Whewell’s Gazette: Year 2, Vol. #29

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

Year 2, Volume #29

Monday 01 February 2016


We have already entered the second month of 2016 and it’s time for the next edition of your weekly #histSTM link list Whewell’s Gazette bringing you all of the histories of science, technology and medicine that we could gather together in cyberspace over the last seven days.

On a fairly regular basis an academic paper or a press release appears announcing a new supposedly major discovery or advance in science or archaeology, which the media pounces on hyping and misrepresenting it in every possible imaginable way. The last week saw, for a change, this process taking place with relation to the history of ancient astronomy.

Historian of Babylonian astronomy, Mathieu Ossendrijver, from the Humboldt University of Berlin published and article in the journal Science, Ancient Babylonian astronomers calculated Jupiter’s position from the area under a time-velocity graph, which described his discovery that a series of cuneiform clay tablets, dated between 350 and 50 BCE, described the tracking of the planet Jupiter using a geometrical process. This in itself would be pretty impressive as it was generally thought that Babylonian astronomy, as opposed to Greek, was algebraic and not geometric. Even more astounding was the fact that the author of the tablets was basically graphing time against velocity in trapezoidal figures and then determining the area of the figure to determine the distance covered. This discovery was truly astounding because this geometrical form of proto-integral calculus was previously thought to have been first developed by the Oxford Calculatores in the fourteenth century CE.


So far so good. If you have difficulty reading the fairly technical original paper then I recommend you read the Nature article, Babylonian astronomers used geometry to track Jupiter by Philip Ball, which is level headed and objective then having done so you can look at some of the other less well informed articles that spin off into the ridiculous. Possibly the most ridiculous was the BBC Science News Twitter account, which actually asked, “Babylonians, ‘first to use geometry’. Meaningless and ahistorical click bait of the worst order. There is a major difference between the use of a specific geometric process and the use of unqualified geometry something, which apparently the BBC Science News Twitter account doesn’t understand. There are other horrors contained in the various accounts of the original article, which I will leave it to the readers to discover but be warned, as Philip Ball expressed it so beautifully on Twitter:

Sometimes I feel sorry for the past: when we’re not patronising or denigrating it, we’re hyping it.

Gizmodo: This Babylonian Astronomy Text Changes History

Smithsonian.com: Babylonians Were Using Geometry Centuries Earlier Than Thought

New Scientist: Ancient maps of Jupiter’s path show Babylonians’ advanced mathematics

Popular Mechanics: Ancient Babylonians Geometrically Traced the Path of Jupiter

The New York Times: Signs of Modern Astronomy Seen in Ancient Babylon

BBC News: Ancient Babylonians ‘first to use geometry’

BBC Science in Action: iPlayer: Tracking Jupiter on clay tablets

Independent: Ancient Babylonians used early calculus to track path of Jupiter, study finds

The New York Times: Signs of Modern Astronomy Seen in Ancient Babylon

Times of India: Modern astronomy evolved in Babylon?

Science: Math whizzes of ancient Babylon figured out forerunner of calculus

ars technica: Babylonians tracked Jupiter with sophisticated geometrical math

Quotes of the week:

“We are more than our scientific parts, and if we are to respect humanity we have to find ways to understand” – Rob Townsend (@rbhisted)

Shadow Quote

“This must be the way most of us maneuver through the world, half knowing, half not, visited by memories that can’t possibly be true.” – Bejamin Dreyer (@BCDreyer)

“Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.” Lewis Carrol (1832-1898)

“I always feel people calling for a Muslim “Reformation” know very little about the destruction wrought by the Xian one”. – David M. Perry (@Lollardfish)

“Found a journal called Neuroquantology that ‘explores boundary betw consciousness & quantum phys’. More like boundary betw shite & bollocks”. – Jim Al-Khalili (@jimalkhalili)

“Thomas Orde-Lees, on Shackleton's Endurance, wrote this 101 yrs ago” h/t @matthewteller

“Thomas Orde-Lees, on Shackleton’s Endurance, wrote this 101 yrs ago” h/t @matthewteller

“philosophy of science that is not scientifically serious is not serious philosophy”—Clark Glymour h/t @bradweslake

“In 1800, the Holy Roman Empire could boast 45 universities. France had 22 – England had 2”. – Tom Holland (@holland_tom)

“And Scotland had 5! (Edinburgh, St Andrews, Glasgow, Marischal College Aberdeen, King’s College Aberdeen)” – Anton Howes (@antonhowes)

“I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.”―Oscar Wilde

Leo Szilard, on fleeing the Nazis: “In this world you don’t have to be much cleverer than other people, you just have to be one day earlier” – Douglas O’Reagan (@D_OReagan)

The Vitruvianische Katze Peter Glaser (@peterglaser)

The Vitruvianische Katze Peter Glaser (@peterglaser)

Birthdays of the Week:

Robert Boyle born 25 January 1627

Robert Boyle by Johann Kerseboom, Gawthorpe Hall, 1689 CHF Source: Wikimedia Commons

Robert Boyle by Johann Kerseboom, Gawthorpe Hall, 1689 CHF
Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Happy Birthday Robert Boyle.

Best known for promoting ties between religion and science

What do you mean he’s not remembered for that?” – Peter Broks (@peterbroks)

Irish Philosophy: Boyle’s Corpuscular Philosophy

CHF: Robert Boyle

CHF: Full Boyle

Youtube: University of Oxford: Robert Boyle’s Corpuscularian Theory

Johannes Hevelius born 28 January 1611

Image National Portrait Gallery

Image National Portrait Gallery

 Yovisto: Johannes Hevelius and his Selenographia

The Renaissance Mathematicus: The last great naked-eye astronomer

Encyclopedia.com: Johannes Hevelius

Linda Hall Library: Scientist of the Day – Johannes Hevelius

The Face of the Moon: Hevelius, Johannes (1611–1687)

Voula Saridakis: Converging Elements in the Development of Late Seventeenth-Century Disciplinary Astronomy: Instrumentation, Education, Networks, and the Hevelius-Hooke Controversy (PhD thesis, pdf)


Yovisto: Paul Langevin and the Langevin Dynamics

Perimeter Institute: Great Physicists and the Pets Who Inspired Them

The Public Domain Review: The Hyginus Star Atlas (1482)


World Digital Library: Explanation of the Telescope Tang Ruowang (Chinese name of Johann Adam Schall von Bell, 1592–1666)

Voices of the Manhattan Project: Isabella Karle’s Interview

Yovisto: The Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory

Yovisto: Ilya Prigogine and the Role of Time

AHF: Niels Bohr Announces the Discovery of Fission

Nova Next: The Ninth Planet That Wasn’t

Voices of the Manhattan Project: Vincent and Claire Whitehead’s Interview

The History of Astronomy in Wales: Isaac Roberts (1829–1904)

The Independent: Beatrice Tinsley: 5 facts you need to know about the (uncelebrated) astronomer

New Zealand astronomer and cosmologist Beatrice Tinsley Source: Wikimedia Commons

New Zealand astronomer and cosmologist Beatrice Tinsley
Source: Wikimedia Commons

AHF: Scientist Refugees and the Manhattan Project

Voices of the Manhattan Project: Sam Campbell’s Interview

Library of Congress Library: Newly Acquired Arabic Manuscript on Early Astronomy and Mathematics

The Renaissance Mathematicus: A misleading illustration

The State: Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 30 years ago over Florida with teacher on board

npr: 30 Years After Explosion, Challenger Engineer Still Blames Himself

American History: The Cosmos in Miniature: The Remarkable Star Map of Simeon de Witt

The Astrolabe of Simeon De Witt (Front view)

The Astrolabe of Simeon De Witt (Front view)

