interest to historians of science. In this panel, participants will briefly summarize their recent scholarship on Herschel with an eye to discussion on avenues for using Herschel's life to address broader scholarly questions and themes. One goal of the panel will be to catalyze interest and generate new approaches in advance of a planned conference on John Herschel to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his death in 2021.
12:00 - 13:00
Drift 25, Rm. 303
Early Science Forum Business Meeting
Format : Special Interest Group
The Early Science Forum welcomes anyone with an interest in the early sciences. Come and join us to network and discuss the group's activities.
12:00 - 13:00
Drift 27, Eetkamer
Information Session: Publishing Opportunities in the History of Biology and Life Sciences
Format : Roundtable
Track : Tools for Historians of Science
Speakers
Karen Rader, Virginia Commonwealth University
Marsha Richmond, Wayne State University
Lisa Onaga, Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science
12:00 - 13:00
Drift 25, Rm. 102
Politics and Methodology between Science Studies, LGBTQ+ Studies, and “Area” Studies
Format : Roundtable
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Heidi Voskuhl, University Of Pennsylvania
Rebecca Epstein-Levi, Vanderbilt University
Howard Chiang
Stephanie Dick, University Of Pennsylvania
Moderators
Erika Milam, Princeton University
This roundtable asks how politics and methodology operate in interrelations between Science Studies and LGBTQ+ Studies, as well as in conversations with other Area Studies. The panel's participants engage Women's, Jewish, German, and Chinese Studies, but we will, together with the audience, be concerned with a range of geography-, language-, ethnicity-, and subjectivities-based Area Studies. We wish to continue the lively debate about queerness in/at HSS conducted during recent meetings by bringing in a further set of interlocutors. Howard Chiang provides perspectives from Chinese Studies, drawing on recent global history of sexual/queer science and on questions of how China's global empire intersects with the peripherality of gender and sexual expressions. Rebecca Epstein-Levi discusses rhetorical and moral functions of science and medicine from the perspective of Jewish Studies, examining how modern Jewishness is frequently construed as "somehow queer" and underlies claims of Jews' sexual, and moral, health. Stephanie Dick explores how discussions in the field of Expert Systems de facto reject tacit/embodied/situated knowledges. Drawing on Women's Studies and feminist epistemology, she discusses political implications of this ideal of disembodied knowledge by asking about the privileges of "those who get to not have bodies." Heidi Voskuhl's contribution revolves around engineers' class anxieties in the industrial age, asking how the development in German/Literary Studies of Critical Theory has helped make visible marginalization and oppression on a large scale, and whether and how this type of "Theory" has enabled political expression in Science Studies, LGBTQ+ Studies, and beyond.
12:00 - 13:15
Drift 13, Rm. 004
Physical Sciences Forum Distinguished Lecture
Format : Special Interest Group
Track : Physical Sciences
Speakers
Helge Kragh
The 2019 Physical Sciences Forum Distinguished Speaker is Helge Kragh, who will be speaking on "The Very Small and the Very Large: Interdisciplinary Aspects of the History of Physics." In many contexts the term "history of the physical sciences" is more appropriate than the more narrow "history of physics." There are and have for a long time been important connections between physics and related fields such as astronomy, chemistry and geology. The historical study of how the sciences of the heavens gradually established close contacts to atomic, nuclear and particle physics is particularly rewarding. By means of select examples the talk will focus on this process as it mainly evolved through the twentieth century and eventually resulted in so-called physical cosmology. The contributions of physical chemistry and geochemistry are less known, but they too were important in the development of the modern view of the universe.
12:00 - 13:15
Drift 27, Rm. 032
Forum for the History of Science in Asia Business Meeting
Format : Special Interest Group
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 13, Rm. 004
Correspondence Networks: Exploring Space, Class and Gender through the Material Object
Format : Organized Session
Track : Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Speakers
Elaine Ayers, New York University
Laura Brassington, University Of Cambridge
Tina Gianquitto, Colorado School Of Mines
James Poskett, University Of Warwick
Moderators
Janet Browne, Janet Browne, Harvard University
Between the early nineteenth and the mid-twentieth centuries, contributions to knowledge about nature depended on correspondence networks as a means for exchanging information, ideas, and specimens. The importance of these networks to the most eminent figures in science has been widely acknowledged. Much attention has been paid to their cultivation of style, construction of personae, and conformity to set formulae for corresponding knowledge through the medium of the letter. This panel will explore some lesser known sites and actors. To do so, we consider the materiality of correspondence as a global practice. By framing letters as material objects, we locate letters and correspondence networks in continuous relationship to other spatial entities, in line with recent work on the geographies of books and other paper documents. We pay attention to the physical page, the use of postage stamps to pay for scientific labour, the mobilisation of botanical specimens for self-presentation, and the value of pencil and ink diagrams for communicating observations. We consider the nature of correspondence itself in shaping scientific disciplines and explore how it may help us integrate the histories of excluded groups. We look across different areas of science, from botanical knowledge to phrenology, and at different social contexts and genders, to interrogate the coherence of scientific correspondence practices. It is by taking seriously the places of paper, we argue, that we may investigate more fully the porosity of borders in science.Organized by Laura Brassington
"Off Alone on My Tramps": Correspondence Networks of Women Botanists in the U.S. Frontier West
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Tina Gianquitto, Colorado School Of Mines
This paper will explore the correspondence of women botanical collectors in the U.S. Frontier West and will discuss the hidden histories of women’s scientific work taking place in the nation’s mining, mountain, and border outposts. Letters exchanged both between women in the West, and between these women and their eastern, generally male correspondents, demonstrates the range of motivations, hazards, rewards, and sacrifices that prompted women such as Alice Eastwood (1859-1953), Sarah Plummer Lemmon (1836-1923), Mary Katharine Brandegee (1844-1920), Rebecca Merritt Austin (1832-1919), and Emily O. Pelton (c.1858-1945) to pursue plants across remote landscapes. This paper will investigate the degrees of candor with which these women talked both to each other and to those outside their close circles about issues we would now classify as sexual harassment, pay equity, and professional advancement.
