History of science

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for History of science

Here are some of the thoughts and questions that stayed with me from this session. (Here are my tweets from the session and the session’s wiki page.) The session was led by John McKay and Eric Michael Johnson. John posted the text of his presentation and Eric posted his presentation a la YouTube. I’m going…

Here in the Northern Hemisphere (of Earth), today marks the Winter Solstice. Most people have some understanding that this means today is the day of minimum sunlight, or the longest night of the year. Fewer people, I think, have a good astronomical sense of why that is the case. So, in honor of the solstice,…

Thursday, October 8, at 8 pm, the Firebird Ensemble will be performing The Origin Cycle, eight selections from Charles Darwin’s work Origin of Species set to music. The performance will be at Stanford University’s Campbell Recital Hall, and tickets are free, but you’ll want to reserve your seats online ahead of the performance. Here’s a…

In my philosophy of science class yesterday, we talked about Semmelweis and his efforts to figure out how to cut the rates of childbed fever in Vienna General Hospital in the 1840s. Before we dug into the details, I mentioned that Semmelweis is a historical figure who easily makes the Top Ten list of Great…

Maria Mitchell and the Sexing of Science: An Astronomer among the American Romantics by RenĂ©e Bergland Boston: Beacon Press 2008 What is it like to be a woman scientist? In a society where being a woman is somehow a distinct experience from being an ordinary human being, the answer to this question can be complicated.…

Today is Ada Lovelace Day. Regular readers of this blog may recall that I am a tremendous Luddite. Obviously, this should not be taken to mean I am against all technological advances across the board (as here I am, typing on a computer, preparing a post that will be published using blogging software on the…

It turns out that the session on electronic scholarship I mentioned didn’t really get into the defining characteristics of electronic scholarship, nor how it might differ from “digital media”. (Part of this had to do with trying to fit spiels from nine speakers into a 75 minute session while still allowing time for discussion. You…

In a follow-up to her review of Motherhood, the Elephant in the Laboratory: Women scientists speak out by Emily Monosson, Alison George decided to investigate how many women who won Nobels also did the motherhood thing: I started at the first Nobel prize awarded to a woman: Marie Curie, in 1903. To my surprise, she…

Following up on the earlier discussion here and at Chad’s about the “fundamental difference” between chemistry and physics, I wanted to have a look at a historical moment that might provide some insight into the mood along the border between the two fields. It strikes me that the boundaries between chemistry and physics, as between…

When academics IM …

… Page 3.14 shares the transcript. Go read what we said when Ben Cohen and I shot the cyberbreeze about Karl Popper and the allure he holds for scientists. I can’t promise it will leave you ROTFLYAO, but it might make you TTFN.