Whewell’s Gazette: Vol. #47

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 #47

Monday 11 May 2015


You are feasting your eyes on the forty-seventh edition of your weekly #histSTM links list, Whewell’s Gazette, bringing you all of the best of the histories of science, medicine and technology scooped up by our every hungry editorial crew for you delectation.


The Whewell's Gazette Editorial Staff at Feeding Time

The Whewell’s Gazette Editorial Staff at Feeding Time

Following the debacle that was the British general election a group of historians has published a sort of manifesto in History Today under the name ‘Historians For Britain’, claiming that Britain’s exit from the EU would be justified on the basis of the fact that Britain’s history was unique when compared to its European neighbours.

As a British historian I personally object to this manifesto on several grounds. With what right does this group claim to speak for Britain? They speak for themselves with some extremely dodgy and largely incorrect arguments and not for Britain. For any group of historians to claim to speak on behalf of an entire nation is hubris of the highest order.

As a historian of science, who also dabbles in the histories of medicine, technology and mathematics, I must firmly state that also within Britain the histories of these disciplines have a complex intertwined international history that is in no way uniquely British and to try to claim otherwise would be to pervert history.

The Whewell's Gazette Editorial Policy

The Whewell’s Gazette Editorial Policy

Quotes of the week:

“To remain ignorant of history is to remain forever a child” – Cicero

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see” – Alexandra K. Trenfor

“Ancient history has an air of antiquity—it should be more modern. It’s written as if the spectator should be thinking of the backside of the picture on the wall, as if the author expected that the dead would be his readers” – Thoreau 1849

‘Life for us is not just the absence of death’. – Mary Midgley

“To err is human. To err repeatedly is research”. – @AcademicsSay

“It is an hypothesis that the sun will rise tomorrow: and this means that we do not know whether it will rise”. Wittgenstein

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies” – Groucho Marx

“But although all our knowledge begins with experience, it does not follow that it arises from experience”. – Kant

The last man on earth walks into a bar. He looks into his beer and says, “Drink, I’d like another bartender.” – @fadesingh

“If you think you’re enlightened go spend a week with your family”. – Ram Dass

“Some peoples idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back that is an outrage” – Winston Churchill

“Science = search for Truth; Art = search for Beauty; Engineering = search for Good Enough” – @LeapingRobot

Birthday of the Week:

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin born 10 May 1900

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin at work

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin at work

True Anomalies: “So You Want to Do Research”

Yovisto: Cecelia Payne-Gaposchkin and the Composition of Stars



arXiv.org: Editing Cavendish: Maxwell and the Electrical Researches of Henry Cavendish

Drew ex machina: The Mission of Zond 2

Ptak Science Books: Napkins of the Apocalypse

Flamsteed Astronomy Society: William Christie and the Demise of the Royal Greenwich Observatory – History of Astronomy Group Meeting

Sir William Christie (no relation!) Source: Wikimedia Commons

Sir William Christie (no relation!)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Early Modern Experimental Philosophy: Huygens and Newton: 

Ptak Science Books: Dr. Lise Meitner, Fission, and Comic Books (1946)

Source: Ptak Science Books

Source: Ptak Science Books

academia.edu: The Birth of the Mexican National Astronomical Observatory

Ptak Science Books: The Four Seasons in Beautiful Astronomical Detail, 1851

The Renaissance Mathematicus: Ohm Sweet Ohm

The Ohm House in Erlangen Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Ohm House in Erlangen
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Pinterest: Section of the Earth on the Plane of the Equator

NPR: Dissolve My Nobel Prize Fast (A True Story)

Nautilus: The Data That Threatened to Break Physics

Planetarium Friesland


The Guardian: Better than GPS: a history of cartography in 12 amazing maps

Bird's Eye View of New York Photograph: Public domain

Bird’s Eye View of New York
Photograph: Public domain

Wired: It Just Got Easier to see a Cool Historical Maps Collection


Nautilus: The Man Who Beat HIV at its Own Game for 30 Years

NYAM: The Strange Case of Father Damien (Part 1 of 3)

Thick Objects: Between text and object: psychological tests as scientific artefacts

The Recipes Project: Bottoms up: beer as medicine

Front page of Van Lis’s 1747 Pharmacopea

Front page of Van Lis’s 1747 Pharmacopea

Atlas Obscura: Roosevelt Island Octagon Tower

The Chirugeon’s Apprentice: Robert Hooke and the Dog’s Lung: Animal Experimentation in History

Early Modern Medicine: Dead Useful

NYAM: Sigmund Freud on War and Death


The Public Domain Review: Scurvy and the Terra Incognita

Page from the journal of Henry Walsh Mahon showing the effects of scurvy, from his time aboard HM Convict Ship Barrosa (1841-2)  Source: Wikimedia Commons

Page from the journal of Henry Walsh Mahon showing the effects of scurvy, from his time aboard HM Convict Ship Barrosa (1841-2)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Concocting history: Nursing dolly

Remedia: On the Trail of Medicines at Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Providentia: The Addicted Surgeon


NYAM: The Good Man of Religion (Part 2 of 3)

Advances in the History of Psychology: The Anatomist, The Alienist, The Artist & changing expressions of madness in Victorian Britain

Concocting History: Ode to Laudanum


Conciatore: Glass from Tinsel

Magic Transistor: Louis Poyet, Abbé Rousselot’s Apparat für Aufzeichnung der Sprache, 1890

Louis Poyet, Abbé Rousselot’s Apparat zur Aufzeichnung der Sprache, 1890.

Louis Poyet, Abbé Rousselot’s Apparat zur Aufzeichnung der Sprache, 1890.

Blog.Castac.org: Nothing Special: Standards, Infrastructure, and Maintenance in the Great Age of American Innovation

Yovisto: You Press the Button and We Do the Rest – George Eastman revolutionized Photography

Ptak Science Books: Pig Iron vs. the Eiffel Tower

Brain Pickings: Berenice Abbott’s Minimalist Black-and-White Science Imagery, 1958–1960

Bloomberg: Ancient Greek Technology Tests Musk Batteries on Storage


Yovisto: Oskar von Miller and the Deutsches Museum

Oskar von Miller (1855-1934)

Oskar von Miller (1855-1934)


Atlas Obscura: Coltsville, USA: Inside America’s Gun-Funded Utopia

The Last Word: Compute! No, Mr Bond, I Expect You to Die!

Sate: The Eye: The Locksmith Who Picked Two “Unbeatable” Locks and Ended the Era of “Perfect Security”


Slate: Audubon’s Animals of 19th-Century North America, Newly Available for Hi-Res Download

The Atlantic: The Scientist Who Told Congress He Could (Literally) Make It Rain

Embryo Project: Nettie Maria Stevens (1861–1912)

Ptak Science Books: A Beautiful Regression (1877)

Gizmodo: The Second Life of America’s Only Rare Earth Mine


Palaeoblog: Born This Day: Elkanah Billings

Forbes: Thoughts on a Pebble and an Introduction

Conciatore: Pebbles from Pavia

Stamen Design: Diving into ecosystem data with Berkeley’s Ecoengine and interfaces from Stamen


Orthmeralia: These pepper plants sure look good!

All Things Georgian: Gilbert Pidcock’s travelling menagerie

Courtesy of the British Museum, 1799

Courtesy of the British Museum, 1799

The History of the Earth Sciences: Volume 34 Issue 1 2015 Table of Contents

AEON: Still seeking omega: The Vatican still refuses to endorse evolutionary theory – setting a billion believers at odds with modern science

Slate Vault: An Early-19th-Century Scientist’s Close-Up Portraits of Pollen

Linda Hall Library: John Collins Warren – Scientist of the Day

British Library: Online Gallery: Diagram of seasons, In Isidore, De natura reum


Reality Sandwich: Francis Crick, DNA &LSD

John William Draper – Chemist and Photo Pioneer

John William Draper (1811-1882)

John William Draper (1811-1882)


Chronologia Universalis: A Ramist Postscript

Graftoniana: A Visual Chronology

The Getty Iris: Getty Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) Released as Linked Open Data

The New York Times: The Conference Manifesto

The Atlantic: The Questions People Asked Advice Columnists in the 1690s

Google Books

Google Books

The Guardian: Alan Hall: a leading light in cell biology goes out

Geological Journal: Special Issue: Pleistocene on the Hoof: Table of Contents

The New York Times: Alexander Rich Dies at 90; Confirmed DNA’s Double Helix

UiO: Design history provides clues about the future

Bustle: 7 Horribly Sexist Moments in STEM History, Because Old Habits Die Hard


Science Museum Group Journal: 03 Current Issue Spring 2015 Contents

Edge: Popper Versus Bacon

The #EnvHist Weekly

Caroline’s Miscellany: Stationers’ Hall

Stanford.edu: Athanasius Kircher at Stanford

The Alfred Russel Wallace Website: Wallace Talks: Audio and Video

Athene Donald’s Blog: On the Loss of a Giant

Conciatore: The Neri Godparents

Scientific American: Physicists Are Philosophers, Too

academia.edu: Book Lists and Their Meaning – Malcolm Walsby

Greg Jenner: A Million Years in a Day – Bibliography


distillatio: Alchemy and Astrology – something I read


Notches: The Modern Period: Menstruation and the History of Sexuality

Brain Pickings: The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning: The Extraordinary Edible Record of Two Women Explorers’ Journey to the End of the World

Notches: A History of Family Planning in Twentieth Century Peru

Oxford Journals: Diplomatic History: Space History: The Final Frontier?