Materials of the Mind: Phrenology, Correspondence, and the Global History of Science, 1815-1920
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
James Poskett, University Of Warwick
In 1828, the Edinburgh phrenologist George Combe (1788-1858) published his now famous work, The Constitution of Man. Over the course of the nineteenth century, this book sold more than 300,000 copies, and was translated into at least six different languages, including Bengali and Japanese. From American senators to Indian social reformers, phrenology soon found supporters stretching across the globe. These individuals were bound together by the increasingly globalised postal networks of the nineteenth century. In this paper, I explore how phrenologists used the postal service to build a global movement. In doing so, I focus particularly on the materiality of these networks along with the objects that were sent alongside letters. These objects include skulls collected in the Arctic, plaster busts manufactured in Paris, and phrenological charts printed in Bengal. This focus on materiality also allows me to explore the limits of phrenology as a global scientific movement, suggesting the ways in which particular people and regions were cut out of the story. More broadly, this paper suggests how the global history of science can be written through the global history of material culture. In the nineteenth century, what it meant to be a global science of the mind was in part a product of global material exchange.
The Politics of Botanical Objecthood in Nineteenth Century Correspondence Networks
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Elaine Ayers, New York University
In December of 1822, Danish naturalist Nathaniel Wallich (1786-1854) left his home in Kolkata, and visited British colleagues in Bengkulu and Singapore on a collecting mission that was designed to unite the flora of the East Indies and India. During his months abroad, Wallich collected thousands of plants in the East Indies, transported them both alive and dead back to India, and shipped out sample sets and descriptions to Britain, France, and the Netherlands. Wallich’s objectification of these tropical plants functioned as a way of managing and facilitating global trade, even amidst the Napoleonic Wars, which enabled him to continue building natural history institutions within South and Southeast Asia. The process both exploited and complicated colonial competition. The history of botany has largely been told as a circulation of goods between “center and periphery” or, in more recent studies, between colonial botanic gardens that upheld imperial structures. The realities of collecting in situ, however, present a far more complicated story: one in which middle-class practitioners worked across national alignments, sometimes double- and triple-timing their patrons in supplying rivals with duplicates and triplicates of specimens. Indeed, many of these “professional” collectors occupied liminal spaces alongside their indigenous colleagues, acting as political prisoners, commercial nurserymen, and illustrators for hire. Pairing circulating herbarium specimens with correspondence records and the glass and paper technologies that accompanied them, I trace the complex networks of “global” botanical transfer and communication across the Indian Ocean in the early-nineteenth century.
Trespassing Tigresses and "Pig-Headed Celts": Corresponding beyond Class Boundaries, from Scotland to Calcutta
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Laura Brassington, University Of Cambridge
Between 1862 and 1879, 291 letters were exchanged between the most celebrated nineteenth-century naturalist, Charles Darwin (1809-92), and self-taught, working-class gardener, John Scott (1836-80). Scott was a foreman at the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens when he first wrote Darwin to point out an error in The Fertilisation of Orchids (1862). Darwinism was controversial in 1860s Edinburgh, particularly at the Gardens. However, Scott infiltrated the Garden’s lectures, appropriated their microscopes, and, by virtue of Scott’s low social class, could sneak from his bothy on the edge of the gardens into its hothouses on Sundays, to perform observations and experiments. Scott not only provided specimens for Darwin, but, from a garden intended for economic botany, he also engaged in theory. The price for Scott’s trespasses was his job. Through Darwin’s patronage, Scott became curator of the Calcutta Botanical Gardens. Scott challenged the borders of spaces physically, temporally, and theoretically inaccessible to a man of his station. His instrument was the letter. Yet correspondence also reveals the limitations to Scott’s trespasses. In this paper, I seek to find an analytical bridge between the situatedness and the mobility of Scott and his science. By taking the letter itself as a spatial entity, one co-constructed – quite literally in dialogue – by sender, recipient, and their respective networks, I explore how Scott functioned as a mediator of social and scientific hierarchies. I argue that whilst Scott’s status may seem to defy stable definition, it was simply constructed and perceived differently by different correspondents and their respective contexts.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 21, Rm. 005
Defying Death, Improving the Body, and the Early Modern Quest for Longevity