AHF: Klaus Fuchs

Voices of the Manhattan Project: Walt Grisham’s Interview

NASA: Jet Propulsion Lab: Ceres: Keeping Well-Guarded Secrets for 215 Years

esa: tribute to the space shuttle

Scientific American: The Fermi Paradox is not Fermi’s and it is not a Paradox

Atlas Obscura: The Famous Photo of Chernobyl’s Most Dangerous Radioactive Material Was A Selfie

Atlas Obscura: Astronomical Clock of Lyon

UT News: Ransom Center Receives $10,000 Grant To Catalog Collection of Science Materials

Physics Today: The peaceful atom comes to campus


Yovisto: Fabian von Bellingshausen and the Discovery of Antarctica

Jisc: Old Maps Online

Smithsonian.com: Nellie Bly’s Record-Breaking Trip Around the World Was, to Her Surprise a Race

Atlas Obscura: Were Portuguese Explorers the First Europeans to Find Australia

Is this the first map of Australia? (Photo: Wikipedia)

Is this the first map of Australia? (Photo: Wikipedia)

Catalan Science Reviews: Tides and the Catalan Atlas [1375]

National Museum Australia: Western Hemisphere Map

BBC News: ‘Lost’ map of Cornwall found in collection

New York Public Library: Coming Soon: The Hunt-Lenox Globe, in 3D!

The Map Room: The Hunt-Lenox Globe

The Hunt-Lenox Globe

The Hunt-Lenox Globe


The H-Word: From Rubella to Zika: pregnancy, disability, abortion and the spectre of an epidemic

Yovisto: Hermann Ebbinghaus and the Experimental Study of Memory

Recommended Dose: A Blog About Teaching the History of Medicine: Brimstone and Treacle: Teaching History of Medicine with Recipes

UIC Special Collections: New finding aid available: Medical Pamphlet and Ephemera collection

Remedia: Denver’s One-Lung Army: Disease, Disability, and Debility in a Frontier City

Bartlett, Reuel, “Colorado for Consumptives, Asthmatics And Inquiring Invalids With Examination Chart.” Boulder, Colo. Daily Herald, 1888.

Bartlett, Reuel, “Colorado for Consumptives, Asthmatics And Inquiring Invalids With Examination Chart.” Boulder, Colo. Daily Herald, 1888.

Archaeology: Egypt’s Earliest Case of Scurvy Unearthed in Aswan

Two Nerdy History Girls: Mr. Curtis’s Acoustic Chair

Center for the History of Medicine: Edward Jenner

The Recipes Project: Hang Your Head: Mrs. Corlyon’s Unique Headache Treatment

Atlas Obscura: Gustavianum Anatomical Theater

Yovisto: Thomas Willis and the Royal Society

Thomas Morris: Dragging his bowels after him

Penn Medicine: Historic Tours of Pennsylvania Hospital

Notches: Sex, Disease, and Fertility in History

From the Hands of Quacks: The 20 Minute Surgery that Cured a Prince’s Deafness

Distillations Blog: A urine wheel from the 1506 book Epiphanie Medicorum by Ullrich Pinder.


Best Certified Nursing Assistant Programs: 10 Snapshots of Nursing in Nazi Germany

RCP: Cold cures and prevention in the UK Medical Heritage Library (UK-MHL)

Museum of Health Care: Curing Death: Plague Medicine and Medieval Doctors

The Recipes Project: Catch the Hare: Remedies for the Stone

H/SOZ/KULT: History of the Social Practice of Psychiatric Nursing and the Patients

Thomas Morris: Benjamin Rush in the Lancet

The Lancet: The body politic (oa)

The Recipes Project: On the “Oil of Swallows”, Part 1: Did Anyone Actually Use These Outrageous Remedies

Encyclopedia of Alabama: Graefenberg Medical Institute

BBC News: Donald Grey Triplett: The first boy diagnosed as autistic

Medievalists.net: Abortion Medieval Style? Assaults on Pregnant Women in Later Medieval England

Thomas Morris: Give that man a medal


Conciatore: What Goes Around Comes Around

Collectors Weekly: Antique Clocks

Medium: Craig Mod: 22 Years Ago I Used a Cellular Telephone


Atlas Obscura: The Women Who Rose High in the Early Days of Hot Air Ballooning

Londonist: See How London Might Have Been Rebuilt After the Great Fire

Science Museum: Researching the humble audio guide

Engineering and Technology History Wiki: John Logie Baird

All Day: These are the Oldest Photos Ever Taken

DigVentures: How Anglo-Saxon Glassmakers Brought Colour to the Dark Ages

Yovisto: Gustav Eifel and his Famous Tower

Yovisto: Karl Benz and his Automobile Vehicle

Distillations Blog: Glamorizing Musicals and Modernism

Jalopnik: What If Cars had Developed with the Horse and Buggy Model?


Physics Today: The bicentennial of Francis Ronalds’s electric telegraph

Atlas Obscura: Why We Picture Bombs as Round Black Balls with a Burning Wick

Historic UK: SS Great Eastern’s Launch Ramp


The Public Domain Review: The Snowflake Man of Vermont

Paige Fossil History: The First Dinosaur Eggs: Meet Roy Chapman Andrews

Atlas Obscura: The Exquisite 19th-Century Infographics That Explained the History of the Natural World

Yovisto: The National Geographic Society

Palaeoblog: Died This Day: Adam Sedgwick

Adam Sedgewick (1785-1873), British geologist, one of the founders of modern geology, at the age of 47 Source: Wikimedia Commons

Adam Sedgewick (1785-1873), British geologist, one of the founders of modern geology, at the age of 47
Source: Wikimedia Commons

ucmp.berkeley.edu: Adam Sedgwick (1785–1873)

Discovery: No, Earth isn’t Flat: Here’s How Ancients Proved It

Newsweek: Even in the Middle Ages. People Didn’t Think the Earth was Flat

Phys.org: Flat wrong: the misunderstood history of flat Earth theories

Roots of Unity: An Impractical, Ahistorical, Mathematically Elegant Way to Figure out Earth is a Sphere

The Public Domain Review: Phenomena Over and Under the Earth (1878)

Museum of Wales: A marriage of art and science – botanical illustrations at Amgueddfa Cymru

Natural History Museum: Why georeferencing is the most important thing for the Museum since sliced bread

Nautilus: The Day the Mesozoic Died

CfHoSTM: Between Cope and Osborn: the Role of the American Biological Discourse on the Public Debate on Evolution


Paige Fossil History: How to Find the Missing Link (According to Dubois)

Dubois & wife Anna, Source: Wikipedia Commons

Dubois & wife Anna, Source: Wikipedia Commons

Yovisto: Eugene Dubois and the Java Man

Niche: Turning off Niagara Falls …Again: 1969 Redux

Palaeoblog: Died This Day: Dunkenfiled Henry Scott

History of Oceanography: The Origin of Oceans

A garden’s chronicle: A short visit to the Natural History Museum of London: meeting with the spirits of Wallace and Darwin

HiN: Zu einem unbekannten Porträt Alexander von Humboldts im Besitz des französischen Conseil d’État



Conciatore: Iron Into Copper

The recovery of copper from vitriolated waters, from De Re Metallica, 1556, by Agricola (Georg Bauer).

The recovery of copper from vitriolated waters,
from De Re Metallica, 1556, by Agricola (Georg Bauer).

The Culture of Chemistry: A universal hotness manifold

The Public Domain Review: Picturing Pyrotechnics


blogs.bodleian: Celebrating Ada Lovelace’s 200th Birthday

centraljersey.com: Notes on the humanities


SSHM: The Gazette

University of Sheffield: HRI Digital: HRI Online

The Royal Society: The Repository: A V Hill, refugees and the Royal Society

Leaping Robot: A Mountain of Magical Thinking

The New York Times: Marvin Minsky, Pioneer in Artificial Intelligence, Dies at 88

 More details Marvin Minsky at the KI 2006 artificial intelligence conference in Bremen Source: Wikimedia Commons

More details
Marvin Minsky at the KI 2006 artificial intelligence conference in Bremen
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Slate: This Is Not The Fourth Industrial Revolution

European Academic Heritage Network: Checklist for the Preservation and Access of Recent Heritage Science

European Academic Heritage Network: UNIVERSEUM’s Working Group on Recent Heritage of Science Literature on recent heritage of science

Huygens ING and the Scaliger Institute (Leiden University Libraries): present an ‘edition-in-progress’ of the correspondence of Carolus Clusius

The New York Times: Dr. Herbert L. Abrams, Who Worked Against Nuclear War, Dies at 95

Daily Sabah: Feature: Why Islamic world fell behind in science

Linnean News: February 2016

the alternative.in: 10 Indian women scientists you should be proud of

Anandibai Joshee (1865 – 1887)

Anandibai Joshee (1865 – 1887)

AHF: News Letter

Chemistry World: Once upon a time

The Guardian: Mary Somerville could be first woman other than Queen to feature on RBS banknote

The Sloane Letters Blog: Looking to the Edge, or Networking Early Modern Women


The Guardian: Did a 16th-century magician inspire 007?

Conciatore: The Golden Sun

The Sun, Robert Fludd from Utriusque Cosmi (1617),v. 2, p. 19.

The Sun, Robert Fludd
from Utriusque Cosmi (1617),v. 2, p. 19.

distillatio: Things alchemy was related to and helped with and used by

Wellcome Library: Bond villains and criminal anthropology


Medical History: Christopher Hamlin, More Than Hot: A Short History of Fever

Wall Street Journal: Science, Sorcery and Sons (Google title and follow link to circumnavigate paywall)

AGU: Blogosphere: Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier

The Guardian: Planet of the Bugs by Scott Richard Shaw – evolution and the rise of insects

Insect nation … a swarm of locusts flies over a beach in the Canary Islands. Photograph: Carlos Guevara/Reuters

Insect nation … a swarm of locusts flies over a beach in the Canary Islands. Photograph: Carlos Guevara/Reuters

Physics Today: A Singularly Unfeminine Profession: One Woman’s Journey in Physics


Boydell & Brewer: Leprosy and Charity in Medieval Rouen

Chicago University Press: The Experimental Self: Humphry Davy and the Making of a Man of Science

Dr Alun Withey: Technology, Self-Fashioning and Politeness in Eighteenth-Century Britain


Historiens de la santé: Quelle révolution scientifique? Les sciences de la vie dans la querelle des Anciens et des Modernes (XVIe-XVIIIe siècles)

I.B. Tauris: In Search of Kings and Conquerors: Gertrude Bell and the Archaeology of the Middle East


Amazon: A Critical History of Schizophrenia

Historiens de la santé: Hospitals and Urbanism in Rome, 1200–1500

Bloomsbury Publishing: Advances in Religion, Cognitive Science, and Experimental Philosophy

Culture 24: The Astronomer and the Witch: Paranoia, fear, imprisonment and a 17th century European witch trial

University of Pittsburgh Press: Science as It Could Have Been



ARTFIXdaily: “We Are One: Mapping America’s Road from Revolution to Independence” Will Examine Events Preceding, During and Following the Fight for Freedom from a Cartographic Perspective and Will Open at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg in March 2016

Royal College of Physicians: Scholar courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee 18 January29–July 2016

The Shakespeare Blog: His most potent art: the library of John Dee

London Historian’s Blog: John Dee at the RCP

Royal College of Physicians: “Anatomy as Art” Facsimile Display Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5.30pm

JHI Blog: Dissenting Voices: Positive/Negative: HIV/AIDS In NYU’s Fales Library

St John’s College: University of Cambridge: Fred Hoyle: An Online Exhibition

Culture 24: Small but worldly maps exhibition makes sense of human wandering at London’s Store Street gallery

Science Museum: Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Genius 10 February 2016–4 September 2016

The Guardian: Scientific genius of Leonard da Vinci celebrated in new exhibition

The exhibition features wooden models based on Leonardo’s detailed mechanical drawings. Photograph: Philippe Levy/Science Museum

The exhibition features wooden models based on Leonardo’s detailed mechanical drawings. Photograph: Philippe Levy/Science Museum

Manchester Art Gallery: The Imitation Game

The John Rylands Library: Magic, Witches & Devils in the Early Modern World 21 January–21 August 2016

Magic Witches

Museum für Naturkunde Berlin: Dinosaurier in Berlin: Brachiosaurus as an Icon of Politics, Science, and Popular Culture 1 April 2015–31March 2018 

Universty of Cambridge: Research: Newton, Darwin, Shakespeare – and a jar of ectoplasm: Cambridge University Library at 600

allAfrica: Algeria: Exhibition on Algeria (cartography) Marseille 20 January–2 May 2016

Osher Map Library: Masterpieces at USM: Celebrating Five Centuries of Rare Maps and Globes 19 November 2015–12 March 2016

Advances in the History of Psychology: Mar. 12th Pop-Up Museum Explores Contributions of Women of Colour in Psych

Historical Medical Library: Online Exhibition: Under the Influence of the Heavens: Astrology in Medicine in the 15th and 16th Centuries

British Museum: The Asahi Shimbun Displays: Scanning Sobek: mummy of the crocodile god Room 3 10 December 2015–21 February 2016

Horniman Museum & Gardens: London’s Urban Jungle Run until 21 February 2016

Somerset House: Utopia 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility

New York Public Library: Printmaking Women: Three Centuries of Female Printmakers, 1570–1900

New-York Historical Society: Silicon City: Computer History Made in New York 13 November 2015–17 April 2016

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Luxury of Time Runs until 27 March 2016

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Luxury of Time Runs until 27 March 2016

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Luxury of Time Runs until 27 March 2016

CLOSING SOON: Royal Geographical Society: Enduring Eye: The Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley 21 November 2015–28 February 2016

CLOSING SOON: The Huntarian: ‌The Kangaroo and the Moose Runs until 21 February 2016

Science Museum: Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age

Museum of Science and Industry: Meet Baby Meet Baby Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Saturday

The Mary Rose: ‘Ringing the Changes’: Mary Rose Museum to re-open in 2016 with unrestricted views of the ship

Royal Museums Greenwich: Samuel Pepys Season 20 November 2015–28 March 2016

Royal College of Surgeons: Designing Bodies 24 November 2015–20 February 2016

CLOSING SOON: Natural History Museum, London: Bauer Brothers art exhibition Runs till 26 February 2017

Science Museum: Ada Lovelace Runs till 31 March 2016

British Library: 20th Century Maps 4 November 2016–1 March 2017

Royal Pavilion, Brighton: Exotic Creatures 14 November 2015–28 February 2016


Closing Very Soon! Bethlem Museum of the Mind: The art of Bedlam: Richard Dadd Runs till 6 February 2016

National Library of Scotland: Plague! A cultural history of contagious diseases in Scotland Runs till 29 May 2016

Science Museum: Churchill’s Scientists Runs till 1 March 2016

Oxford University Museum of Natural History: Henry Walter Bates Until 26 February


ChoM News: Center for the History of Medicine: Screening of “Mystery Street” 24 February 2016

Gielgud Theatre: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Booking to 18 June 2016

Last Chance! The Cockpit – Theatre of Ideas: Jekyll and Hyde 13 January–6 February 2016

The Regal Theatre: The Trials of Galileo International Tour March 2014­–December 2017

Coming Soon: The Crescent Theatre: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Swan Theatre: Doctor Faustus 4 February–4 August 2016


Descartes event

Map History: Maps and Society Lectures: Dr Kevin Sheehan ‘Construction and Reconstruction: Investigating How Portolan Maps Were Produced by Reproducing a Fifteenth-Century Chart of the Mediterranean’. 04 February 2016

Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine’s Center for the History of Medicine: Talk: Ill Composed: Sickness, Gender, and Belief in Early Modern England 8 March 2016

Discover Medical London: “Dr Dee” & The Magic of Medicine A Special Half Day Tour 23 March & 27 May 2016

CHF: Brown Bag Lectures Spring 2016

Shackelton Event

NYAM: Credits, Thanks and Blame in the Works of Conrad Gessner

Discover Medical London: Walking Tour: Harley Street: Healers and Hoaxers

Royal College of Physicians: Dee late: inside Dee’s miraculous mind

City Arts and Lectures: Steve Silberman: The Untold History of Autism 28 March 2016 Live on Public Radio

University of York: Lecture: Not Everyone Can Be A Gandhi: The Global Indian Medical Diaspora in the post-WWII Era 3 March 2016

NCSE: Darwin Day Approaches



UWTSD London Campus: The Study Day: Introduction to Egyptian Astronomy 6 February 2016

CRASSH: Cambridge: Workshop: Orientalism and its Institutions in the Nineteenth Century 18 February 2016

EconoTimes: Historymiami Museum to Host Largest Map Fair in the Western Hemisphere for 23rd Year 5–7 February 2016


Schwetzingen: Astronomie-Tagung: Von Venus-Transit zum Schwarzen Loch 19 März 2016

Science Museum: Symposium: Revealing the Cosmonaut 5 February 2016

North-West Evening Mail: University of Lancaster: Antique maps reveal their secrets 6 February 2016

Wellcome Collection: AD Exploration: Spices, Smell and Disease 4 February 2016

Royal Institution: Christianity and the creation of modern science Short Course Every Thursday 4 February 2016


The Alchymist (Joseph Wright of Derby, 1771) Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Alchymist (Joseph Wright of Derby, 1771)
Source: Wikimedia Commons


BBC: iPlayer: James Clerk Maxwell



Youtube: Richard Feynman debunks NASA

Youtube: James Clerk Maxwell – Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Science Museum: Baird’s pioneering television apparatus

USGS: Evening Public Lecture Series:

Youtube: RCP: Jeanette Winterson’s opening speech at the launch of the RCP’s John Dee exhibition, 18 January 2016

Tech Insider: This epic video of every space shuttle ever launched might make you cry

Youtube: Old Fort Niagara Association: The Effectiveness of 18th Century Musketry

Luís Henriques: Music Printing in the Renaissance

Youtube: BBC Radio 4: Rene Descartes – “I think, therefore I am”


BBC Radio 4: Science Stories: The Duchess Who Gatecrashed Science

BBC Radio 3: The Essay: Architecture: The Secret Mathematician


The Public Domain Review: Thomas Edison Tells a Joke about a Liver (1906)

Ben Franklin’s World: Episode 015: Joyce E. Chaplin, Round About the Earth: Circumnavigation from Magellan to Orbit

Niche: Nature’s Past Episode 51: Has Environmental History Lost Its Way

Science Friday: For Planet-Seekers a Cautionary Tale

University of Cambridge: 2016 Sandars Lectures Anthony Grafton


University of Kent: CfP: Medicine in its Place: Situating Medicine in Historical Contexts 7–10 July 2016

Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI): History of Science and Contemporary Scientific Realism Conference 19–21 February 2016

Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology Museum, Oxford: CfP: Gendering Museum Histories 7–8 September 2016

St Cross College Oxford: Conference: Medieval Physics in Oxford 27 February 2016

University of Chester: One Day Symposium: Pilgrimage, Shrines and Healing in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe 24 June 2016

Science in Public Research Network: CfP: Science in Public 2016 University of Kent 13–15 July 2016

Science in Public

Medieval Studies Institute of Indiana University: Twenty-Eighth Annual Spring Symposium: CfP: Medieval Globalisms – Movement in the Global Middle Ages 8–9 April 2016

Leuphana University Lüneburg: CfP: Summer School: On Simulation in Science 26–30 September 2016

Institució Milà i Fontanals, Barcelona, Spain; Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, Marburg, Germany: CfP: Urban Peripheries? Emerging Cities in Europe’s South and East, 1850–1945 26.09.2016-27.09.2016, Barcelona, Institució Milà i Fontanals

