Monthly Archives: December 2010

Of Machines and Men

I recently published a post about the qualities that make up the perfect astronaut – the most physically and mentally fit men were the desired qualities of America’s first astronauts. The “strapping young Presbyterian lad” is certainly not the ideal … Continue reading

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The second scientific revolution.

You mean there was more than one?

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Lisa Jardine’s Jacob Bronowski Film

Until December 16th Through December 23rd, historian Lisa Jardine’s new film about her father, British mathematician and science popularizer Jacob Bronowski, is available on the BBC website but, alas, it can only be viewed in the UK.  (I can’t tell … Continue reading


Kangaroos and geologists: The first geological exploration of Australia

It was one of the most ambitious scientific expeditions of all times, the “Geographe” and “Naturaliste” were intended to explore the geology, botany, zoology and anthropology of the distant and largely unknown continent of Hollandia Nova, sometimes referred also as … Continue reading

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Six, five, four, three…

There are only six days left until A (Scientific) Christmas Carol the special 19th century science edition of Giants’ Shoulders (#30) at Whewell’s Ghoston 16th December. That means you have just five days to make your submission either direct to Rebekah Higgitts … Continue reading

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New HPS blog: Scientia

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and my colleague Manfred Laubichler have launched a new HPS blog, Scientia, aimed at “[e]xploring the multiple ways history can inform current scientific debates and contributing to more integrated perspectives on science in … Continue reading

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[Review] Adam’s Ancestors: Race, Religion and the Politics of Human Origins.

It is not often that one reads a book that discusses both the sixteenth century Spanish human rights advocate Bartolomé de Las Casas and the twentieth century American neo-Nazi Richard Butler, but David Livingstone’s latest monograph does just that. Livingstone offers a … Continue reading

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Darwin’s motivation

For some time now I have been convinced that Darwin’s original and most pressing problem was not adaptation. It was the existence of taxonomic diversity. I have thought that the debates over what was a natural classification amongst the unjustly … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, History | Tagged , | 1 Comment

[Review] Wiker “The Darwin Myth”

[The following review appeared in the Journal of the History of Biology 43: 609-611] Benjamin Wiker, The Darwin Myth: The Life and Lies of Charles Darwin, (Washington DC, Regnery, 2009), xii + 196pp., $27.95. When the promotional material for a … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | 6 Comments

Longitude Project and Blog

My blogging loyalties are now divided (or perhaps cross-fertilised) as I am also blogging at the new Longitude Blog, set up for all the researchers involved with an AHRC-funded project on the history of the Board of Longitude at the … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments