Whewell’s Gazette: Vol. #35

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

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Volume #35

Monday 16 February 2015

EDITORIAL:

It seems like only yesterday that we posted the thirty fourth edition of Whewell’s Gazette the preeminent weekly #histSTM links list and here we are back again with Volume #35.

Last weeks editorial touched upon the theme of the lone genius myth in the history of science and it has raised its head again in the last seven days with the celebration of Darwin Day on 12 February, the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. The international devoting of a day to one nineteenth century natural historian does rather smack of a lone genius cult, which thought provoke Rebekah “Becky” Higgitt (@beckyfh) to suggest that there should be a #histSTM #NOLONEGENIUSESDAY.

Now I do understand that this day was created as part of the promotion of the scientific theory of evolution against the encroachment of creationism and intelligent design, particularly in the US. However by placing it on Darwin’s birthday and naming the day after him does rather make it look as if he created the theory all on his ownsome.

There was already a rather sweet comment from the Alfred Russel Wallace Twitter account (@ARWallace):

Wallace Day

International Business Times: Darwin Day 2015: Alfred Russel Wallace, the forgotten evolutionist overshadowed by Charles Darwin

There are however many others who deserve more than a mention if talking about the evolution of the theory of evolution starting with James Burnett, Lord Monboddo, Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis, and Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon moving forward over Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck and Darwin’s own grandfather Erasmus, the geologists Adam Sedgwick and Charles Lyell and the evolutionists Robert Chambers and Patrick Matthew and other less prominent figures. To this list we could add Captain Robert Fitzroy and other members of the crew of the Beagle.

Beagle Crew

Darwin was anything but a lone genius.

My suggestion, which will undoubtedly be totally ignored, is that we replace Darwin Day with an Evolution Day on the anniversary of the reading of the joint Darwin-Wallace paper at the Linnean Society in London, 1 July 1858, and on that day celebrate all of those who contributed to the evolution of this great theory.

As you can see our masthead owl is still on his skating holiday and this week has sent us a colour photo of himself and his partner.

Birthdays of the week:

Charles Darwin born 12 February 1809

Charles Darwin, six years old — February 12 1815

Charles Darwin, six years old — February 12 1815

“The voyage of the Beagle has been by far the most important event in my life and has determined my whole career”. Charles Darwin

“Scarcely anything in my life made so deep an impression on me. I sometimes think general & popular treatises are almost as important for the progress of science as original work” Darwin on reading John Herschel’s book on scientific method.

“What Lyell did for the inorganic world, Darwin did for the organic.” — Emil du Bois-Reymond “Exposition of the Darwinian Theory,” 1877

“I cannot understand why you scientific people make such a fuss about Darwin. Why, it’s all in Lucretius!” — Matthew Arnold, 1871

The Royal Society: Notes and Records: The many lives of Charles Darwin: early biographies and the definitive evolutionist

University of Wisconsin-Madison: Darwin Day celebration focuses on islands, isolation

Peddling and Scaling God and Darwin: Charles Darwin through Christian spectacles

Darwin Correspondence Project: Darwin and Religion: an introduction

Darwin Correspondence Project: Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa

 

Darwin Correspondence Project: Earthworm activity

Irish Philosophy: The Evolution of Evolution: Darwin’s philosophical forebears

Yovisto: Charles Darwin and the Natural Selection

Letters from Gondwana: Darwin and the Strangest Animal Ever Discovered

Twilight Beast: The bizarre elongated llama

University of Reading: Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin

 

Until Darwin: Darwin, Slavery, the HMS Black Joke, and Seaman Morgan

History of Geology: Charles Darwin – the Monster Slayer

Science Friday: A Year of Darwin

Life Traces of the Georgia Coast: Of Darwin, Earthworms, and Backyard Science

Origins a history of beginnings: When Darwin Met a Neandertal

Brain Pickings: A Graphic Biography of Darwin

darwingraphicbiography1The Mountain Mystery: Charles Darwin, the Geologist

The Public Domain Review: The Naturalist and the Neurologist: On Charles Darwin and James Crichton-Brown

Letters from Gondwana: Darwin, Owen and the ‘London Specimen’.

Krulwich Wonders: Charles Darwin and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Ocean Portal: Charles Darwin’s Ocean Upwelling

 

Emil du Bois_reymond, “Darwin and Copernicus”

American Museum of Natural History: Darwin’s Kids Doodled All Over His “Origins of Species” Manuscript

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Geological Society of London Blog: Happy Darwin Day!

The Irish Times: Unthinkable: Why Charles Darwin is a threat to religion

Herald media: Science and Society: Darwin’s sacred cause – and Lincoln’s also.

The Friends of Charles Darwin: The Darwin bicentennial oak, 6 years on

Join the Friends of Charles Darwin

The twelfth of February is also the birthday of other prominent figures in the history of biology, Jan Swammerdam for example. Whereas my Twitter stream was flooded with tweets about Darwin, my own were the solitary tweets celebrating Swammerdam.

Jan Swammerdam born 12 February

The Renaissance Mathematicus: A Biological Birthday

Jan Swammerdam (1637–1680)

Quotes of the week:

“There’s a story told about a distinguished cardiac surgeon who, about to retire, decided he’d like to take up the history of medicine. He sought out a historian friend and asked her if she had any tips for him. The historian said she’d be happy to help but first asked the surgeon a reciprocal favor: “As it happens, I’m about to retire too, and I’m thinking of taking up heart surgery. Do you have any tips for me?”” – Steven Shapin in his WSJ review of Steven Weinberg’s “To Explain the World”

“Mr. Weinberg identifies his account as a personal view, and there’s no reason why people shouldn’t want to know how an eminent modern scientist (and public intellectual) thinks about all sorts of things. What is interesting is that these different stories about the historical development of science persist, with no prospect that professional historians of science will ever own their subject as, say, art historians own the history of art. Science remains almost unique in that respect. It’s modernity’s reality-defining enterprise, a pattern of proper knowledge and of right thinking, in the same way that—though Mr. Weinberg will hate the allusion—Christian religion once defined what the world was like and what proper knowledge should be. The same circumstance that gives science its immense modern cultural prestige also ensures that there will be an audience for its idealization and celebration. “To Explain the World” is for that audience.“ – Steven Shapin in his WSJ review of Steven Weinberg’s “To Explain the World”

Valentine’s Day

STM historians are not heatless and delivered up some Valentine’s day contributions

The Heart, plate from 'Anatomy of the Visceras,' by Arnaud Eloi Gautier D'Agoty, 1745

The Heart, plate from ‘Anatomy of the Visceras,’ by Arnaud Eloi Gautier D’Agoty, 1745

1746 years ago today, St Valentine was beaten with clubs and beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate in Rome. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! @BarnabyEdwards

Dr Jennifer Evans: Aphrodisiacs, Fertility and Medicine

 

The Recipes Project: Lizards and lettuces: Greek and Roman recipes for Valentines Day

Darwin Correspondence Project: Darwin’s notes on marriage

Valentine's Day

Atomic Heritage Foundation: Donald & Martha Ross

The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice: The Chimps & The Surgeon: A history of Heart Transplants

Lapham’s Quarterly: Mutual Interest: The courting of Marie Curie

The H-Word: Marriage and the making of scientific careers

O Say Can You See: How do you mend a broken heart?

A double cordiform (heart-shaped) world map made by Mercator in 1550

A double cordiform (heart-shaped) world map made by Mercator in 1550

PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY:

The Washington Post: Val Logsdon Fitch, physics pioneer and Nobel laureate, dies at 91

Val Logsdson Fitch, who won the Nobel Prize for physics, at Princeton University in 1980. (Kanthal/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Val Logsdson Fitch, who won the Nobel Prize for physics, at Princeton University in 1980. (Kanthal/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 

The New York Times: Val Fitch, Who Discovered Universe to Be Out of Balance, Is Dead at 91

Voices of the Manhattan Project: Val Fitch’s Interview

Scientific American: How a Wire Was Used to Measure a Tiny Force of Gravity

The Nature of Reality: The Big Bang’s Identity Crisis

Philly:com: Year of Light marks a turning point

Starts with a Bang: The Tragic Fate of Physicist Paul Ehrenfest

APS Physics: J Willard Gibbs

 

Uncertain Principles: Science Story: Not a Bath House

Emmy Noether on a boat in 1930.

