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Internet history of science, technology and medicine
Editor in Chief: The Ghost of William Whewell
Monday 17 November 2014
Recent utterances by politicians have demonstrated the importance of a strong public understanding of the history of the sciences and related disciples (#histSTM). First we had the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a speech, as part of his extreme Hindu nationalist political programme, claiming that all sorts of modern science and medicine were known to the Hindus in Vedic times and are thus not discoveries of the Western World. He was slapped down fast enough by Indian historians and historian of science but his speech will undoubtedly have influenced many less knowledgeable Indians convincing them that the West has stolen their heritage. India did indeed make important contributions to the evolution of science, a fact that is often not adequately acknowledged in Western accounts of STM history but not the rubbish that Modi spouted.
This weekend saw a second outbreak of the falsification of STM history, this time exploration, for religious nationalist propaganda purposes by Turkey’s recently elected President and ex-prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In a speech delivered to South American Muslim leaders Erdoğan claimed that it wasn’t Columbus who discovered America but Muslims who sailed there in 1178. Erdoğan went on to claim, “Columbus mentions a mosque on a hill on the coast of Cuba”. This bizarre claim is not new but is based on an article from 1996 by the historian Youssef Mroueh. In fact the entry from Columbus’ journal merely describes a hill as having the form of a mosque.
Such attempts by politicians to interpret or even rewrite the history of science in the interest of their own religion or nationalist beliefs are nothing new. One only needs to think of the, in the meantime, more than two hundred year long dispute amongst nationalist as to whether Copernicus is German or Polish, a totally meaningless dispute with reference to the times in which he actually lived. One grotesque highpoint of this dispute was an imperial decree issued by the Nazi, unfortunately still in force in Germany, that the name Copernicus is to be spelt Kopernikus!
Nationalism has no place in STM history and all STM historians should feel obligated to fight against any attempts by politicians to rewrite STM history for propaganda purposes.
“Modern science is a conglomeration of different cultures and civilisations. All these contributions were marginalised due to politics.” @irfhabib – h/t@fadesingh
Let us reclaim STM history for the historians
PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY:
Conciatore: Galileo and Glass Reprise
Irish Philosophy: John Stewart Bell: The Nature of Reality
Atomic Heritage Foundation: Remembering Veterans who worked on the Manhattan Project
Huff Post Business: What I Learned from Einstein: The Importance of Culture
Symmetry: The November Revolution
EXPLORATION and CARTOGRAPHY:
Yovisto: Dr Livingstone, I presume?
Medievalist.net: Recovering the lost details of a medieval map
Royal College of Physicians: Not suitable for vegetarians
The Women’s Blog: No. no, no! Victorians didn’t invent the vibrator
Wonders & Marvels: The history of tampons – in ancient Greece?
The Generous Georgian: Dr Richard Mead: The Foundling Laboratory: inoculation and experimentation
Early Modern Practitioners: Researching Medical Practitioners in Early Modern Ireland
Wellcome Library: Researching medicine in recipe books
Medievalist.net: Healthy Eating in the Middle Ages: the Tacuinum Sanitatis
Centre for Medical Humanities: Hippocrates Electric: Invoking the ‘Father of Medicine’ in the 21st Century
The Recipes Project: Topazes, Emeralds, and Crystal Rubies. The Faking and Making of Precious Stones
Conciatore: Lake of Flowers
EARTH & LIFE SCIENCES:
The Embryo Project: Roy John Britten (1919–2012)
National Museum of Natural History Unearthed: Colored Diamonds from Rio Tinto: The Rough Cut
The Embryo Project: Francis Maitland Balfour
JSTOR Daily: Animals in the Archive
Geschichte der Geologie: Geologie in Alten Ägypten
Pitt Rivers Museum: A Well-Documented Life: James Arthur Harley (1873-1943)
Nautilus: Cloudy With a Chance of War
Palaeoblog: Died This Day: William Lonsdale
Free Thought Blog: Darwin’s Geological Sense of Humour
The Public Domain Review: Nature Through Microscope and Camera (1909)
Spitalfields Life: A Garden for Thomas Fairchild
The Pianola Institute: The Pleyela, Pleyel-Pleyela and Auto-Pleyela
Psychology Today: Hive Mind: Oh “Hedy” Days of Youth!