Format : Organized Session
Track : Medicine and Health
Speakers
Hannah Marcus, Harvard University
Tessa Storey, Independent Historian
Natalie Kaoukji, HPS, University Of Cambridge
Vitus Huber, Ecole Des Hautes Etudes En Sciences Sociales, Paris
Moderators
Lauren Kassell, Department Of History And Philosophy Of Science, University Of Cambridge
Transhumanists predict that people will achieve immortality by 2045. While this quest for eternal life has been omnipresent in human history, early modern physicians, philosophers, and lay people particularly strove to identify the key to overcoming death. Between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment changing aesthetics, new approaches to old texts, and the rise of the New Science opened the door to a wide array of theories and experiments concerning longevity. This period offers intriguing insights into ideas and practices for improving one's body and beauty, for living healthily, and possibly even for defying death. This panel brings scholars working on different aspects of the connected histories of death and long life into conversation about continuities and innovations in life extension in the early modern period.Organized by Vitus Huber and Hannah Marcus
Sobriety, Longevity, and Readers’ Responses to Alvise Cornaro’s Discorsi della vita sobria
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Hannah Marcus, Harvard University
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a period commonly described as the Scientific Revolution, have been characterized by religious war, seasonal outbreaks of epidemic disease, and an ambitious and expanding sense of what was possible politically, religiously, and scientifically. Lived and imagined longevity pushed the boundaries of what it meant to be human in this dynamic era. This paper takes as its protagonist Alvise Cornaro (1484-1566), a long-lived Paduan nobleman who wrote a series of short treatises in the vernacular extolling the “sober life” as the source of his own longevity. Cornaro revised, expanded, and republished this treatise five times between 1558 and his death in 1566. The treatise sold widely in early modern Italy and is a continued bestseller today. I have examined most surviving sixteenth-century copies of Cornaro’s treatise. Using a bibliographical and book historical approach, I trace readers’ marks and provenance to recover contemporary responses to the possibilities Cornaro peddled. I then situate Cornaro’s treatise and its readers within the context of popular works in dietetics and secrets. Cornaro sold the virtues and possibilities of longevity to a non-elite readership who were accustomed to turning to cheap printed sources that integrated alchemical, occult, and medical ideas for popular audiences.
Continuity and Change in the Italian Regimen, 1650-1800
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Tessa Storey, Independent Historian
Despite medical advances, healthy living advice in the eighteenth century conveys a strong impression of continuity with the regimen genre from the late-middle ages and Renaissance. Indeed, most continued to be informed by a Galenic understanding of the body, particularly as regards the framework of the six non-naturals. Drawing on my previous research on the vernacular Italian regimen between the 1480’s and the 1650’s this paper will explore shifts in the genre by examining a number of Italian medical texts published after 1650 and before 1800. These are either explicitly ‘regimen’ or other medical tracts which include advice on how to live healthily, avoid illness and extend one’s life, such as Ramazzini’s much republished and widely translated ‘On the Diseases of Tradesmen’. On the one hand I will aim to explore some of the broader trends, such as the ever-increasing focus on the importance of the air to health, and an apparent decline in the emphasis on exercise. On the other hand I will focus on some more nuanced developments within these broader changes, such as in their understandings of, and advice pertaining to, the management of the air and the role of the skin in health.
Early Modern Longevity and the Poetics of Extended Experience
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Natalie Kaoukji, HPS, University Of Cambridge
This paper examines the relationship between early modern accounts of longevity and the figuring of a new order of natural knowledge as a project of experience prodigiously extended, preserved and accumulated. Focusing on the English case, it examines the reinvention of longevity in the second half of the seventeenth century through reports of long-lived men in the Philosophical Transactions, discussions of the prodigious longevity of the Patriarchs, and natural historical surveys of the long lived. Treatments of longevity in such accounts have been commonly read as anticipating a factual, proto-demographic understanding of longevity. This paper instead proposes that seventeenth-century authors were interested not in the facts of longevity but in its figuring of the extended experience and immunity to decay exemplified by the media in which these discussions appeared. Projects of reporting, recovering, preserving and accumulating were not here passive vehicles for an approach to knowledge that would reimagine the world as information, but the site of a concerted set of performances of the quasi-magical powers of such a condition.
