Whewell’s Gazette: Vol. 10

Whewell’s Gazette

Your weekly digest of all the best of

Internet history of science, technology and medicine

Editor in Chief: The Ghost of William Whewell


Volume #10

Monday 25 August 2014


We can hardly believe it ourselves but this is the tenth edition of Whewell’s Gazette your weekly digest of the best in the histories of science, technology and medicine, so we are dedicating this edition to Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans. You may ask yourself why we are doing this.

The Pythagoreans who are considered to be one of the founders of Western science were great believers in numerology, who considered the natural numbers to be the building blocks of the cosmos and for them the number ten was the most special number in their metaphysical beliefs.

Ten was known as the Tetraktys (meaning four) by the Pythagorean, being the sum of the first four natural numbers 1+2+3+4 = 10 and displayed as a triangular number.


It had many interpretations. One is a point or zero dimensions, two is two points forming a straight line or one dimension, three is three points forming a triangle or two dimensions and four is four points forming a tetrahedron or three dimensions. For the Pythagoreans there were ten celestial bodies: the fixed stars, the seven planets (Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn), the Earth and Antichthon (the counter-earth). The Earth and Anthichthon revolve around the Central Fire, a theory that led Copernicus to erroneously attribute heliocentricity to the Pythagoreans, which in turn led Copernican being referred to as Pythagoreans in the Early Modern Period.

Following a lively discussion on Twitter the editorial team of Whewell’s Gazette have decided to replace the hash tag tape worm #histsci, #histtech & #histmed with the single hash tag #histSTM and we hope that all historians of science, medicine and technology will follow our example and adopt this space and character saving device in future.



Birthdays of the Week: H. P. Lovecraft! (20 August 1890)


Letters from Gondwana: Halloween Special: Lovecraft and the Mountains of Madness

The Dynamic Earth: At the Orogen of Madness



Haeckel’s Kunstformen der Natur (1904), plate 90: Cystoidea. From Wikimedia Commons

The Devil’s Exercise Yard: “Don’t mention the war.” – some thoughts on H.P. Lovecraft and race

Georges Cuvier 23 August 1769


The Embryo Project: Georges Cuvier (1769-1832)

Stratotype of Basin of Paris (1808)

Stratotype of Basin of Paris (1808)


Voices of the Manhattan Project: Podcast: Glen Seaborg’s Interview

Wiener Zeitung: Wiener Physiker Walter Thirring verstorben

The four Nobel laureates of NBI. Niels Bohr is on the right. Who can name the others? Via @telescoper

The four Nobel laureates of NBI. Niels Bohr is on the right. Who can name the others? Via @telescoper

Pat’s Blog: Why there are seven colours in the rainbow

Voices of the Manhattan Project: Podcast: Robert Hayes’s Interview

Science Notes: Today in Science History – August 23 – Charles-Augustin de Coulomb


Halley’s Log: Halley and Longitude


The New Yorker: The Real “Knick”

BBC Travel: New York City’s most morbid museum

The Prague Revue: The Plague in Rhyme (Or Not)

Philly.com: Historical antecedents to experimental Ebola treatments

NYAM: The Practical Druggist 1917

New York Academy of Medicine: The Fabrica of Andreas Vesalius: Object of the Month

Vesalius Fabrica Frontispiece 1543

Vesalius Fabrica Frontispiece 1543

New York Academy of Medicine: Electrification

Notches: (re)marks on the history of sexuality: ‘A Tempory Member’: ‘Hermaphrodites’ and Sexual Identity in Early Modern Russia


About.com: Chemistry: Who Invented the Periodic Table?

Yovisto: Jöns Jacob Berzelius – One of the founders of modern chemistry

Conciatore: Neri’s Cabinet #2


Public Domain Review: The Bestarium of Aloys Zötl (1831–1887)

Public Domain Review: Birds from The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands (1754)

Public Domain Review: Redressing the Balance: Levinus Vincent’s Wonder Theatre of Nature

Detail from a print featured in the first part of Vincent’s Wondertooneel der Nature

Detail from a print featured in the first part of Vincent’s Wondertooneel der Nature


Making Science Public: Fermenting thought: A new look at synthetic biology

History Matters: Old Leaves and New: From Gloucestershire Tobacco to Albanian Pot

Geological Society of London Blog: A new version of Sopwith’s Buckland portrait

Embryo Project: Hwang Woo-suk’s Use of Human Eggs for Research 2002-2005

The Copenhagen Post: Danish museum finds lost Charles Darwin treasure

Houghton Library Blog: The Poet as Naturalist: Thomas Grey’s copy of Linnaeus’ Systema Naturae