Unmaking the Bomb: The Visible Atomic Bomb
Science Museum: Cometarium
British Library: English and Drama Blog: History at Stake! The Story Behind Vampire Slaying Kits
Internet Society: Brief History of the Internet
META:- HISTORIOGRAPHY, THEORY, RESOURCES and OTHER:
Leaping Robot: Science (and Science History) for the Public
The University of Glasgow Story: Sir William Thompson Baron Kelvin of Largs
The Nation: Apostles of Growth
Historyonics: Big Data, Small Data and Meaning
The Trickster Prince: Big histories, small minds
Scientific American: Google Scholar Pioneer Reflects on the Academic Search Engine’s Future
The Recipe Project: Exploring CPP 10a214: Overlapping Territories
American Science: HSS Recap Part 1: Visibility and Invisibility
American Science: HSS Recap Part 2: Humans, Pain, and Philosophy
American Science: SHOT Recap: Innovation, Risk, and Magic
Joanne Bailey Muses on History: The role of nostalgia in forging family life
Medical Heritage Library: Year One of “Expanding the Medical Heritage Library” Is Complete!
Arms and the Medical Man: What counted as knowledge before the First World War?
The Physics arXiv Blog: The Extraordinary Growing Impact of the History of Science
University of Cambridge: Sachiko Kusukawa wins Pfizer Prize for “Picturing the Book of Nature”
The Current: A Visionary Accomplishment
The History of Moden Biomedicine: The Recent History of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Martin Grandjean: [Twitter Studies] Re-writing history in 140 characters
Nautilus: Einstein Among the Daffodils
The Guardian: Jacqueline Stedall obituary
Method Science in the Making: Issue 1 Boundaries
Literacy of the Present: The Autonomous Science Machine
SHOT: Plenary Lecture: How does one do the History of Technology? David E. Nye (PDF)
Brian Regal: Richard Owen and the sea-serpent (PDF)
Conciatore: Benedetto Vanda
Heterodoxology: Rosicrucian quadricentennary at the BPH
Popular Science: About Time – Adam Frank
Brill: The Making of Copernicus
Princeton University Press: Patrick McCray’s “The Visioneers” win HSS award.
Historiens de la santé: Gender and Class in English Asylums, 1890-1914
teleskopos: Maskelyne: Astronomer Royal – book now available
Historiens de la santé: Art of Vesalius
EQ View: The Imitation Game – Review
Medievalist.net: High-Tech Feudalism: Warrior Culture and Science Fiction TV
Youtube: Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik
Youtube: The Quantum Indians
Cambridge University Library: Cambridge Seminars in the History of Cartography 2014-2015
The Renaissance Diary: 2nd CfP: 6th Norwegian Conference on the history of Science Oslo 11-13 February 2015
Educating Women: CfP: Women’s History in the Digital World 2015
CHoM News: Colloquium on the History of Psychiatry and Medicine
British Library: Exhibition: Lines in the ice: Seeking the Northwest Passage
University of Aveiro Portugal: CfP: Chemical Biography in the 21st Century 9-12 September 2015
Royal Holloway University of London: CfP: 2015 Annual Conference of the Oral History Society
Royal Museums Greenwich: CfP: The Emergence of a Maritime Nation: Britain in the Tudor and Stuart Age, 1485–1714
Advances in the History of Psychology: Nov 24 Talk! BPS History of Psych Disciplines Seminar Series
The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Miami annual graduate student conference, CfP: “Born-Digital: Reformatting Humanities in the 21st Century” March 20-21, 2015.
Greenwich Maritime Institute: CfP. New Researchers in Maritime History Conference 10-11 April 2015 University of Greenwich
The Royal Institution: Lecture: The history of the Christmas Lectures Wednesday 19 November
Society for the Social History of Medicine: Roy Porter Student Essay Prize Competition
Manchester Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine: CfP: Stories about science: exploring science communication and entertainment media 4-5 June 2015
The Renaissance Diary: CfP: Domestic Devotions in the Early Modern World, 1400–1800
LOOKING FOR WORK?
University of Leeds: The School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science at the University of Leeds is pleased to inform potential applicants for postgraduate study that it is able to offer up to 18 fully-funded PhD scholarships for UK/EU students for 2015-16 entry, plus further scholarships for international students.
Horniman Museum & Gardens: Jobs
Oxford Brookes University Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Department of History, Philosophy and Religion To mark its 150th Anniversary, Oxford Brookes University is pleased to offer a number of full-time PhD Studentships across a range of subject areas in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, starting in January 2015
Museum for Science and Industry in Manchester: Associate Curator of Science and Technology