Looking for Longevity? Intersections of New Science and the Improvement of the Body
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Vitus Huber, Ecole Des Hautes Etudes En Sciences Sociales, Paris
Different forms of corporeal improvement emerged between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. Humanists, like Erasmus of Rotterdam, tried to educate the elite and rulers in books like his how-to manual ‘Institutio Principis Christiani’ (1516) dedicated to Prince Charles, the future Emperor Charles V. Ecclesiastics and pious lay people trained their bodies and minds to reach spiritual discipline in order to live more righteously (e.g. Jesuits, Pietists) and possibly achieve salvation (e.g. ascetics, eremites). In the field of medicine, the physician Andrea Vesalius, among others, led the way to modern anatomy with the publication of the findings from his empirical dissections in ‘De humani corporis fabrica’ (1543). Generally speaking, in the Renaissance and in the wake of the New Science, novel techniques of observation and their corresponding instruments evolved, as Gianna Pomata and Lorraine Daston have shown in their work on the ‘Observationes’ and the ‘epistemic genre’ respectively. I argue that these new empirical methods fostered the practices of corporeal experiments and the corporeal experiments in turn contributed to the New Science. My paper will show how the media and methods of observation and improvement of the body intersected in the early modern period.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 25, Rm. 102
Early Modern Bodies
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Medicine and Health
Speakers
Anna-Luna Post, Universiteit Utrecht
Megan Baumhammer, PhD Student, Princeton University
Els Woudstra, PhD Student, Rice University
Richard Bellis, University Of Leeds
Moderators
Yael Kedar, Tel-Hai College
Personas and Personifications: Galileo Compared
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Anna-Luna Post, Universiteit Utrecht
Galileo Galilei’s contemporaries repeatedly compared him to other famous men, such as Archimedes, Columbus, Vespucci, and Michelangelo. With these comparisons, contemporaries enhanced Galileo's fame, status and credibility, while also creating possibilities of understanding Galileo and his scholarship. In this paper I connect these comparisons to the concept of the scholarly persona, as developed by (among others) Daston, Sibum, and Algazi. The paper studies the significance of these comparisons as attempts to contribute to, shape and negotiate Galileo's scholarly persona. To better understand this mechanism, the paper first examines the various comparisons in the textual and material contexts in which they arose. The paper analyses the different personae assigned to Galileo, and the extent to which these were complementing or conflicting in nature. Secondly, the paper investigates the inherent tension with regard to these comparisons: while they helped advance Galileo's status as an individual scholar by embedding him in a tradition of great men, they simultaneously detracted from his unique genius by doing so. As such, the paper leads to a better understanding of the importance of fame for scholars, in particular in relation to their careers and credibility. Finally, by also taking the mythological figures Galileo was compared with into account, the paper highlights the different traditions at the basis of the cultures of scholarship and fame in early modern Europe. As such, it not only sheds light on the development and significance of Galileo's fame, but also on the developing persona of the seventeenth-century scholar in general.
Textures of Anatomy: Images and Practice at the University of Padua in the Seventeenth Century
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Megan Baumhammer, PhD Student, Princeton University
In this paper I explore the relationship between skin, skin represented as fabric, and fabric covering skin within this context of seasonality in the representation of human bodies in anatomical works of the seventeenth century. I begin with engravings by Odoardo Fialetti, commissioned by Giulio Cesare Casseri, professor of anatomy at the University of Padua for his Tabula Anatomica (1627). These are some of the most remarkable examples of representational choice in the history of anatomy. The evidence of dissection is contrasted with plants and trees in the height of summer foliage. These images show people disrobing themselves of their skin, or as though an invisible hand were casting their skin aside like fabric. The conflation of skin with cloth in these images reinforces a paradoxically lively presentation of the cadaver, and blurs the relationship of the human body to the surrounding environment. This depiction is in remarkable contrast to the circumstances of bodily dissection in the early seventeenth century, which occurred by necessity in the winter. The seasonal experience of medical teaching at the time reflected the availability and ease of use for teaching materials. University medical education centered on the teaching of the experiential sciences of botany and anatomy. In this paper I analyse the practice of anatomy at Padua in the context of costume books and the fabric trade in the Republic of Venice. I show that the novelties of the early modern world and the novelties of anatomy are key in knowledge in Renaissance medicine.
Prodigious Abstinence and Nervous Consumption: Tracing Medical Discourses of Female (In)Digestion, 1651-1694
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Els Woudstra, PhD Student, Rice University
The question of female self-starvation has been widely debated in the history of medicine and religion, with scholars such as Silverman (1983) anachronistically diagnosing “miraculous maids”—women who claimed to have miraculously survived without food for extended periods of time—as early cases of anorexia nervosa. Departing from the attempt to formulate a long history of anorexia nervosa, this paper addresses the issue of female self-starvation in the context of the cultural fascination with nutrition and digestion in religious and medical-scientific discourses of post-Civil War England, particularly attending to emerging theories of nutrition and digestion, such as Thomas Willis’ theory of fermentation. Specifically, this paper closely examines three cases of female abstinence and indigestion: the case of Martha Taylor as described in Thomas Hobbes’ letters, John Reynolds’ "Discourse on Prodigious Abstinence," and the several religious pamphlets that advertise her abstinence as a miracle; the two cases of “nervous Consumption” described by physician Richard Morton, and the case of Eve in John Milton’s "Paradise Lost," whose inability to abstain from eating the forbidden fruit caused, I argue, the first case of indigestion in Eden. Arguing that popular and medical-scientific discourse surrounding the prodigious abstinence of miraculous maids should be understood in a larger cultural pre-occupation with food, nutrition, and digestion—and in particular in the medical-scientific demystification of the female relation to food and digestion—this paper offers a closer examination of narratives of female abstinence and indigestion in seventeenth century England.