Emmy Noether on a boat in 1930.

 

Yovisto: Leo Szilard and the Atomic Bomb

 

Voices of the Manhattan Project: Louis Turner’s Interview

http://manhattanprojectvoices.org/oral-histories/louis-turners-interview

Scientific American: How 2 Pro-Nazi Nobelists Attacked Einstein’s “Jewish Science” [Excerpt]

Yovisto: Fritz Zwicky and the Dark Matter

Math Buffalo: Physicists of the African Diaspora

Atomic Heritage Foundation: The Science Behind the Atom Bomb

EXPLORATION and CARTOGRAPHY:

Medievalists.net: The Universal Atlas of Fernão Vaz Dourado

Medievalists.net: Medieval Maps of Britain

British Library: American studies blog: Forgotten histories of the Passage: the whalers

Above: frontispiece from vol. 2 of Scoresby's, 'An Account of the Arctic Regions' [copy on display in Lines in the Ice, G.2602 & G.2603]. Image from Archive.org - See more at: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/americas/2015/02/forgotten-histories-of-the-passage-the-whalers.html#sthash.BQkLShUI.dpuf

Above: frontispiece from vol. 2 of Scoresby’s, ‘An Account of the Arctic Regions’ [copy on display in Lines in the Ice, G.2602 & G.2603]. Image from Archive.org – See more at: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/americas/2015/02/forgotten-histories-of-the-passage-the-whalers.html#sthash.BQkLShUI.dpuf

 Medievalists.net: Top 10 Medieval Places That Don’t exist

MEDICINE:

The Sloane Letters Blog: On Tooth Worms

George Campbell Gosling: Perceptions of Pregnancy

Royal College of Physicians: A physicians cane and the secrets it contained

Consultation of physicians or the arms of the undertaker, engraving by William Hogarth, 1736.

Consultation of physicians or the arms of the undertaker, engraving by William Hogarth, 1736.

Huffpost Science: Shifting the Old Debate over Vaccines

Renaissance Utterances: ‘Poky pigges and stynkynge makerels’: Food standards and urban health in medieval England

NYAM: Tattoo Removal: Method or Madness?

University of Minnesota: HSTM: Eating through the Archives: Milk Pancakes (1820)

Ancient Origins: Ancient skull was drilled and harvested for medicine in the 18th century

The Recipes Project: The Torture of Therapeutics in Rome: Galen on Pigeon Dung

 

EARTH & LIFE SCIENCES:

Conciatore: Botanical Gardens Reprise

iiTVidya: Henry Walter Bates

Notches: Sexual Politics in the Era of Reagan and Thatcher: Marc Stein in Conversation with Jeffrey Weeks

Niche: One Flew Over The City: Sensorial Experiences of Urban Space

Wonders & Marvels: Humanness in the Age of Discovery: Dog-Headed Men

cynocephali

The Public Domain Review: Neandethals in 3D: L’Homme de La Chapelle

Nautilus: Safecracking the Brain: What neuroscience is learning from code-breakers and thieves

American Museum of Natural History: Barnum Brown: The Man Who Discovered Tyrannosaurus rex

Yovisto: Barnum Brown and the Tyrannosaurus Rex

Palaeo-Wanderer: A blog about the past, living in the present: Introduction

CHEMISTRY

The Royal Society: Philosophical Transactions A: The periodic table: icon and inspiration

The periodic table of ‘endangered elements’. Adapted from the original version created by Mike Pitts of the UK’s Chemistry Innovation Knowledge Transfer Network [6]; apart from uranium, the abundances of all radioactive elements have been ignored. (Online version in colour.)

The periodic table of ‘endangered elements’. Adapted from the original version created by Mike Pitts of the UK’s Chemistry Innovation Knowledge Transfer Network [6]; apart from uranium, the abundances of all radioactive elements have been ignored. (Online version in colour.)

