Whewell’s Gazette: Vol. #45

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

Cornelis Bloemaert

Volume #45

Monday 27 April 2015

EDITORIAL:

Bringing you all the best of the histories of science, technology and medicine found in the Internet over the last seven days it’s your weekly #histSTM links list Whewell’s Weekly #45. This week our editorial takes a look at a piece of very recent history celebrating the twenty-fifth birthday of the Hubble Space Telescope.

 

The Hubble Space Telescope Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Hubble Space Telescope
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The telescope first emerged in Holland in the last third of the year 1608. Within a year Thomas Harriot in England, Simon Marius in Germany and Galileo Galilei had all started to use it as a scientific instrument to observe the heavens and ushered in a completely new era in the history of astronomy. Throughout the seventeenth century telescopes got bigger and better and changed humanity’s knowledge and perception of the solar system. At the end of the century Isaac Newton succeeded in producing the first functioning reflecting telescope and changed the game once again.

Late in the eighteenth century William Herschel discovered Uranus, the first new planet to be observed in the solar system in the history of humanity, using his own handmade Newtonian reflecting telescope.

In the nineteenth century William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse introduced the era of the giant reflectors. His Leviathan of Parsonstown , a 72 inch reflector, built in 1845 was the largest aperture telescope in the world until the twentieth century. The twentieth century saw telescopes getting larger and larger and humanity finally learnt that our solar system was only part of one of many galaxies and not the whole of the cosmos as had been thought since antiquity.

The twentieth century also saw the advent of the radio telescope in the nineteen thirties giving us a new way of ‘seeing’ out into space. Throughout the four centuries since the invention of the telescope, optics improved, lenses and mirrors were perfected and telescopes got bigger and bigger as well as technically more and more sophisticated. However observational astronomy was always limited by the problems caused by the earth’s atmosphere and so as the space age dawned astronomers dreamed of putting up a telescope, as a satellite, outside of that bothersome atmosphere.

Finally twenty-five years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into space on 24 April 1990 and became the biggest flop in space and telescope history. The telescope mirror was defective and the picture it produced so out of focus as to be almost useless. In 1993 in a spectacular operation astronauts ‘repaired’ the faults and Hubble finally began to deliver and deliver it did. The era Hubble has totally and radically changed the popular perception of space, turning an initial disaster into an indescribable scientific and technological triumph.

Whewell’s Gazette wishes Hubble a very happy twenty-fifth birthday

 

Grinding of Hubble's primary mirror at Perkin-Elmer, March 1979 Source: Wikimedia Commons

Grinding of Hubble’s primary mirror at Perkin-Elmer, March 1979
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Gulf News Thinkers: Hubble telescope’s double achievement

Air & Space: 10 Hubble Images That Changed Astronomy

Uranus Rings (NASA/ESA/SETI Institute)

Uranus Rings
(NASA/ESA/SETI Institute)

Motherboard: The Hubble Space Telescope’s 25 Most Mind-Boggling Photos

Image: NASA, ESA and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

Image: NASA, ESA and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

Pacific Standard: How the Hubble Space Telescope’s Iconic Photos Changed the Way Everybody Saw Space

Image of Jupiter showing impact sites from Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, taken July 18, 1994. (Photo: H. Hammel, MIT and NASA)

Image of Jupiter showing impact sites from Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, taken July 18, 1994. (Photo: H. Hammel, MIT and NASA)

Leaping Robot: Observing the Astronomical Sublime

Screen-Shot-2015-04-24-at-12.24.33-PM

Slate: Happy 25th, Hubble!