Institute of Historical Research, Senate House: CfP: Best-Laid Plans: a colloquium about schemers and their schemes 8–9 April 2016

University of Manchester: CHSTM Seminar Series February to May 2016

Vatican Library Conference

Notches: CfP: Histories of Music and Sexuality

Echo Physics Pöllau Austria: CfP: 2nd International Conference on the History of Physics: Invention, application and exploitation in the history of physics 5–7 September 2016

SIGCIS: Call for Submissions: Mahoney Prize for outstanding article in the history of computing and information technology

Kaap Doorn NL: CfP: Philosophy of Science in a Forest 19–21 May 2016

University of Valencia: Institute for the History of Medicine and Science: Spring 2016 Seminars


University of Groningen: Postdoc History of Eighteenth Century Medicine

CHoM News: 2016-2017 Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine Fellowship: Application Period Open

Wellcome Library: Wikimedian in Residence at the Wellcome Library

The Francis A. Countway Library: Fellowships in the History of Medicine 2016-2017

Horniman Museum and Gardens: Deputy Keeper of Natural History

American Meteorological Society: Graduate Fellowship in the History of Science

University of Edinburgh: PhD Scholarship in the Philosophy of Science

University of Cambridge: PhD Studentship, HPS

University of York: Graduate Program in Science and Technology Studies

The Hakluyt Society Blog: Hakluyt Society Research Grants




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: Year 2, Vol. #29

  1. Beatrice Tinsley uncelebrated? Certainly not. At best, one could claim that she is uncelebrated if others with similar accomplishments are more celebrated, but even that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    Similar articles turn up about Lise Meitner and even Marie Curie from time to time.

    “Beatrice Tinsley was responsible for breakthrough discoveries on how galaxies moved with time but her name is virtually unknown outside academic circles.”

    Most astronomers are unknown outside academic circles. And what is the first part of this sentence supposed to mean?

    “She pointed out to her professors as a PhD student that factors such as how many chemical elements, the mass of the galaxy and the rate of starbirth had all been overlooked in determining how fast a galaxy was expanding.”

    Confusing the expansion of the universe with the expansion of a galaxy (something which really doesn’t even exist). The writer is extremely ignorant of even basic cosmology.

    3. She was not taken seriously as a married woman

    Despite being offered a scholarship at the high-powered Center for Advanced Studies in Texas and gaining a PhD, Tinsley was excluded from permanent work. She did not realise when she married her husband, university classmate Brian Tinsley, that she would also be stopped from working at Christchurch in New Zealand because he was employed there.”

    The title is deceiving. It makes it sounds like she was greeted with “can a woman do physics?” with the same ignorance as “can a blue man play the whites?”. In reality, it seems that the university had rules against “nepotism”. Similar problems were encountered by the Shoemakers (of comet fame). Many universities have rules against romantic involvement between members of staff, usually to discourage sexual harassment. I think this is going too far, and at the other extreme offering the “trailing spouse” a job they would otherwise never get as part of a “dual-couple appointment” is also going too far. Had the roles been reversed, she already employed, then he wouldn’t have been able to work there. Whatever you think about this, trying to spin it as she wasn’t taken seriously as a married woman is utter bullshit.

    “Yale University made her professor of astronomy. In the six years she was there, she published many scientific papers which cosmologists today have said make her world-leading in the field.”

    Almost every astronomer would really like to be as “uncelebrated” as this.

    Suggestion: Link only to good articles written by knowledgeable people!

    • thonyc says:

      I have released your comment from the spam filter and removed it from The Renaissance Mathematicus along with all that was connected to it. The problem you have with comments on WordPress is I’m sorry to say yours, but not really. The WordPress spam filter works by recognising the addresses of the sites the bloggers link to and it appears that it somehow has come to the conclusion that your website is the website of a spammer! You are the only commentator who has to suffer this problem here and strangely the spam filter is not consistent in this, sometimes it lets you through sometimes it blocks you. If it happens again just send me a quick email and I’ll free the comment, I can’t offer more.

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