Whewell’s Gazette: Vol. #49

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 #49

Monday 01 June 2015


Although this is the forty-ninth edition of your weekly #histSTM links list this time it actually brings you some of the best in the histories of science, technology and medicine, not from the last seven days but from the last fourteen as I spent most of the last week travelling to and back from the North of England, as mentioned in the last edition, in order to attend the funeral of my elder brother. Despite this somewhat melancholic interruption we have another bumper crop of #histSTM delight for you perusal and edification.

In place of an editorial I have brought together some articles and comments about writing the history of science. To kick off we have an excellent article from Philip Ball about writing about the role of women in #histSTM.

Chemistry World: How do we solve a problem like Marie?

© Science Source/Science Photo Library

© Science Source/Science Photo Library

Illustrated by an example of how not to do it

The Guardian: The 10 best unsung female scientists

and a couple of pertinent comments picked up from Twitter

I think a fruitful direction for popular #histSTM would be re-examining our criteria for “greatness.” – Meg Rosenburg

“Women’s scientific work has been “obscured or devalued by the ideology of scientific heroism” – (Oreskes, 1996)

and an  excellent older article on the problems of hagiography in #histSTM

The Toast: On Heroic Scientists and Hagiography

The OUP blog goes as far as to ask

Is the history of science still relevant?

Two major articles tackle the problems generated by Steven Weinberg’s recent blast on the history of science

Springer Link: Whose History Is It?

Shells and Pebbles: Weinberg, Whiggism, and The World in History of Science

Which elicited this comment from Rebekah “Becky” Higgitt: “Writing the history of physics deserves to be multi-faceted”

We close with two articles on the problematic presentation of the role of catholic clergy in the history of science

The Wall Street Journal: Planets, Priests and a Persistent Myth

Crown River Media.com: Climate of change: The Catholic church’s dance with science

Quotes of the week:

“Make tea not war.” – @AlmostSenseless

“The best way to find manuscript typos is to click submit”. – @AcademicsSay

“Every time someone brings up Gödel’s incompleteness theorem in a non-math context, God makes another theorem unprovable.” – @existentialscoms

“Some people think themselves clever if one has to be clever to understand them”. – Erasmus

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.” ― Mark Twain

“In philosophy, if you think the answer is obvious, you haven’t understood the question”. – @keithfrankish

“Can you imagine what we could achieve if all the philosophers in the world got together?”


“Exactly!” – @ethicistforhire

“I shall assume that your silence gives consent”. – Plato

“Never laugh at the old when they offer counsel, often their words are wise.” —Hávamál

”No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” – Albert Einstein

“How did we let “overmorrow” (meaning “the day after tomorrow”) obsolesce? It’s useful and beautiful”. – Ned Morrell

“One of the hardest and least frequently learned lessons of blogging is how to remain silent when you have nothing useful to add”. – Chad Orzel

“If at first you don’t succeed, read the instructions”. – @kellyflorentia

“Having a blog (or whatever) and making it work are two different things and that needs to be recognised!” – Richard Blakemore (@historywomble)

“I had rather be an oyster than a man, the most stupid and senseless of animals”. – George Berkeley

“The less men think, the more they talk”. – Montesquieu

“The only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it”. – John Locke

“Having an open mind is not the same as having an empty head”. – Peter Coles (@telescoper)

“No man is free who is not master of himself”. – Epictetus

“It is not irritating to be where one is. It is only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else.” – John Cage

“Books are better than ever but there is no time for books, we must kill the internet.” – @mims

“A pencil is a magic wand that conjures whole worlds from graphite and dreams.” – @DublinSoil

Birthdays of the Fortnight:

Mary Anning born 21 May 1799

Mary Anning with her dog, Tray, painted before 1842; the Golden Cap outcrop can be seen in the background Source: Wikimedia Commons

Mary Anning with her dog, Tray, painted before 1842; the Golden Cap outcrop can be seen in the background
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Natural History Museum: Mary Anning: the unlikeliest pioneer of palaeontology

History of Geology: The historical problem for women geologists: Travel and Gear

Letters from Gondwana: Mary Anning, The Carpenter’s Daughter

Forbes: Mary Anning: From Selling Seashells To One of History’s Most Important Paleontologists

BBC: Forgotten fossil found to be new species of ichthyosaur

Letters From Gondwana: Mary Anning’s Contribution to French Paleontology

Trowelblazers: Happy Birthday TrowelBlazers! And Happy Birthday Mary Anning!