History of Geology: Pompeii – a Geological Movie-Review: Introducing the Main Character


The Daguerreian Society: The Daguerreian Process: A Description

The Recipes Project: Illuminating the ‘elusive’: reconstructing mediaeval recipes for anthocyanin pigments

The Recipes Project: Old-Fashioned Recipes, New-Fashioned Kitchens: Technology and Women’s Recipe Collecting in the Nineteenth Century

Frontispiece showing two women working in a kitchen. Mrs. E.A. Howland, The American Economical Housekeeper and Family Receipt Book (Cincinnati: H.W. Derby & Co., 1845). Library of Congress.

Frontispiece showing two women working in a kitchen. Mrs. E.A. Howland, The American Economical Housekeeper and Family Receipt Book (Cincinnati: H.W. Derby & Co., 1845). Library of Congress.

Computer History Museum: Who Invented the IC?

Yovisto: William Murdock ‘enlights’ the 19th Century

Atlas Obscura: Horologium Mirabile Lundense


AEON: Small things: The discovery of a microscopic world shook the foundations of theology and created modern demons

Guardian: Podcast: The science of the invisible

Evolving Thoughts: Some more videos: John Wilkins shorts on philosophy of science

The Public Domain Review: Highlights from Folger Shakespeare Library’s Release of almost 80 000 Images


Nautilus: Public, Pointed Scientific Spats – Feature, Not Bug

The Times of India: IIEST plans to marry arts and science

The Royal Society: The Repository: A proverb in the hand…

London Historians’ Blog: Gresham, the Great Golden Grasshopper

The Gresham family badge: a grasshopper.

The Gresham family badge: a grasshopper.

The Sloane Letters Blog: How to Build a Universal Collection, or Nicknackatory:

Open Culture: Sigmund Freud Appears in Rare Surviving Video & Audio Recorded During the 1930s

Compass Wallah: The Astronomer & the Chessboard: Reading List

The Creativity Post: Science Is Not About Certainty


Conciatore: Don Giovanni

New Republic: Houdini Loved to Use His Magic to Expose Real Con Artists Edmund Wilson 1925


The Atlantic: Who has the right to pain relief?

James Ungureanu: Victorian Scientific Naturalism

James Ungureanu: The Age of Scientific Naturalism

Joanne Bailey Muses on History: Meditating on Materiality – a 3-part book review: Part1, Part 2, Part 3


The Denver Post: TV finds heroes in science: Physicists, sexologists, surgeons and more


Guardian: Review: Thatcher and Hodgkin: A personal and political chemistry?


The Hakluyt Society Essay Prize

Rachel Carson Center: Turku Book Award #histenv

UCL: First London Philosophy of Science Graduate Workshop – Approaches Within Philosophy of Science Date: 2-3 September 2014

The Royal Institution: Join the Ri

Cambridge University Press: New Book: Daryn Lehoux, What Did the Romans Know? : An Inquiry into Science and Worldmaking

Queen Mary University of London: CfP: Being Modern: Science and Culture in the early 20thcentury Institute of Historical Research, London 22-24 April 2015

National Maritime Museum: The Whale: an exploration 20 September

Bloomsbury History: New Book: A History of Environmentalism

CRASSH: Things that Matter 1400-1900 Alternate Wednesdays 12.00-2.00pm during term time

Cleveland.com: Author Kate Manning to hold book launch party at Dittrick Museum for tale of ‘Notorious’ midwife

ChoM News: Marian Cabot Putnam Papers Open for Research

Leeds University –Faculty of Arts: Shaping the Trading Zone: Bringing Aesthetics and Philosophy of Science Together 5–6 September 2014

Irish History Podcasts: Book Project Blog: 1348 A Medieval Apocalypse The Black Death in Ireland

Scientific Instrument Society Research Grants


Rochester Institute of Technology: Assistant Professor – Sociocultural Context of Science and Technology

UCL: STS Vacancies

Science Europe: Vacancy Notice: Senior Scientific Officer (Humanities) pdf















































About thonyc

Aging freak who fell in love with the history of science and now resides mostly in the 16th century.
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1 Response to Whewell’s Gazette: Vol. 10

  1. acaimbeul says:

    I’d love to see a Mathematics section, and, come to think of it, more history of mathematics blogs…

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