TECHNOLOGY:

Gizmodo: A Secret Stash of Moon Artefacts Has Been Found in Neil Armstrong’s Wardrobe

NYAM: Recipes for Cooking by Electricity (Item of the Month)

IEEE Global History Network: Walter H Brattain

 

AIP: Oral History Transcript – Dr Walter Brattain

Inside the Science Museum: Winston Churchill: Up In The Air

Winston Churchill after his arrival by air at Portsmouth, from Upavon, Wiltshire, 1914. Image credit: Science Museum / SSPL

Winston Churchill after his arrival by air at Portsmouth, from Upavon, Wiltshire, 1914. Image credit: Science Museum / SSPL

Science Museum: Online Science: Wall telephone with Blake transmitter, 1880–1900

Grantland: The Difference Machine: Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, and Women in Tech

Grist: Meet Lewis Latimer, the African American who enlightened Thomas Edison

Nautilus: The Future of the Web Is 100 Years Old

Endgadget: Annie Easley helped make modern spaceflight possible

To celebrate Black History Month, Engadget is running a series of profiles honoring African-American pioneers in the world of science and technology. Today we take a look at the life and work of Annie Easley.

To celebrate Black History Month, Engadget is running a series of profiles honoring African-American pioneers in the world of science and technology. Today we take a look at the life and work of Annie Easley.

Yovisto: Henry Steinway and the Grand Pianos

META – HISTORIOGRAPHY, THEORY, RESOURCES and OTHER:

Niche: Landscapes of Science: the first in a series of posts considering the intersection between environmental history and the histories of science, technology, and medicine.

Tincture of Museum: 1. Natural History Museum Library and Archives – Tinc in Museum Library Land

MBS Birmingham: “How are we meant to educate ourselves?” What Libraries did for us

 

Early English Books Online:

Darin Hayton: Explaining A Good Question

King’s College London: Current Maughan Library exhibition: The great leveller: humanity’s struggle against infectious disease

Histscifi.com: Seeing From Afar

BSHS: BSHS Travel Guide

Storify: The research culture is not ready for signed peer review.

THE: World’s oldest scientific journal is focus of new exhibition

scientific-journal-011214-ful_450

The Scientist: Scientific Publishing, 1665

The Guardian: 350 years of publishing from the world’s oldest science journal – in pictures

Early Modern Letters Online: The Correspondence of Athanasius Kircher

American Science: A Very Recent History of Histories of the Future

iai news: Beauty is Truth?

Gothamist: Two-Faced Kitten & Cigar-Smoking Squirrels On View At Morbid Anatomy Museum

Two-headed kitten in a Belljar, photo courtesy of Chris Bradley

Two-headed kitten in a Belljar, photo courtesy of Chris Bradley

The Atlantic: A Failed Metaphor for Intelligent Design

Society for the Social History of Medicine: Career Development Service

Brill History of Modern Science Series: Call for Book Proposals

Making Science Public: Science, politics and science communication

Science & Religion @ Edinburgh: Science, Religion and the Changing Conceptions of Nature – John Hedley Brooke lectures

ESOTERIC:

Bottle Rocket Science: Giordano Bruno on Prudence

Conciatore: Caterina Sforza

Caterina Sforza, by Lorenzo di Credi (now in the Museum of Forlì.)

Caterina Sforza, by Lorenzo di Credi
(now in the Museum of Forlì.)

The Renaissance Mathematicus: Do you believe in magic?

Conciatore: Iron into Copper

BOOK REVIEWS

JHI Blog: Annotations and Generations John Winthrop’s interactions with the marginalia of John Dee

PopMatters: God’s Planet: In Conversational Orbit of ‘God’s Planet’ With Owen Gingerich

Gonit Sora: Seduced by Logic: Emilie du Chatelet, Mary Somerville and the Newtonian Revolution

Seduced-by-Logic-Emilie-du-Chatelet-Mary-Somerville-and-the-Newtonian-Revolution

Science Book a Day: Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found

Marx and Philosophy: Review of Books: Ted Benton, Alfred Russel Wallace: Explorer Evolutionist, Public Intellectual – a thinker for Our Own Times?

