Whewell’s Gazette: Vol: #19

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 #19

Monday 27 October 2014


Your favourite #HistSTM weekly links digest this week reaches its nineteenth edition. Nineteen is a prime number, which played an important role in the history of calendric studies, the attempt to impose order on the march of time that is so important to the historian. The solar year and the lunar month are incommensurable, a fancy mathematical term that means you can’t measure the one with the other without ungainly bits left over. This quirk of nature caused major problems for the astronomers of ancient culture before the discovery of the so-called Metonic cycle. Named after the fifth-century BCE Greek astronomer Meton who introduced it into Greek calendric calculations, it was actually discovered earlier by an unknown Babylonian astronomer. The Metonic cycle relies on the fact that nineteen solar years are only about two hours shorter than 235 synodic (lunar) months. So in order to bring a lunar monthly calendar into line with a yearly solar calendar one just needs to add seven leap months into a nineteen-year cycle. In the traditional Hebrew lunar-solar calendar these are added in the years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17 and 19. European Christian culture, of course, long ago adopted a purely solar calendar with totally arbitrary months divorced from the cycle of the lunar phases.

One of the most important English astronomers of the seventeenth-century was Sir Christopher Wren who today is mostly remembered for his architectural achievements, in particular St Paul’s Cathedral in London and the Sheldon Theatre in Oxford. The good Sir Christopher turned 382 on 20 October and was honoured with a Google Doodle.

He is this week’s birthday of the week and the nineteenth edition of Whewell’s Gazette is dedicated to his memory.

Quote of the Week:

Writing history is like drinking an ocean and pissing a cupful (so said Flaubert, apparently)” h/t @beckyfh


Birthday of the Week: Sir Christopher Wren born 20 October 1632

Christopher Wren by Godfrey Kneller 1711

Christopher Wren
by Godfrey Kneller 1711

British Museum: Christopher Wren, Design for the Dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, a drawing in brown ink over pencil

Youtube: St Paul’s returns to former glory

ODNB: Sir Christopher Wren

Christopher Wren  Edward Pearce 1673

Christopher Wren
Edward Pearce 1673

The H-Word: Google Doodle forgot to celebrate Christopher Wren the man of science

Hartlib Circle: Christopher Wren’s three-story beehive

Yovisto: Christopher Wren and his Masterpiece – St Paul’s Cathedral

Maths in the City: St Paul’s Cathedral London

The Renaissance Mathematicus: Not just an architect

Cartoon by Moose Allain

Cartoon by Moose Allain


AIP History: Oral History Transcript – Sir James Chadwick

Ptak Science Books: History of Mattresses: the Suspended Sleep of the Atomic Bomb, 1945

The Renaissance Mathematicus: Little things matter – for want of a semicolon

AIP History: Oral History Transcript – Felix Bloch

Yovisto: Felix Bloch and the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Method

Felix Bloch  (1905 – 1983) Image: Stanford University / Courtesy Stanford News Service

Felix Bloch
(1905 – 1983)
Image: Stanford University / Courtesy Stanford News Service

Echoes From The Vault: 52 Weeks of Historical How-To’s, Week 51: How To Discover a Planet

Yovisto: The Planetary Tables of Erasmus Reinhold


Citylab: Mapping the Age of Every Building in Manhattan

Royal Museums Greenwich: Solving Longitude: Magnetism

In propria persona: On the legal basis for English possession of North America

Portuguese map (1574) by Luís Teixeira

Portuguese map (1574) by Luís Teixeira

Medievalist.net: The Ebstorf Map: tradition and contents of a medieval picture of the world

Discovery News: Century-Old Notebook From Antarctic Expedition Found


FT Magazine: Marie Stopes: 100 years of sex advice

Marie Stopes in 1913

Marie Stopes in 1913

h-madness: New Issue of Journal of the History of the Neurosciences

Notches: Death by Celibacy: Sex, Semen and Male Health in the Middle Ages

The Recipes Project: Mrs. Corlyon’s Pimple Cream: A Toxic Topical

Salve for pimples on the face. Ms, 14th century, Vienna. Wellcome Library, London.

Salve for pimples on the face. Ms, 14th century, Vienna. Wellcome Library, London.