Albrecht Dürer born 21 May

The earliest painted Self-Portrait (1493) by Albrecht Dürer, oil, originally on vellum (Louvre, Paris) Source: Wikimedia Commons

The earliest painted Self-Portrait (1493) by Albrecht Dürer, oil, originally on vellum (Louvre, Paris)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Surviving Transition: Albrecht Dürer: Diary of a Journey to the Netherlands (July, 1520–July 1521)

The Renaissance Mathematicus: A maths book from a painter

Geschichte der Geologie: Kunst & Geologie: Albrecht Dürers Landschaftsbilder


The Institute: Did You Know? Someone Else Wrote Maxwell’s Equations

True Anomalies: Exploring “Genius Day” with Annie Jump Cannon

Annie Jump Cannon Source: True Anomalies

Annie Jump Cannon
Source: True Anomalies

The Physics Mill: The Men Who Weighed Mountains

Time in Art: 1 Yemini Astrolabe

Descartes Project: Isaac Beeckman

Skulls in the Stars: 1975: The year that quantum mechanics met gravity

Royal Museums Greenwich: Spring Forward: 100 years of British Summer Time

Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage: The History of Early Low Frequency Radio Astronomy in Australia

Teylers Museum: Water hammer, 1874

Tand Online: Advances in optics in the medieval Islamic world

Science 2.0: The Culturally Subjective Nature of Good Acoustics

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Collection Online: Eclipse of the Sun

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Let’s talk about science: Van Gogh’s ‘Starry’ study

Space.com: The Father of SETI: Q6A with Astronomer Frank Drake

Starts With A Bang: Throwback Thursday: When We Changed The Laws of Gravity

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft: A solar eclipse sheds light on physics

John Gribbin Science: Why the Sky is Dark at Night

Ptak Science Books: A Not-Beautiful Confusion (1912)

Yovisto: The Life and Work of Georg von Peuerbach

AIP: Oral History Transcripts – Dr Martin Schwarzschild

Corpus Newtonicum: How to recognise a Newton library book in 60 seconds

James Musgrave’s bookplate, with the Barnsley Park shelfmark (here Case R. E.4.)

James Musgrave’s bookplate, with the Barnsley Park shelfmark (here Case R. E.4.)

AIP: Oral History Transcript – J. Robert Schrieffer


Ptak Science Books: Zones of the Variable (Maps of the Winds, 1886)

Ptak Science Books: A Map of Currents and Seaweed, 1886

British Library: Plan of Plymouth harbour, 1693

Ptak Science Books: Ghost Trails of the Mississippi River: Harold Fisk’s Geological Map of 1944

Ménestral: Medievalists on the map (French)

Bibliothèque Numérique Patrimoine Des Ponts: Cartes et documents de CH-J. Minard

History Today: Alberto Cantino’s World Map

The Hakluyt Society Blog: The Cabot Project

Henry VII’s letter to John Morton, re William Weston, c. 1499, C82/332 piece 61 out of 74, TNA:PRO. Courtesy of The National Archives

Henry VII’s letter to John Morton, re William Weston, c. 1499, C82/332 piece 61 out of 74, TNA:PRO.
Courtesy of The National Archives

Made From History: 10 Medieval Maps of Britain

Canadian GIS & Geomatics: Collection of Early Canadian Maps (1556 to 1857)

Blink: The Compass Chronicles: A game of whispers

The New Yorker: Project Exodus: What’s behind the dream of colonizing Mars?

Awesome Archives: From Endangered Archives Project 619: Pilot project to locate and digitise endangered single-copy pencil drawn Thakbast/mouza maps in selected Bangladeshi districts



Forbes: Rotten Roman Baby Teeth Blamed on Honey, Porridge

JHU Collections Web: Online Exhibition: Explore the Wall

Atlas Obscura: See These Stunning Photos of Brain Surgery’s Earliest Patients

Oxford University Press: The Perils of Peace: The Public Health Crisis in Occupied Germany: Open Access Title

Mo Costandi: Harvey Cushing: The Father of Modern Neurosurgery

The Recipes Project: Hunting for herbs: chasing migraine remedies across the centuries

Seven different types of sage (Salvia species): Credit: Wellcome Library, London.

Seven different types of sage (Salvia species): Credit: Wellcome Library, London.

Spitalfields Life: In Search of Culpeper’s Spitalfields

NYAM: Damien the Leper (Part 3 of 3)

Forbes: Roman Forum Yields Stash of Teeth Extracted by Ancient Dentist

Erowid Experience Vaults: Remarks on the Effects of the Mescal Button: Peyote Extract by Dr. S. Weir Mitchell 1896

The Recipes Project: Conference Report: Materia Medica on the Move, Leiden, 15-17 April 2015

Early Modern Practitioners: Working Papers

Berfrois: The Poet, the Physician and the Birth of the Modern Vampire

Circulating Now: Physiological Ads for the Modern Self

Slate: How to Tell If You’re Dead: The 19th-century doctor who wanted to create a “death thermometer”

NYAM: Did Corsets Harm Women’s Health?

The title page of “Fashion’s Slaves,” 1892.

The title page of “Fashion’s Slaves,” 1892.

The East End: The London Burkers

Slate: A 16th-Century GIF Tour of the Inside of the Brain

The Art of Saving a Life. Edward Jenner’s Smallpox Discovery


Ptak Science Books: Bad Sounds Department: the V-1, 1944

Ptak Science Book: Technical Report on the V-1, 1945

Conciatore: A Deeper Accomplishment

Conciatore: The Casino di San Marco

Conciatore: Don Antonio de’ Medici

Ptak Science Books: TomorrowVision: U-235, Project Orion, and City-Sized Space Ships, 1941–1968 (+)

Nova News Now.com: Dartmouth project unearths part of Shubenacadie canal’s history

Spitalfields Life: The Principle Operations of Weaving, 1748


ODNB: Edwin Beard Budding

Gebloggendings: Identifying ships in aerial photographs of the Crossroads Baker nuclear threat

Ptak Science Books: German Submarine Importance in Graphical Comparison, 1912

The Paris Review: A Brief History of Spacefarers

The Public Domain Review: The Emphatic Camera: Frank Norris and the Invention of Film Editing

Mental Floss: 6 More Magnificent Women in Their Flying Machines



Special Collections & Archives at Mizzou: The Modern Geometrical Stair Builders Guide

Telegraph of India: History of Weave – Of tapestries, hookahs and howdas

Ptak Science Books: Pause-Giving Photographs of Artillery Shell Vastness, ca. 1917

Ptak Science Books: Electro-LUXurious 3: Anti-erection “Body Wear” 1889

Conciatore: Rosichiero Glass

Conciatore: The Importance of Being Diligent

Conciatore: A Matter of Plagiarism

Ptak Science Books: WWII Aircraft Cross Sections – the Schematics Work of G.H. Davis

Inside the Science Museum: Space pioneer Alexi Leonov on the birth of the space age

Ptak Science Books: Calculating Machine Article, 1885 – Full Text

Ptak Science Books: Another Rooftop Airport/Helipad, 1945

Vox: Meet Margaret Hamilton, the badass ‘60s programmer who saved the moon landing

Margaret Hamilton in an Apollo Command Module.

Margaret Hamilton in an Apollo Command Module.


Mental Floss: How One Woman’s Discovery Shook the Foundations of Geology

The Alfred Russel Wallace Correspondence Project: Mini Biographies of Wallace’s Correspondents

NMNH: The Plant Press: Botanical Treasures #1. Wilkes collection type specimen: holotype of Argyroxiphium macrocephalum

The first botanical treasure is the holotype of Argyroxiphium macrocephalum (US 59690).

The first botanical treasure is the holotype of Argyroxiphium macrocephalum (US 59690).

Concocting History: The curious incident of the dog and the palm tree

Genome Biology: Raymond Gosling: the man who crystallised genes

Palaeoblog: Born This Day: William King Gregory

Embryo Project: Stephen Jay Gould (1941–2002)

Many Headed Monster: Women’s Work in Rural England, 1500–1700

Geschichte der Geologie: Kunst & Geologie: Eduard von Grützner – Der Mineraloge

Palaeoblog: Born This Day: Oliver Perry Hay

Richard Carter: Sir Thomas Browne observes a murmuration of starlings

AMNH: Darwin Manuscript Project

Blastr: Researcher photographs Leeuwenhoek’s ‘animalcules’ after 340 Years

The Mountain Mystery: Henry Hess and the Sea’s Floor

The Alfred Russel Wallace Website: Things named after Wallace: Alternative Realities

Scientific American: Why Carbon Is the Best Marker for the New Human Epoch

Quartz: Lessons from Charles Darwin on working from home

Essex Chronicle: Historical specimens from across the world arrive in Chelmsford

Trowelblazers: Elizabeth Anderson Gray

Elizabeth Anderson Gray spent her entire life fossil hunting. Her collections were vital to our understanding of early life on earth. © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

Elizabeth Anderson Gray spent her entire life fossil hunting. Her collections were vital to our understanding of early life on earth. © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

The Genealogical World of Phylogenetic Networks: Naudin, Wallace and Darwin: – the tree idea

The Friends of Charles Darwin: We receive feedback

The Washington Post Whoops! A creationist museum supporter stumbled upon a major fossil find

Nature: Correspondence: The mystery of the microscope in mud


Othmeralia: How best to use a blow pipe


The Royal Institution: Interactive timeline: Humphry Davy


Angie Higgins: The Institute of Sexology

Maybe It’s Because: Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime

The Hindu Business Line: Rohit Gupta’s The Compass Chronicles

Medium.com: How to write a blogpost from your journal article

LSU Ichthyology: On Being a Natural History Curator

History Department at the University of York: Time to share some of the achievements of our department

Arms Control Association: Getting to Know Alex Wellerstein

Alex Wellerstein works at his home in Hoboken, New Jersey, on January 19. (Courtesy of Alex Wellerstein)

Alex Wellerstein works at his home in Hoboken, New Jersey, on January 19. (Courtesy of Alex Wellerstein)

Curie: History matters to the present and the future

Panacea: Achoo!!!: The Humble Sneeze

Museums Association: Nine projects given green light for £98m HLF investment

The Atlantic: Reviving the Female Cannon

The Recipes Project: Translating Recipes 12: Recipes in Time and Space, Part 6 – BETWEEN

Society for Social Studies of Science: Primer Coloquio Colombiano de Estudios Sociales de la Ciencia y la tecnología

Inside the Science Museum: Space pioneer Alexei Leonov heralds Cosmonauts Exhibition

Storify: Cosmonauts exhibition announcement

Edge: We Need A Modern Origin Story: A Big History

The Royal Society: The Repository: The paper chase

The #EnvHist Weekly

The Guardian: Peter Gay obituary

The Telegraph: Libraries could outlast the internet, head of British Library says

UCL Press: Lisa Jardine: Temptation in the Archives: Essays in Golden Age Dutch Culture Free Download

The H-Word: Scientific publishing: how have changes over the last 50 years affected scientists?

The #EnvHist Weekly

Hooke’s Books.com: Robert Hooke’s Books

Ejournals@Cambridge: The Collected Papers of Einstein: Princeton University Press has made the Collected Works of Albert Einstein digitally available on an Open Access site. academia.edu: When the Printer Met the Virtuoso

Physics Today: The Dayside: Kissed by a prince

The Last Word on Nothing: Storia

The Boston Globe: Atop a sacred mountain, a skirmish between pure science and religion

A galaxy discovered in 2004 was identified by combining the power of the Hubble telescope and telescopes on Mauna Kea. ESA, NASA VIA REUTERS

A galaxy discovered in 2004 was identified by combining the power of the Hubble telescope and telescopes on Mauna Kea.


distillatio: Is this an unusual and often overlooked piece of alchemical equipment?

Here it is, in a free copy of the picture taken from the, IIRC, 16th century copy in the Ferguson collection in Glasgow University:

Here it is, in a free copy of the picture taken from the, IIRC, 16th century copy in the Ferguson collection in Glasgow University:

Alchemical Emblems, Occult Diagrams, and Memory Arts: 20 Books to get started in alchemical studies

Jonathan Saha: The Imperial Science of Hypnotic Adverts

The Champlain Society: Listening through the Séance Trumpets: A Strange History of Communications in Canada


Claes Johnson on Mathematics and Science: Tragedy of Modern Physics: Schrödinger and Einstein, or Quantum Mechanics as Dice Game?

Occam’s Corner: Water Surprise: The Water Book Reviewed

New Scientist: Case of the Rickety Cossack reveals unease about our fossil past

Science, Technology and Society: Inventing Exoticism: Geography, Globalism, and Europe’s Early Modern World


JHI Blog: Meredith Ray, Daughters of Alchemy

New Scientist: Einstein and Schrödinger: The price of fame

The Renaissance Mathematicus: Teaching the Revolution


Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry: Jenkin’s “Extraordinary Conditions: Culture and Experience in Mental Illness”

Science Direct: The forgotten man of DNA

The Washington Post: Behind the making of a super bomb

New Books in Biblical Studies: Tom McLeish Faith and Wisdom in Science

Science Book a Day: Kevin Orrman-Rossiter Reviews The Romantic Machine: Utopian Science and Technology after Napoleon

Science Book a Day: It Began With Babbage: The Genesis of Computer Science

JHI Blog: Long Vacations: Big Histories

New Scientist: The whole hog: Unpacking our love-hate relationship with the pig

The Catholic World Report: Galileo was Right – But So Were His Critics

Byrne’s Blog: book review: before the industrial revolution


The Linnean Society: The Curious Mister Catesby – Book Launch

Brepols Publishers: Analysis of Ancient and Medieval Texts and Manuscripts: Digital Approaches

The Dispersal of Darwin: The Griffin and the Dinosaur


Profile Books: Life’s Greatest Secret

Historiens de la santé: Healing Words: The Printed Handbills of Early Modern London Quacks


World of Wallace: Exhibition Alfred Russel Wallace Collection Chelmsford Museums, 6 June – 19 July:

Bethlem Museum of the Mind: Held Exhibition, London, 30 May 2015 – 21 August

Bournemouth University: BLAST: Exhibition, Atrium Gallery, 30 May – 20 June

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich: The Art & Science of Exploration, 1768-80, Open until 26 July:

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford: Last Days: Alchemy and the Laboratory, Open until 7 June:

AreByte London: Last Days: The Microbial Verdict: You Live Until You Die, , Open until 06 June:

Florence Nightingale Museum: The Kiss of Light, Open until 23 October 2015:


Swansea City Opera on Tour: Faust, Opera by Charles-François Gounod June 3

Harrogate Theatre, Harrogate

The Drayton Arms Theatre, London: Chamber Musical by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill The Theory of Relativity

National Theatre, London: The Hard Problem. A play by Tom Stoppard

Playing until 27 May 2015

The Guardian: Science on stage: should playwrights respect history and truth?

