Monthly Archives: May 2012

Crimes against history: literary imagination and scientific method

A recent article in The Nation, by Peter Reddaway and Stephen F. Cohen on ‘Orlando Figes and Stalin’s Victims‘, reveals a fascinating story of the darker side of historical scholarship. It also got me thinking about some old, old debates about … Continue reading

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Mapping the history of triangulation

Triangulation was for about 400 years until the invention of GPS the only tool available to cartographers to help them produce highly accurate maps. Maps that had hugh political, economic, scientific and military significance in the modern era. Have you … Continue reading

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Giants’ Shoulders is visiting the Medical Heritage Library

The Medical Heritage Library has invited Giants’ Shoulders the history of science blog carnival to visit and has made its visitor feel very much at home. Hanna Clutterbuck has put together a bumper crop of choice history of science bloggage for your … Continue reading

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Giants’ Shoulders #47 has gone missing!

If you have been paying attention you might have noticed that the history of science blog carnival Giants’ Shoulders #47 failed to appear as previously announced on 16th May. Due to organisational problems it has in fact been delayed and will … Continue reading

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Cutting a dash: men of science as ‘historical hotties’

I had a bit of fun this week tweeting links to portraits of some 19th-century men of science, suggesting that they were ’19thC scientific hotties’. Such a phrase is not, I should add, my usual vocabulary, and nor is a … Continue reading

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A mathematician who became Pope.

It might be the £500,000 question on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”, which mediaeval mathematician became Pope? [To find the answer go here]

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Long-distance longitude

Over a year ago I wrote a post ‘Sympathetic vibrations‘ that mentioned a 1688 pamphlet that included (as satire) a means of finding longitude by using a ‘Powder of Sympathy’. The idea was that this could be used to enduce … Continue reading

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