Collecting Anatomy and Making Knowledge about Disease at Great Windmill Street: Matthew Baillie’s Morbid Anatomy
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Richard Bellis, University Of Leeds
Fundamental to the work of William Hunter and his assistants at the Great Windmill Street school in London was the collecting of anatomical preparations. Not only were these preparations vital to teaching at the school, their making provided visual and tactile information that was the basis for many of the anatomical discoveries associated with the school. Diseased body parts were collected as part of this anatomical work throughout Hunter’s lifetime, as they were seen to provide insights into regular anatomy. This changed when Hunter’s nephew, Matthew Baillie, took over the school (with William Cruikshank) and reconceptualised how the diseased parts there were understood as ‘morbid anatomy’, later publishing The Morbid Anatomy of some of the most important parts of the human body (1793), which was one of the most successful works of learned medicine published in the eighteenth century. In this paper I argue that Baillie’s practice of morbid anatomy was fundamentally in keeping with the anatomical practices of the Great Windmill Street school; the tactile and visual information provided by the cadaver was prioritised above all else, but now for the subject of disease. This challenged typical practice in the study of disease, which included post-mortem examination of cadavers as part of case histories. In removing the temporal aspect from the study of diseased cadavers, Baillie argued that diseased appearances could be generalised, not just singular, knowledge and therefore an anatomical subject in its own right.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 25, Rm. 002
Global Histories of Socialist Science and Medicine
Format : Organized Session
Track : Medicine and Health
Speakers
Vedran Duancic, Croatian Academy Of Sciences And Arts
Dora Vargha, University Of Exeter
Heidi Morefield, Johns Hopkins University / Princeton University
Moderators
Heidi Tworek, Assistant Professor, University Of British Columbia
The panel explores different cases of the transnational scientific communication and cooperation involving the two competing Cold War blocks as well as the agents in-between. Socialist countries deemed the transnational and, in the context of the Cold War, trans-ideological scientific communication necessary as a means of acquiring technology while at the same time seeing it as an opportunity to showcase the successes of the socialist science and medicine, thus potentially influencing the Third world. Going beyond the notion of one-way transfer of ideas and technology, the papers will address the nuanced strategies employed in specific attempts to (re)position socialist science and medicine globally: from Michael DeBakey's surgery-as-diplomacy efforts aimed at a better understanding of the Soviet Union and China by the United States, Hungarian socialist engagement in international health linking the Second and Third world, and an unlikely Yugoslav-American alliance aimed at containing the spread of Lysenkoism in the 1950s.Organized by Vedran Duancic
Transplanting Technology: Dr. DeBakey in Cold War China and the USSR
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Heidi Morefield, Johns Hopkins University / Princeton University
At the height of the Cold War, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, one of the most prolific American surgeons of the 20th century, made several trips to China and the USSR to survey the medical landscape on the other side of the Iron Curtain. He toured clinics and medical schools and met with barefoot doctors. DeBakey became a broker of valuable medical and scientific information, teaching new techniques and introducing new machines in the USSR and China, while reporting on the conditions of Chinese and Soviet medical institutions back home to the American public. His diplomatic success was possible in part because of his willingness to take other medical systems seriously—he praised the barefoot doctors and was “impressed” with Russian medical inventions that were showcased during his visits. This paper draws from archival and oral historical material in Dr. DeBakey’s personal papers to consider the ways in which he was able to gain mobility between the Cold War East and West through his expertise in medical technology. With rich diary entries describing his visits, DeBakey situated both the Western technology he helped transplant to the East as well as that which he encountered there within the topography of the Soviet and Chinese medical systems. In reflecting upon DeBakey’s Cold War travels, this paper seeks to interrogate how his influence and mobility shaped perceptions of both American and communist-sphere medical technology.
Technical Assistance and Socialist International Health
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Dora Vargha, University Of Exeter
From the establishment of the World Health Organization in 1948, the question of technical assistance was hotly debated by Eastern European countries. Recuperating from the war and undergoing radical political change, countries of the Socialist Bloc were both recipients and donors of technical assistance in a newly forming system of international health. These countries had specific ideas about the obligations of states and the role of technical aid in health that did not necessarily map on the dominant, US-led interpretation. While there is a growing literature on technical assistance and development between Eastern Europe and the so-called Third World, the role of technology and expertise at the intersection of liberal and socialist international health has been little explored. Through the case of hospital building projects and expert networks from a Hungarian perspective, this paper asks how we can understand socialist engagement in international health, and how technical aid among the Second and Third worlds fitted into a broader system of technical aid and international health.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory–Sarajevo–Moscow: An Unlikely Network in the Fight against Lysenkoism in Yugoslavia
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Vedran Duancic, Croatian Academy Of Sciences And Arts
Never officially enforced or renounced, Lysenkoism in socialist Yugoslavia was propagated since 1945 and lingered on well into the 1950s, even after the Tito-Stalin Split precipitated an early and dramatic de-Stalinization. In 1954, Mirko Korić (1894-1977), biology professor at the University of Sarajevo who was forced to retire after students rebelled against his lectures in “formal genetics,” published a book, Istina o T. D. Lisenku i njegovom učenju (The truth about T. D. Lysenko and his teachings). By far the most sophisticated and comprehensive anti-Lysenkoist piece in Yugoslavia, the book illustrated the complexity of discussing Lysenkoism in post-Stalinist Yugoslavia. Instead of summarily dismissing it, Yugoslav biologists and agronomists carefully differentiated between “deviated” and “sound” elements in the Michurinist biology. If the Yugoslav scientific leadership failed to protect Korić from militant students, he found an unlikely ally – the director of the department of Genetics, Carnegie Institution of Washington (now Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory), Milislav Demerec (1895-1966). Decades earlier, they had attended school in Croatia together. Acquainted with Korić’s situation, Demerec supplied and interpreted him with a variety of Western genetics and anti-Lysenkoist publications. The anti-Communist tone of many of these, however, made them problematic in the anti-Stalinist, yet still committedly socialist Yugoslavia. The paper will examine this and related examples of trans-Atlantic cooperation, focusing on the translation and usage of the Western anti-Lysenkoist efforts for specifically Yugoslav purposes in a time when Yugoslav scientific community drew ever more inspiration and resources from the West, but continued to build a “socialist science.”
Commentary: Global Histories of Social Science and Medicine
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Vedran Duancic, Croatian Academy Of Sciences And Arts
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 27, Rm. 032
Mapping
Format : Organized Session
Track : Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Speakers
Nydia Pineda De Avila, Universidad Nacional Autónoma De México
Anne Secord, Darwin Correspondence Project
Robert-Jan Wille, Descartes Centre / Political History, Utrecht University
Megan Barford, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK
Moderators
Meira Gold, HPS, University Of Cambridge
This session will focus on the use of maps and the practices of scientific mapping by different social groups and cultures over different periods of time. Discussions of eighteenth-century planetary mapping, nineteenth-century terrestrial and botanical mapping, and early twentieth-century climatological mapping will present a variety of approaches towards the representation of natural phenomena in space. The papers collectively will form a comparative approach to mapping, by exploring different attitudes towards a seemingly ubiquitous practice. Maps have often been regarded as embodiments of power that could be transferred to the possessor, or as the means by which to shape the way in which scientific knowledge was generated, transmitted, and understood. However, the papers will show that mapping was not always an obvious way to represent or manipulate knowledge, nor did it unambiguously confer authority on its practitioners. By exploring the use of maps in different scientific disciplines and periods, the waxing and waning of the power and value of maps, and the skills of their producers and owners, this session aims to open up a discussion of the historicity of mapping as a scientific practice.Organized by Anne Secord
A Selenography in New Spain: Colonial Strategies for Mapping Local Knowledge
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Nydia Pineda De Avila, Universidad Nacional Autónoma De México
In 1770, a Mexican criollo naturalist and antiquary, Jose Antonio Alzate, published the first selenography in the Americas: this map of the moon was a small engraving inserted at the end of a pamphlet entitled Eclypse de Luna, dedicated to Charles III of Spain. The print was a copy of a widely circulated lunar image popularised in the annual ephemerides La Connoissance du Temps (promoted by the French Académie des Science) and it was intended to illustrate an astronomical observation that would correct the position of the Mexican Meridian in a world map. This work was sent to Paris alongside natural and geological specimens, maps of Mexico and other written reports. In this way, astronomical observations were meant to locate or relocate material evidence for the description of an unknown territory, as well as promote local science. In this paper I argue that Alzate’s mapping practices (based on the connection between practices for determining longitude and the description of the Mexican territory through the making of natural collections) do not just bring to the discussion another case of colonial appropriation of visual and material strategies for establishing local authority in international contexts: this instance also brings attention to the relationship between naturalism and astronomy in late eighteenth-century debates about temperament and race.
What Do Maps Map? Finding the Way in Early Nineteenth-Century British Botany
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Anne Secord, Darwin Correspondence Project
Early nineteenth-century discoveries of rare and new plants by artisans in the north of England brought learned botanists to this relatively unknown region of Britain. However, travelling to the areas in which particular plants were known to have been found did not ensure that the desire of visiting collectors to see these plants in their native habitats was fulfilled. Not only were there few reliable maps of the wilder northern lands, but also no guarantee that the exact spot of a rare plant would be easy to find even if a traveling botanist managed to get to the correct locality. Botanists from outside the area were therefore reliant on artisans to act as guides. Historical evidence of this form of social interaction shows that it goes beyond a simple model of the appropriation of local knowledge. Instead, it brings to light different practices for knowing the land and different conceptions of what counted as knowledge of nature. Learned botanists tended to view not only the land but also knowledge itself as a form of mapping: they argued that information as well as the terrain required to be seen as if from a pinnacle in order to produce scientific generalisations. In contrast, artisans had little conception of maps either as geographical or conceptual tools. Instead, the forms of spatial knowledge they cultivated were more like itineraries. In my paper, I will investigate how mapping and maps provided both advantages and limitations in the attainment of botanical knowledge.
Turning Meteorological Data into Climate Science: Maps, Diagrams and Formulas in Germany, 1871-1914
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Robert-Jan Wille, Descartes Centre / Political History, Utrecht University
Around 1900, Germany housed several large commercial firms for map making, such as Justus Perthes in Gotha and Velhagen & Klasing in Leipzig. The first especially had a large impact on academic climatography through its scientific flagship journal Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen. This, together with the daily weather maps produced by the climatographer Wladimir Köppen at the Deutsche Seewarte from 1876, gave scientific map making in the German climate sciences an academic prestige never before possessed, even in the time of Humboldt. According to Nils Güttler, the mass-produced maps of the late nineteenth century produced new scientific principles and gave scientists and their audiences a seemingly objective Totaleindrück that data and thick description were not able to give. In the early twentieth century, however, meteorology and climatology developed into dynamical sciences thanks to the new practice of aerology, the more-than-daily collection of atmospheric data from weather balloons at different heights. Climatological maps increasingly had to compete with other forms of representation, especially mathematical formulas and diagrams. How should one represent altitude or development over time? Techniques had developed to add more than latitude and longitude on maps, such as isolines, colors, and arrows, but sometimes formulas and altitude diagrams were better in giving a Totaleindrück. I will examine the different strategies of climatological data representation by German aerologists such as Wladimir Köppen and Alfred Wegener and the Norwegian Vilhelm Bjerknes who taught in Germany, to show that ultimately maps had advantages over diagrams and especially formulas: a larger audience.
Commentary: Mapping
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Megan Barford, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK
Commentary on the papers presented by Nydia Pineda De Avila, Anne Secord, and Robert-Jan Wille
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 25, Rm. 302
People, Science, and Environment in Latin America
Format : Organized Session
Track : Earth and Environmental Sciences
Speakers
Christopher Heaney, Penn State - University Park Campus
Natalia Gándara Chacana, University College London
Matthew Franco, College Of William And Mary
Sophie Brockmann, De Montfort University, UK
Moderators
Megan Raby, University Of Texas At Austin
This session brings together papers that show how interactions with Latin American environments shaped scientific practices over three centuries, spanning the colonial and independent period. They discuss how a variety of scientific practices intersected with understandings of landscapes and environments (both natural and anthropogenic). They focus on a variety of practitioners, including pilots, natural historians and geographers in the early modern Spanish empire, and archaeologists and botanists in the 19th and 20th centuries. Papers show that local traditions as well as scientific practitioners, based 'in the field' or in scientific or political institutions far removed from this context, contributed to understandings of these environments. Concrete interactions with the landscape and imaginary environmental constructs, in turn, also came to shape scientific practices. All these papers focus on environments that have been singled out throughout history as 'extreme' in their remoteness, aridity or tropicality, and came to be part of an archetypal canon of Latin American nature in European science: the land- and sea-scapes of 18th-century Patagonia, the remote (yet strategically vital) landscape of Paraná, the often-arid environments of South America's west coast, and the agricultural landscapes of Central America. However, they have rarely been considered a factor in the making of scientific knowledge. Instead, they have been assumed to be a passive object of scientific enquiry, rather than a key factor in the interaction between science, society and politics.Organized by Sophie Brockmann
Dry Subjects: The Collection of "Artificial" and "Natural" Mummies from Peru in the Nineteenth Century History of Science
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Christopher Heaney, Penn State - University Park Campus
To preserve the dead requires a well-timed pause—a cultural and technological application of energy or chemicals to create an indefinite ellipsis between a being’s biological expiration and the decay of their matter. In the eighteenth century, natural historians borrowed a word from the Old World, ‘mummy,’ to describe ancient human specimens of that dead worldwide. These conditions are also environmentally occurring, which in some ‘extreme’ places allows the living to preserve the expired with so little effort that distinctions between living and dead subjects blur. Once such place is in South America, where peoples harnessed nitre-rich sands on the Pacific coast, and the western Andes’ cold, dry air, to preserve dead for millennia—a coupling remarked upon since the 1500s, when that place became ‘Peru.’ These conditions made the country a particularly globalized site of environmental and historical science and, when Peru’s Independence from Spain was declared in 1821, made its Inca or “ancient Peruvian” dead into highly collectible specimens, studied to distinguish between ‘artificial’ and ‘natural’ mummies. Yet when that dead travelled, they challenged epistemologies that insisted upon those distinctions. Removed from Peru’s culturally manipulated environment, the dead sometimes began to rot, requiring reproduction of ‘Peruvian’ environmental and cultural conditions to ensure preservation. In other words, if these mummies weren’t ‘artificial’ or ‘Peruvian’ beforehand, collectors ensured that that was what they became. This paper therefore explores how the reproduction of place in the history of science extended supposedly peripheral cultures and geographies of science into the metropole.
Charting an Environmental Frontier: The Hydrographic Expeditions of Colonial Spanish America to the Western Patagonian Channels (1760s-1790s)
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Natalia Gándara Chacana, University College London
As the European empires expanded to the Pacific region in the 18th century, the passages that linked the Atlantic with the Pacific Ocean began to play a more significant role in the connection and navigation of the globe. In spite of it being perceived as a remote and a dangerous environment, the southern passages such as the Patagonian channels attracted the attention of several scientific expeditions conducted by the British and Spanish Empires. Recently, historiography has addressed the Spanish metropolitan expeditions that transformed this remote waterscape into a scientific laboratory by fathoming and charting this seascape. Building on this, the paper will focus on the scientific expeditions sent by the colonial authorities in Spanish America, emphasising their role and contribution to the knowledge of the region. The paper will explore two ideas. Firstly, it will address this seascape as an environmental frontier, exploring the geographical images generated by these local expeditions that depicted Western Patagonia as a dangerous and untamed nature. Secondly, it will address the way in which the expeditions sent from Lima and Santiago generated a corpus of local knowledge, highlighting the role of Spanish pilots based in South America and the expertise of local sailors in the production of hydrographic and geographic knowledge of the Patagonian environment. By studying such cases, this paper challenges the more traditional perspectives that depict the region as a mere consumer of metropolitan knowledge, as it explores the ways in which the Patagonian environment influenced the scientific practices of the explorers.