Philly.com – The Public’s Health: Yellow fever and Ebola: similar scourges, centuries apart

Advances in the History of Psychology: Alfred Binet: Naissance de la Psychologie Scientifique

The Generous Georgian: Dr Richard Mead: Inoculating ‘The Speckled Monster’

The Generous Georgian: Dr Richard Mead: A Duel over Smallpox


Diseases of Modern Life: The Dogs’ Bach

Remedia: Abilities first? Institutions for disabled children in Victorian and Edwardian Britain


CBC News: St. Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener celebrates 90 years

Panacea: Plus ça change: Infectious diseases Past & Present

CHoM News: 60 Years Ago This Week: Thomas Huckle Weller and the Nobel Prize

Royal College of Physicians: ‘The ornament of his age’

The Medicine Chest: Do(n’t) try this at home: Simon Witgeest’s New Theatre of Arts

NYAM: Reflections on “Art, Anatomy and the Body: Vesalius 500”

NYAM: Polio: A Fearful Disease Nears Its End

Medievalist.net: Surgery in the 14th Century

Medical Rare Books from Washington University: External Remedies for Accidents


Yovisto: Giovanni Maria Lancisi and his Medical Discoveries

Science of Us: Ancient Brits Had Less Gum Disease Than Modern Ones

Concocting History: She-Wolf


Othmeralia: AROMATICS


The Linnean Vol. 30: (PDF) Homing In: Alfred Russel Wallace’s Homes in Britain (1852 to 1913)

The Embryo Project: Christiane Nusslein-Volhard

Medievalist.net: ‘I know not what it is’: Illustrating Plants in Medieval Manuscripts

Tractatus de herbis Simon de Genoa

Tractatus de herbis
Simon de Genoa

The Embryo Project: Mary Warnock

The Return of Native Nordic Fauna: Otters then and now, north and south

Nature: The discovery of Homo floresiensis: Tales of the hobbit

Natural History Apostils: False alternatives in creationism and Darwin-conspiracy theories

The Tentacle: The Continuing Curious Case of Ali Wallace

Wall Street Journal: How ‘Genocide Was Coined’

Los Exploradores de Adviento: Alfred Russel Wallace


Thinking Like a Mountain: Reviving Frozen Fish in Manchester! Investigation Natural History, 1775-1851

The Embryo Project: Wilhelm August Oscar Hertwig

The Embryo Project: Victor Jollos (1887–1941)


The Public Domain Review: The Mysteries of Nature and Art


Guardian: Information Age: the radio transmitter that changed our world

Inside the Science Museum: Revealing The Real Cooke and Wheatstone Telegraph Dial

Yovisto: Samuel W. Anderson and the Crash Test Dummies

Latinos Post: Apple Computer Made at Steve Job’s Garage in 1976 Sold For $905 000

Gizmodo: A Brief History of Buildings That Spin

Yovisto: Charles Joseph Minard and the Art of Infographics

Guardian: Coils and cables; Science Museum opens information age gallery

The Recipes Project: Reading How-To Workshop

History Today: The Origins of the Shroud of Turin

Yovisto: William Higinbotham and Tenis for Two

My medieval foundry: Introductory post

The Appendix: The Appearance of Being Earnest


Corpus Newtonicum: Adventures in Huntingdonland, Pt. 3

There’s A Spider In The Bath: A Fortnight at the Royal Institution

The Conversation: Interdisciplinary research must sit at the heart of universities

Cambridge Journals Blog: Dipping a toe into the water of open access – BJHS THEMES

Doctor or Doctress? Explore American history through the eyes of women physicians

Sideways Look at Science: One Year In Research, Part I: Giving Birth to a Research Project


Nursing Clio: Adventures in the Archives: Living in a Material World

Harvard University Library: Harvard Library Policy on Access to Digital Reproductions of Works in the Public Domain

Conciatore: San Giovanni

"Florence - Church of San Giovanni, the Baptistry", Photo: Giacomo Brogi (1822-1881).

“Florence – Church of San Giovanni, the Baptistry”,
Photo: Giacomo Brogi (1822-1881).

Medical Heritage Library: “Seeing With a Better Eye” Through the MHL

Nature: In retrospect: On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences

Letters from Gondwana: Mary Somerville, Queen of Science

Royal Museums Greenwich: What your wig says about you

The Guardian: How 1,000 years of Arabic scholarship advanced scientific debate – in pictures

University of Newcastle: Gertrude Bell Archive

Guardian: MI5 spied on leading British historians for decades, secret files reveal

MIT Technology Reviews: Isaac Asimov Asks, “How Do People Get New Ideas”

Royal Museums Greenwich: The Bitter Trade; Spices, Smugglers and State-Sponsored Killings

The #EnvHist Weekly

Res Obscura: A Compendium of Obscure Things #6


History of the Present: Paper: Ian Hesketh: The Story of Big History

Making Science Public: Making science picturesque

World Science Festival: 5 Great Scientists Who Never Won A Nobel Prize

THE: Object lessons: 100 examples of the stuff history was made on


Jeanne de Montbaston: Witches and Wicked Bodies: Imagining the ‘Other’

Distillatio: Why are some medieval alchemical texts more popular than others?