IEEE Spectrum: The Demo, a Musical About the Mouse


Symetry Movie.com: Symmetry. A dance and opera film in collaboration with CERN

The Royal Society: Mendel’s Legacy. Celebrate 150 years since Mendel’s lectures

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm, June 2

Wellcome Collection: Bernard Spilsbury: Forensic Pathologist 6 pm – 7 pm, June 4

MHS Oxford: From Crystals to Atoms. How did Henry Moseley investigate atoms using x-rays and crystals? June 7

Fine Books & Collections: Waterloo and More at 36th London Map Fair 6-7 June 2015

Taylor’s World: Conference: Celebrating the achievements and legacy of Frederick Winslow Taylor 24-25 September 2015


Wellcome Library: Dr Jenner Performing His First Vaccination, 1796 Oil painting by Ernest Board

National Gallery: Joseph Wright: An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump, 1768, oil-on-canvas, 


BBC Four: Inside the Medieval Mind. Knowledge

BBC Four: The last Explorers: John Muir



Ri Channel: Christmas Lectures 1980: Max Perutz – Haemoglobin: The breathing molecule

Torch: Leviathan and the Air Pump: Thirty Year On

Youtube: The Royal Society: Science stories – controversy

Youtube: The Trowelblazers Channel

Youtube: John von Neumann Documentary

archive.org: Librarian, The (1947)

Youtube: The Royal Society: Science Stories

Graftoniana: Conference Program and Videos

Youtube: Fossil

Youtube: “Dum docent discunt”: vernacular pedagogy in medieval astronomy


BBC: Aryabhata: The Boat of Intellect

BBC: Science in Action: Exploring the State of Science in India (includes section on the history of science)


University of Oxford: Centre for the Study of the Book: Podcasts

CHF: Old Brains, New Brains: The Human Mind Past and Present

Triceratops: The Perils of Imagination: Why Historians Don’t Like Counterfactuals


Royal Historical Society: CfP: Making ‘Big Data’ Human: Doing History in a Digital Age – deadline 20 June 2015

BSHS: 2015: Swansea: Registration and Programme

University of Strathclyde: Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare: Health, Healthcare and Society: Environment, Markets, Lifecycle and Location: Ten Years On’ 18–19 June 2015

Oral History Society: Oral histories of Science, Technology and Medicine: Royal Holloway, University of London 10-11 June 2015

Historiens de la santé: Conférence de Marie-Claude Thifault: Le branle-bas général à Saint-Jean-de-Dieu: Expérience de la désinstitutionnalisation, 1930-1976 03 juin 2015

Royal Society: “Archival Afterlives: Life, Death, and Knowledge-Making in Early Modern Scientific and Medical Archives” 2 June 2015

H-Histsex: CfP. Migration and Sexuality

British Academy/University of Warwick Interdisciplinary Workshop: Addiction and Culture since 1800 26 June 2015

King’s College London: Programme: Collections in Use: 6 July 2015

University of Durham: Lecture: Medical Ethics in 19th-Century Colombia

Royal Institution: Lecture: Hasok Chang, “If you can spray phlogiston, is it real?” 1 June 2015

Museum Boerhaave: Onthulling ‘nieuwe’ Leeuwenhoek-microscoop 2 Juni 2015

CRASSH: Objects in Motion: Material Culture in Transition 18-20 June 2015

University of Michigan: CfP: International Conference Scientific Utopias in Soviet Union

University of Valencia Instituto de Historia de la Medicina y de la Ciencia López Piñero CFP: ASTRONOMY AND ASTRONAUTICS UNDER DICTATORIAL REGIMES 24–25 September 2015

American Society for Environmental History: Award Submissions

H-Sci-Med-Tech: CfP Deadline Extended: 2015 Joint Atlantic Seminar for the History of Medicine University of Pennsylvania 16-17 October


University of Edinburgh: Postdoctoral Teaching and Research Fellow – History of Medicine

University of Leeds: New round of Wellcome/LHRI Postdoctoral Fellowships

University of Kent: Material World: Three PhD Studentships

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine: Centre for History in Public Health: New Research Fellow position available

University of York: History Department: Teaching Fellow in the History of Science and Medicine

University of Portsmouth: PhD Studentships

University of Aarhus: Associate Professorship in the History of Ideas (History of Science and Technology)

University of St. Andrews: Postdoctoral Researcher: Publishing the Philosophical Transactions

BSHS: Master’s Degree Bursaries

University of Leicester: AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships

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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