Eighteen Years in the Paraná: Explorations of Latin American Nature by Diego de Alvear y Ponce de Leon
14:30 - 15:00
Presented by :
Matthew Franco, College Of William And Mary
Following the Treaty of Madrid (1750) a bilateral Boundary Demarcation Commission was established to negotiate a permanent Luso-Hispanic Boundary in Ibero-America. The division between Spanish and Portuguese America remained imprecise, metaphorically drawn through a wild hinterland characterized by impenetrability and seclusion. Owing to the lack of scientific observations, the Commission dispatched parties of geographers to survey the limits and study its environmental conditions. The career of one Spanish agent, Diego de Alvear y Ponce de Leon (1749-1830), illustrates the prolonged process of boundary demarcation and the extensive observations and measurements it produced. Although colonial agents and Jesuit priests traveled through Amazonia and the upper Paraná beginning in the sixteenth century, the indigenous populations and natural resources of these regions remained largely understudied. Simply put: what lay hidden within the imposing environment? Surveying efforts began in 1751 and stretched as late as 1801 in remote regions. The scope of the project strained imperial resources, but it also produced unprecedented European observations of some of the most remote environments in Ibero-America. Alvear’s eighteen-year survey of the Paraná and Paraguay river basins included cartographic surveys, natural historical writings, and proto-ethnographic reports. Drawing on Alvear’s diary from the survey and his published account of the region, this paper will examine Spanish conceptions of the Paraná as an extreme environment through the lens of environmental, political, and social history.
The (Banana) Landscape and Archaeology in Central America, 1890-1940
15:00 - 15:30
Presented by :
Sophie Brockmann, De Montfort University, UK
This paper explores how different interpretations of the landscape and environment around two archaeological sites of 20th-century Central America (Quiriguá in Guatemala and Copán in Honduras) made these sites contested spaces. It follows thematic trends across the records of several North American archaeological expeditions between the 1890s and 1940s, chiefly the Harvard Peabody Museum expedition to Copán in Honduras in 1892-3 and the expedition to Quiriguá in Guatemala, led by William Duncan Strong for the Bureau of American Ethnology in 1936. Field sites were not self-contained scientific spaces, but embedded in a rural landscape with all its social, agricultural and commercial relationships. Local, regional and transnational actors all had a stake in controlling the natural and built environment, and foreign and local scholars, farmers, and labourers interacted in different ways with these environments. In fact, by paying attention to the micro-geographies of the archaeological field site, we can uncover facets of daily life and labour relations in the rural landscapes which were fundamental to Guatemalan and Honduran history in this era. Archaeologists and local farmers argued about agricultural practices within the supposed boundaries of the archaeological sites. In the case of Quiriguá in particular, which was located in the midst of a United Fruit banana plantation, the terrain’s primary function as an agricultural landscape (the archetype of ‘tropical agriculture’ for North Americans) permeated all aspects of the archaeologists’ practice, from finding suitable labourers to fashioning themselves ‘tropical explorers’.
13:30 - 15:30
Drift 25, Rm. 101
Periodicals and Publications
Format : Contributed Papers
Track : Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Speakers
Chi Chi Huang, History Department, University Of Hong Kong
Yasuhiro Okazawa, Kyoto University
Rienk Vermij, University Of Oklahoma
Moderators
Alex Csiszar, Harvard University
Science Reigns Supreme: Conceptualising Public Science in the Illustrated London News
13:30 - 14:00
Presented by :
Chi Chi Huang, History Department, University Of Hong Kong
The Illustrated London News (ILN) published a regular column on science in society from the late 1880s. Titled under various labels, “Science Jottings”, “Science and Natural History”, “The World of Science”, this column sought to provide the British public with a scientific engagement of the world around them. From the late 1880s to 1946 the column was written by five men, curating the scientific knowledge of the ILN’s readership. The first editor, Dr. Andrew Wilson, wrote in April 1906 that “Science reigns supreme” given the “widespread range of interests … with which she is largely concerned”. Wilson’s claim was that science proliferated into every tendril of society and was indispensable to present-day living and it was the column’s mandate to detail how. In order to cover the vast expanse of science, topics jumped from crime one week to morals the next followed by noise and dust. This paper explores the ILN’s science column from the late 1880s to 1946 to understand how five science editors defined and mapped out the contours of the concept of “science” in the British public in a haphazard and undirected manner. The ILN was one of the most read periodicals in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, providing a good case study for exploring the spread of scientific knowledge in society. At the core of this paper, I reflect on the role of periodicals in disseminating “soundbites” of science and the “chatter” they created at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Colourless Writings of Statisticians and Their Distant Readers: Creating a New Mode of Reading in the Journal of the Statistical Society of London, 1838-1858
14:00 - 14:30
Presented by :
Yasuhiro Okazawa, Kyoto University
Established in 1834 for the collection of facts, the Statistical Society of London (SSL) played a central role in the moulding of statistical facts. The SSL defined statistical facts as the aggregation of numerous observations and reduced the value of single observations to isolated facts that alone could not be accepted as evidence. For the production of statistical facts, the SSL promoted two measures: conducting a coordinated observation to collect new facts and gleaning facts from existing literature. While the SSL left the former to governments, it devoted its resources to fostering the latter. To fulfil this mission, the Journal of the Statistical Society of London (JSSL) was created in 1838 as a virtual storehouse of existing facts where one could find facts of interest. The JSSL allowed individuals to share their small-scale observations for further aggregation as well as to publish statistical tables compiled from scattered facts that were already published elsewhere. As with its contemporaries, the JSSL was designed to serve posterity, which led the journal to include what apparently bore little importance at the time but might be of int