Space Watchtower: Hubble Space Telescope at 25

This photograph, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, was recently released by NASA, for the 25th anniversary of the telescope's years in orbit of the Earth. The bright lights in the center of the photo is actually a cluster of about 3,000 stars that was discovered by Bengt Westerlund, a Swedish astronomer, in the 1960s. That cluster is now known as Wusterlund 2 and is located about 20,000 light years away from Earth and measures between six and 13 light years from end to end. The 2-million year old cluster is part of the constellation Carina and located in a section of space called Gum 29. Aside from the stars, which are relatively young in terms of space, the blue/green hues are oxygen and the red is hydrogen. (Image Sources: NASA, ecnmag.com )

This photograph, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, was recently released by NASA, for the 25th anniversary of the telescope’s years in orbit of the Earth. The bright lights in the center of the photo is actually a cluster of about 3,000 stars that was discovered by Bengt Westerlund, a Swedish astronomer, in the 1960s. That cluster is now known as Wusterlund 2 and is located about 20,000 light years away from Earth and measures between six and 13 light years from end to end. The 2-million year old cluster is part of the constellation Carina and located in a section of space called Gum 29. Aside from the stars, which are relatively young in terms of space, the blue/green hues are oxygen and the red is hydrogen. (Image Sources: NASA, ecnmag.com )

The New York Times: 25 Years Later, Hubble Sees Beyond Troubled Start

Quotes of the week:

“Picking the lint out of Darwin’s navel” – Steve Jones regarding the re-re-re-re-discovery of Patrick Matthew (this is not news). h/t @matthewcobb

“Very interesting, but how many new “darks” before we accept we’re pretty clueless here?” – Philip Ball

“Can’t we just call being clueless “dark knowledge” and be done with it?” – Peter Broks

“This really feels like a time to call them “occult forces” again” – Becky Higgitt

“It’s when you prove something you thought of yourself that you become a mathematician.” – George Hart”

“I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. – Charles Darwin h/t @friendsofdarwin

One man excels in eloquence, another in arms. – Virgil

“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovation enough” – Elon Musk

“The greatest mistake any man ever made is to suppose that the good things of the world are not worth the winning.” ― Anthony Trollope

“At the core of all well-founded belief, lies belief that is unfounded”. – Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” ― Ludwig Wittgenstein

“Der Philosoph behandelt eine Frage; wie eine Krankheit.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

“Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself”. – Plato

PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY:

History Physics: Lights in the Sky, in history

The Evening Sun: Another View: Einstein waged battle for right to a private life

CHF: Blast from the Past: Atomic Age Jewelry and the Feminine Ideal

A Vogue model poses before the Atomium, the symbol of the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. By that time the atom had become part of popular culture.

A Vogue model poses before the Atomium, the symbol of the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. By that time the atom had become part of popular culture.

Haaretz: This Day in Jewish History: The medieval rabbi who put Aristotle before God passes on

Journal-Democrat: Astronomy 101 leaves attendees to ponder Lewis and Clark, universe

MinnPost: Checking out Carleton’s Goodsell Observatory – and its fascinating history

Salon: “Albert is an old fool”: Einstein vs Schrödinger in battle of the Nobel Laureates

Quodlibeta: The earliest reference to a telescope: England 1551?

Ptak Science Books: On Question Marks in 19th C Meteor Spectra

AHF: Frédéric Joliot-Curie

Leaping Robot: Conversion Experiences

MHS Oxford: ‘Dear Harry…’ – Henry Moseley: A Scientist Lost To War

Physics Today: A good name rather than great riches

Yovisto: Wolfgang Pauli and the Pauli Principle

Falling Rocks: Meteorite: L’Aigle

EXPLORATION and CARTOGRAPHY:

The Washington Post: 30 fake maps that explain the world

Slate: The Invisible Tribute to the Paris Meridian

teleskopos: On longitude in BBC History Magazine

Mogan High History Academy: Calculating Longitude

The Renaissance Mathematicus: Abraham Ortelius and the 16th century information age

Abraham Ortelius by Peter Paul Rubens Source: Wikimedia Commons

Abraham Ortelius by Peter Paul Rubens
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Friends of Darwin: Three old maps

British Library: Maps and views blog: Maps lie in a new online course

University of Glasgow Library: Mapping in the Fifteenth Century

Public Domain Review: Forgotten Failures of African Exploration

Harvard University Library Open Collections Program: Expeditions and Discovery

The H-Word: Happy birthday Robinson Crusoe: the fictional author of a “History of Fact”