Forbidden Histories: A Night of Mesmerism and Psychology at Barts Museum

Ritman Library: John Dee’s “Monas Hieroglyphica”


History of Alchemy: Podcast: Alchemists’ Halloween Special



Early Modern Medicine: Aphrodisiacs, Fertility and Medicine


Harvard University Press: Working Knowledge: Making the Human Sciences from Parsons to Kuhn

Historiens de la santé: The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution

Science Book a Day: The Control of Nature

Academia.edu: Notes on Recent Publications: Histories of the Hidden God etc

Jezebel: No Love for Lovelace: A Closer Read of Walter Isaacson’s Innovators

The Dispersal of Darwin: Darwin’s Dice: the Idea of Chance in the Thoughts of Charles Darwin

Brill: The Problem of Disenchantment: Scientific Naturalism and Esoteric Discourse 1900-1939

The Dispersal of Darwin: Extinction and Evolution: What Fossils Reveal About the History of Life

Amazon: Commercial Visions, Trade and Visual Culture in the Dutch Golden Age h/t @margocsy

OUP: Tangible Things: Making History Through Objects



Alive in the Age of Worry: Review “The Imitation Game”



Vimeo: De Herinacio – On The Hedgehog

Youtube: The Medieval University

National Science Foundation: Chance Discoveries: Artificial Sweeteners

Youtube: Science Museum: Information Age 8 videos

Youtube: Dr. Roger Smith’s 2014 American Psychological Association Society for the History of Psychology Mary Whiton Calkins Address Title: Science Encounters the Humanities: History of Kinaesthesia/Touch and Metaphors of Feeling


Meta Filter: Do you like vintage training/ educational films? Meet Jeff Quitney includes many #histSTM videos


BBC: Hidden Histories of the Information Age


Elizabeth M. Covart: Jeanne Abrams, Revolutionary Medicine: The Founding Fathers and Mothers in Sickness and in Health

NPR: The Slide Rule: A Computing Device That Put A Man On The Moon


CHSTM Manchester: The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM) at the University of Manchester will be holding a Graduate Studies Open Day on Wednesday 26 November 2014.

CHSTM Manchester: CfP: Stories about science: exploring science communication and entertainment media 4-5 June 2015

Harvard STS: STS Fellows Program

Warwick University: CfP: Networks of Media and Print in the Age of Imperialism 23 April 2015

AHA Today: American Historical Association Announces the 2014 Prize Winners

Cambridge University Library: Exhibition: The use and abuse of books 1450-1550: Private lives of print

6th Norwegian Conference on the History of Science: CfP: Oslo 11-13 February 2015

Society for the Social History of Medicine: CfP: The History of the Body: Approaches and Directions 16 May 2015

Society for the Social History of Medicine: Conference: Segregation and Integration in the History of the Hospital Dubrovnik 10-11 April 2015

Society for the Social History of Medicine: CfP: The Black Sea in the Socialist World Birkbeck College London 6-7 February 2015

Society for the Social History of Medicine: Conference: Bodies Beyond Borders: The Circulation of Anatomical Knowledge, 1750-1950 Leuven, Belgium 7-9 January 2015

Palace Green Library Durham: Exhibition: Book Bindings from the Middle Ages to the Modern Day 4 October 4014 to 4 January 2015

Royal Museums Greenwich: Lecture: The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch

Museums Association: Sharon Heal appointed director of the Museums Association

Wellcome Trust: Lecture: Men, Medicine and Masculinity: male sexual health in the Long 17th Century 28 October 2014

Forbidden Histories: Free Access to Studies in History and Philosophy of Science C Special Section, “Psychical Research in the History of Science and Medicine”

University of York: CfP: Magic and Intellectual History 5 March 2015

Studies in travel writing: CfP: Women’s Writing: Special Issue on Journeys to Authority: Travel Writing and the Rise of the Woman of Letters Deadline: 1 May 2015

Canadian Society for the History of Medicine: CfP: 2015 Annual Conference

That Camp SHOT: Propose sessions


CHSTM Manchester: The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM) at the University of Manchester offers two fully funded studentships (including maintenance allowance) for graduate study in the history of the biological sciences and/or medicine after 1800.


University of Groningen: 7 Rosalind Franklin Fellowships at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

University of California – Berkeley: Assistant/Associate/Full Professor – Philosophy

ASU School of Life Sciences: The School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University invite applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor in the area of philosophy of biology.

University of Cambridge: Graduate funding opportunities in History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge for entry in October 2015

Science Museum Group: Keeper of Medicine

Michigan State University: Assistant Professor of History, Philosophy, and Sociology (HPS) of Computing, Networks, or Big Data





































































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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2 Responses to Whewell’s Gazette: Vol: #19

  1. Thanks for linking to my blog post!

  2. Subscribing to you now. Great list of resources. Thanks for including Science Book a Day in there too 🙂

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