Brain Pickings: Einstein, Gödel, and Our Strange Experience of Time: Rebecca Goldstein on How Relativity Rattled the Flow of Existence

Dissertation Reviews: Japanese Nanban World Map Screens


Herald Scotland: Laura J Snyder Eye of the Beholder

Brain Pickings: Legendary Lands: Umberto Eco on the Greatest Maps of Imaginary Places and Why they Appeal to Us

Brain Pickings: When Einstein Met Tragore: A Remarkable Meeting of Minds on the Edge of Science and Spirituality

Morbid Anatomy: Morbid Anatomy Library New Arrival: “The Dead” Jack Burman

The Baptist Times: Faith and Wisdom in Science


Amazon.com: Moore’s Law: The Life of Gordon Moore, Silicon Valley’s Quiet Revolutionary

Wellcome Collection: Adventures in Human Being

Adventures in human being


Historiens de la santé: Préface des Tabulae anatomicae sex



iO9: Isaac Newton’s War With a 17th Century Counterfeiter Should Be A Movie

Isaac Newton Source: Wikimedia Commons

Isaac Newton
Source: Wikimedia Commons


CUNY Television: One to One: Laura J. Snyder: Author, “Eye of the Beholder”



YouTube: Revelations: New Vision with Ben Burbridge

YouTube: Prague Alchemy (Episode 1&2)



History of Philosophy without any gaps: Rediscovery Channel: Translations into Latin


Bodleian Libraries, Oxford: Symposium: Space, place and landscape in the history of communications 16 June 2015

University of Durham: Workshop: Climate Science, Values & Politics 28 May 2015

University of Durham: How to do Things with Fur: Medieval Art and the Matter of ‘the Animal’ 19 May 2015

Occult Minds: CfP: Aries Special Issue on Esotericism and the Cognitive Science of Religion

Intoxicants & Early Modernity: CfP: RSA Boston 2016 Intoxicants and Early Modernity

Royal Historical Society: CfP: Teaching History in Higher Education

Natural History Museum at Tring: Temporary Exhibitions at Tring: Myths & Monsters 6 May–6 September 2015


University of Oxford: Émilie du Châtelet Study Day 14 May 2015

Émilie du Châtelet Portrait by Maurice Quentin de La Tour Source: Wikimedia Commons

Émilie du Châtelet Portrait by Maurice Quentin de La Tour
Source: Wikimedia Commons

CASSH: Objects in Motion: Material Culture in Transition 18 June–20 June 2015

Royal Society: People-powered science: citizen science in the 19th and 21st centuries 21 May 2015


London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine: MET Science Communication Officer

Science Museum: Two-Year Postdoc in History of Nuclear Industry

University of Strathclyde: PhD Studentship in Naval/Technological History

UCL: STS: PhD Studentship “Charles Blagden and Banksian Science, 1770–1820”
























































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. #47

  1. Ian H Spedding says:

    I agree about it being misguided for the United Kingdom to contemplate separation from Europe but hopefully that is just politicians employing the time-honored tactic of winning elections by fanning the flames of anxiety about perceived external threats like the influx of migrants from North Africa and the Middle East.

    • Phillip Helbig says:

      I live in Germany, where no such referendum is possible—neither with regard to the EU as a whole nor even with regard to the EURO (a stipulation of the reunification agreement). I think the UK population should be happy that they get to decide. I am normally a fan of parliamentary democracy, but a) a referendum is a good corrective in some situations especially b) in countries with a bizarre non-linear electoral system like the UK has. Anyone who believes in democracy should have as his first goal—democracy. If the people don’t decide as you would like, or if you fear that they won’t, feel free to convince them. What is the alternative? Decide “what is best” by some non-democratic process in order to save the population from itself? That is the justification every dictator uses.

      Whatever one thinks of immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East (and, increasingly, sub-Saharan Africa as well), it is not “perceived”. It is a real phenomenon. And it is a fact that a society cannot take in an arbitrarily large number of immigrants. And it is also not the case that oppressed people are all friendly and tolerant: there was recently a case where Muslim refugees pushed Christian refugees in the same boat into the sea, drowning them.

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