What’s in John’s Feezer?: Owning Owen

Ether Wave Propaganda: Patrick McCray’s The Visioneers

Brain Pickings: A Radical Journey of Art, Science, and Entrepreneurship: A Self-Taught Victorian Woman’s Visionary Ornithological Illustrations

PLATE XXVIII. Progne Purpurea – Purple Martin

PLATE XXVIII.
Progne Purpurea – Purple Martin

 

The Independent: To Explain the World by Steven Weinberg, book review: A bracing and necessary guide to the discoveries of the 17th century

The Wall Street Journal: Why Scientists Shouldn’t Write History

(If you run into a pay wall google the title, Why Scientists Shouldn’t Write History, and click on the first link!)

NEW BOOKS:

Historiens de la santé: Healthcare in Ireland and Britain from 1850: Voluntary, regional and comparative perspectives

Enfilade: Commercial Vision in the Dutch Golden Age

9780226117744

THEATRE:

Wellcome Collections Blog: Tammy Wants You

FILM:

Nature: And the winner is: not science

TELEVISION:

SLIDE SHARE:

VIDEOS:

Vimeo: Ruth Bourne Turing and Bletchley Park

Youtube: BBC – My Father the Bomb and Me

Youtube: Thomas Edison interviewed at the age of 84

VOX: The origins of the anti-vaccine movement, in 3 Minutes

RADIO:

PODCASTS:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

H-Net: CfP: Perspectives for the history of the life sciences: New themes, new sources, new approaches Munich 30 October–1 November 2015

AAHM: CfP: Working Across Species: Comparative Practice in Modern Medical, Biological and Behavioural Sciences

University of Cambridge: Science Festival: Longitude Found 21 March 2015

University of Cambridge: Science Festival: Infectious knowledge: science in popular culture 22 March 2015

Warwick: Humanities Research Centre: Ruling Climate: The theory and practice of environmental governmentality, 1500–1800 16 May 2015

York University Toronto Canada: Science Technology, and the Modern Canada 24-25 April 2015

NI Science Festival: Lecture: How To Make a Dwarf Mammoth 20 February 2015

Perspectives of Science: Special Issue: CfP: The Second Metaphysical Club and its Impact on the Development of American Science and Philosophy

 

University of Oulu Finland: Testing Philosophical Theories Against the History of Science Workshop 21 September 2015

University of Lisbon: CfP: 2nd Portuguese-Brazilian Meeting on the History of Tropical Medicine 14-16 October 2015

CHF: Alien Abduction and Psychic Spies: Lecture: On the Edges of Cold War Science 26 February 2015

Making Waves: Workshop 4: Scientific Lives: Oliver Lodge and the History of Science in the Digital Age

 

Senate House Library: CFP: Marginal presences: unorthodox belief and practice, 1837–2014 23 April 2015

Denver: Victorian Self-Fashioning 22-24 October 2015 Gabriel Finkelstein (@gabridli) is looking for partners for a #histsci session

UCL: Professor Sheila Jsanoff: The Constitutional Place of Science – the 2015 UCL STS Haldane Lecture 12 March 2015

Institute of Historical Research: Lecture: History and Biography – Professor Lawrence Goldman 19 March 2015

Penn State University: Polar Day 2015 27 March

LOOKING FOR WORK:

Royal Holloway: University of London: Eighteenth Century British History and Gender History Teaching Fellow

Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and Apothecaries Hall of Ireland launch PhD Fellowship in the history of medicine in Ireland

Royal Museums Greenwich: Intern Programme: History of Science & Technology

Birkbeck: University of London: History of Science and Medicine (MA)

CHF: Director, Center for Applied History

British School at Rome: Giles Worsley Rome Fellowship

University of Swansea: Lecturer in Medical History

Metropolitan New York Library Council: Reference Archivist, Manuscript Department – The Patricia D. Klingenstein Library

Science Museum: Library and Research Administrator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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