Ptak Science Books: Maps of Things Not There: Eden

MEDICINE & HEALTH:

Scientific American: Mad Science: The Treatment of Mental Illness Fails to Progress [Excerpt]

Early Modern Practitioners: ‘John Houghton and Medical Practice in William Rose’s London’

Yovisto: Gustav Fechner and Psychophysics

Perceptions of Pregnancy: Using the “poisons of sterility”: Women and contraception during the Middle Ages

Slate Vault: Lists of Types of Mania and Melancholy, Compiled for Early-19th-Centuy Doctors

Early Modern Medicine: Prayers for Cures at the Baths

John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester Credit: Wikipedia

John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester Credit: Wikipedia

British Library: Medieval manuscript blog: Ointments and Potions

The Chirugeon’s Apprentice: Laennec’s Baton: A Short History of the Telescope

A Prairie Populist: The History of the “Black Dog” as Metaphor

The Recipes Project: Gout and the Golden Fleece: Experimentation on Recipes through Chymical Correspondence

History Today: The Importance of a Good Nights Sleep

Mental Floss: Women in Medicine: Five Firsts in Their Nations

ELIZABETH GARRETT ANDERSON

ELIZABETH GARRETT ANDERSON

The History of Vaccines: Timelines

National Humanities Center: Vaccinate for Smallpox?

Yovisto: Sigmund Freud’s Structural Model of the Human Psyche

Wellcome Collection: Nymphomania

Telegraph: Ancient Egyptian cure for a hangover…a garland of laurel leaves

Blink: Horrors of the East

Conciatore: Archiater

TECHNOLOGY:

Ptak Science Books: The Family Tree of Computer Development, Part II

Culture 24: Guinness World Record for pendulum clock vindicates John Harrison 250 years on

Yovisto: Marc Seguin and the Wire-Cable Suspension Bridge

IEEE Spectrum: New Theory Leads to Gigahertz Antenna on a Chip

Mlive: History of space travel the subject of a new show at Muskegon Community College’s planetarium

The Recipes Project: The Colour ConText Database

Invisible Themepark: Camper Built Inside a Car, 1952

Campers built inside 1949 Nash 1952 The illustrator for this drawing is unknown.

Campers built inside 1949 Nash 1952
The illustrator for this drawing is unknown.

Now Appearing: Mechanical computation

The New York Times: Auctioning the Relics of Technology Pioneers

Atlas Obscura: Ghosts of the Past: 5 Places to view your iPhone’s Ancestors

Gizmodo: Why Is It Called “Rebooting”?

Library of Congress: The Typewriter – “that almost sentient mechanism”

IFL Science: Mystery of How The Egyptians Moved Pyramid Stones Solved

EARTH & LIFE SCIENCES:

Race Card: How does a university deal with its legacy of eugenics?

Palaeoblog: Born This Day: Sir William Logan

Friends of Darwin: Metaphorical sight-seeing

Embryo Project: Paul Kammerer’s Experiments on Sea-squirts in the Early Twentieth Century

Live Science: Did Neanderthals Die Off Because They Couldn’t Harness Fire?

Notches: “The Gay Bulge” or Can We Study Medieval Sexuality Through Puns?

One Irishman kills another, from Gerald of Wales’ The History and Topography of Ireland (Image: BL Royal 13 B VIII)

One Irishman kills another, from Gerald of Wales’ The History and Topography of Ireland (Image: BL Royal 13 B VIII)

AEON: Rethinking Extinction

The Return of Native Nordic Fauna: Thinking extinction with sci-fi

Palaeoblog: Darwin, Wallace & Patrick Matthew: Who’s Ideas on Evolution Came First?

BBC News: New mass extinction even identified by geologists

Yovisto: John Muir and the U. S. National Park System

Jonathan Saha: Colonial Canicide, Cruel to be Kind?

Ri Science: Happy Earth Day

HNN: Whatever Happened to the Environmental Movement?

NYAM: The Dragons of Aldrovandi

Aldrovandi 7 Headed Hydra

Aldrovandi 7 Headed Hydra

Natural History Apostilles: Lamarck’s analogy/homology of nature with culture

Natural History Apostilles: Naudin’s analogy/homology of natural and artificial selection

Yovisto: Alphonse Bertillon’s Anthropometric Identification System

Atlas Obscura: Shipwrecks, Scurvy and Sea Otters: The Story of Naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Animals in Medieval Art

The Dispersal Of Darwin: Special Issue of Endeavour journal on Charles Darwin and Scientific Revolutions

Cal Tech Archives: Charles Richter

CHEMISTRY:

Distillations Blog: The Romance of Chemistry

The Royal Institution: New Discoveries in Pneumaticks

Cartoon James Gilray

Cartoon James Gilray

Voices of the Manhattan Project: Isabella Karle’s Interview

Gastropod: Savour Flavour

The Guardian: The first world war scientists who gave their lives to defeat poison gas

CHF: Chemical Warfare: From the European Battlefield to the American Laboratory

META – HISTORIOGRAPHY, THEORY, RESOURCES and OTHER:

Science Museum: The Kraszna-Krausz and First Book Awards 2015

Conciatore: Cross Pollination

Scroll.in: Christopher Alan Bayly, pre-eminent Western historian of India, dies

The Guardian: Sir Christopher Bayly obituary

Christopher Bayly arrived at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, in 1970 and became profressor of imperial and naval history in 1992 Source: The Guardian

Christopher Bayly arrived at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, in 1970 and became profressor of imperial and naval history in 1992
Source: The Guardian

Science League of America: “But It’s Just a Theory”

Chronologia Universalis: An Annotated Postcard

The 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winners: General Nonfiction: “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” by Elizabeth Kolbert

AHA: Perspectives on History: “Let’s Put History Everywhere”: A Career Diversity for Historians Interview

History of Medicine.com: An Interactive Annotated Bibliography of the History of Medicine, Biology and Dentistry from Circa 2000 BCE to Circa 1980

Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine: Announcing 2015–2016 Fellowship

Mittelalter: Identifying manuscripts in social media

AHA Today: Draft Guidelines on the Evaluation of Digital Scholarship

Quod.Lib.umich: The Hermeneutics of Data and Historical Writing

Thinking Like a Mountain: Experimental and Speculative Hypotheses in the Seventeenth Century: Integrated History and Philosophy of Science Workshop University of Durham (Part 1 of 2)

The Village Voice Blog: Ask Andrew W. K.: ‘How Do I Show Religious Freaks That Science Wins?’

The Nature of Reality: Why Physics Needs Philosophy

Now Appearing: Writers and social media

JHI Blog: What We’re Reading: Week of April 20

AHA: Career Diversity for Historians

Remedia: High Dilution, Homeopathy, and the Purpose of the Scientific Journal

Open Book Publishing: Mikuláš Teich – The Scientific Revolution Revisited

It’s About Time: 1565 The Seven Liberal Arts by Cornelis Cort

Cornelis Cort 1565 Astrologie

Cornelis Cort 1565 Astrologie

LOVEIMPERIALWARMUSEUMLIBRARY: Imperial War Museum London Is Not “Museum of the Year”

Ether Wave Propaganda: Scientists and the History of Science: An Alternative View

ESOTERIC:

Heavy: Loch Ness Monster Google Doodle: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

History of Alchemy: Johann Rudolf Glauber

Conciatore: Salamander

Nemfrog: Spiritograph in use

Plate I. Spiritograph in use. Experimental investigation of the spirit manifestations : demonstrating the existence of spirits and their communion with mortals. 1855.

Plate I. Spiritograph in use. Experimental investigation of the spirit manifestations : demonstrating the existence of spirits and their communion with mortals. 1855.

BOOK REVIEWS:

Science Book a Day: Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing

The Daily Beast: How Two Dutch Geniuses Taught Us to See

Mail Online: A quick autopsy my love, then off to the ball: The eccentric behaviour of Dutch natural scientist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek and painter Johannes Vermeer

Science Book a Day: After Physics

after-physics

New Scientist: The Vital Question: Finding answers about the origins of life

The Guardian: The Vital Question: Why Is Life the Way It Is? Review – back to biological basics

Alec Ryrie: Aphrodisiacs, fertility and medicine

The New York Times: ‘Finding Zero’: A Long Journey for Naught

The New York Times: Lives of the Scientists: We Could Not Fail and More

NEW BOOKS:

University of Notre Dame Press: Setting Aside All Authority: Giovanni Battista Riccioli and the Science against Copernicus in the Age of Galileo

Graney002

Historiens de la santé: Medical Negligence in Victorian Britain: The Crisis of Care under the English Poor Law, c.1834–1900

HSS: ISIS Books Received: January–March, 2015:

Brill: The Technique of Islamic Bookbinding

Harvard University Press: Daughters of Alchemy

THEATRE:

FILM:

TELEVISION:

SLIDE SHOW:

VIDEOS:

Youtube: Lawrence Principe – Glass of Antimony Reconstruction

YouTube: How to make a Scientific Revolution

YouTube: Battle of the Nobel Laureates: Einstein and Schrödinger’s Clashing Theories

YouTube: Tour of an Alchemy Laboratory

RADIO:

PODCASTS:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

University of Aveiro, Portugal: CfP: 10th International Conference on the History of Chemistry 9-12 September 2015

University of Leeds: HPS Seminar, 2014-15 Semester 2

University of Roehampton: CfP. One-Day Colloquium: The Darwins Reconsidered: Evolution. Writing & Inheritance in the Works of Erasmus and Charles Darwin

University of Leeds: The 2015 ‘Mangoletsi Lectures’: Freedom of the Will and the Perils of Scientism Professor Helen Beebee, Samuell Hall Professor of Philosophy at the University of Manchester, 5, 6, 12 & 13 May 2015

Gender and Work in Early Modern Europe: New proposals wanted for Ashgate series Women and Gender in Early Modern World

Royal Museums Greenwich: ‘unseen’ Symposium 30 May 2015

Niche: CfP: The Environmental Histories of Ports and Ocean Trade Liverpool 18-19 September 2015

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

University of Durham: The History of Thermodynamics and Scientific Realism 12 May 2015

Berlin: CfP: International Workshop: The Establishment of Genetic Counseling in the Second Half of the 20th Century 2–3 February 2016

NYAM: History of Medicine Night: 19th and 20th Century Stories 6 May 2015

University of Aarhus: CfP: Workshop: 1970s: Turn of an era in the history of science? 14-15 September 2015

Warburg Institute: Maps and Society Lectures: ‘Reforming Cartography: John Britton and The Topographical Survey of the Borough of St Marylebone (1834) 30 April 2015

2015 Oxford Seminar in the History of Alchemy and Chemistry: 27 May–17 June 2015 Maison Francaise d’Oxford

Federal Center of Technological Education of Rio de Janeiro: 13th Biennial International IHPST Conference 22-25 July 2015

The British Institute for the Study of Iraq: The Annual Bonham-Carter Lecture Professor Emilie Savage-Smith on ‘Surgeons and Physicians in Medieval Iraq’ 11 June 2015

LOOKING FOR WORK:

UCL: STS vacancies

University of Liverpool: Lecturer grade 8 in the history of Medicine

New Statesman: Join the New Statesman web team as a science and tech writer

University of York: Assembling Alternative Futures for Heritage: Curating Profusion PhD Studentship

University of Vienna: The Doctoral Program “The Science in Historical Philosophical and Cultural Contexts”

National Railway Museum: PhD Studentship

UCL:STS: Research Associate: Economics in the Public Sphere – 2 Posts

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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