Abstracts Archive

[...] Rational Mechanics will be the sciences of motion resulting from any forces whatsoever, and of the forces required to produce any motion, accurately proposed and demonstrated [...] And therefore we offer this work as mathematical principles of his philosophy. For all the difficulty of philosophy seems to consist in this—from the phenomenas ...

Natural PhilosophyIndividual Paper

      My presentation focuses on the archaeology expedition conducted by American archaeologist Carl Bishop in China during the early twentieth century. Based on the archival material currently housed at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Smithsonian Institution Archives, the Freer Gallery of A...

Human and Social SciencesIndividual Paper

Was Vincenzo Galilei—composer, lutanist, and father of Galileo—an experimental scientist? Historians of science and music alike have agonized over this question. In 1589, Vincenzo recounted observations, taken from sonorous objects including lute strings and organ pipes, that seemed to contradict classical laws of harmony. Intriguingly, he clai...

Practical KnowledgePart of Organized Session

In January 1978, a nuclear-powered Soviet satellite plunged from orbit. Radioactive fragments of the spacecraft landed in a region of the Canadian Arctic known as “the Barrens.” Canadian state officials and journalists alike expressed relief that the accident had occurred in a place seemingly devoid of life, human or otherwise. However, Dene an...

Environmental SciencesPart of Organized Session

       At the turn of the twentieth century,  Historically Black Colleges and Universities stood as symbols of racial pride for black America. They were also places where intense missions dedicated to uplift ideology were weaved into tradition collegiate cirriculum.  This paper will look at the development of HBCUs in ...

Human and Social SciencesIndividual Paper

“Presidents might come and Presidents might go, but the White House squirrels presumably could go on forever,” Richard Neuberger told his Senate colleagues in a 1955 speech condemning relocation of some squirrels to distant areas. Neuberger referred to the Eastern gray squirrels living on the White House grounds, who have amused and challenged ...

Environmental SciencesIndividual Paper

Against the backdrop of the Cold War, several midcentury biologists worked to radically revise the basic idea of evolution, broadening it far beyond its traditional scope. Drawing heavily on the work of French paleontologist and idiosyncratic Jesuit theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, biologists including Julian Huxley, Theodosius Dobzhansky, an...

Environmental SciencesPart of Organized Session

Throughout the nineteenth century, American physicians and scientists invoked the term “monster” in efforts to collect, classify, and theorize the bodies of infants with extreme congenital anomalies. They also marshaled new frameworks of “monstrous” development to advance claims about racial hierarchy and degeneration. Drawing on medical an...

Medicine and HealthPart of Organized Session

In 1955, geographer Carl Sauer and geneticist Edgar Anderson were reunited in Princeton, New Jersey for the conference “Man’s Role in Changing the Face of the Earth.” Sauer, one of the conference organizers, delivered the paper “The Agency of Man on Earth,” in which he argued that although humans had always caused ecological damage, mode...

Environmental SciencesPart of Organized Session

In early seventeenth-century Rome, the per capita consumption of meat rose to nearly a pound per day. This enormous consumption was not just about luxury, but also spoke to the ways in which the papacy sought to remake its city and the bodies of its citizens in the wake of the Reformation. For a brief few decades, to eat like a Roman meant either t...

Medicine and HealthPart of Organized Session

In 1956, the Royal Society and the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey collaborated to send a small expedition to make glaciological observations on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia during the International Geophysical Year. Jeremy Smith thought his partner, Richard Brown, to be lazy and unqualified for the work. Brown considered Smith to...

Environmental SciencesPart of Organized Session

From June 1905 through November 1906, a full 17 months, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco sent out a group of eight sailor-scientists and three crew members on the schooner Academy to the Galapagos Islands to collect more and better specimens than Charles Darwin, or any other expedition, had collected in the past. While gone, the ...

Life SciencesPart of Organized Session

In 2003, the fossilized skeleton of a new member of the human evolutionary family was unearthed on a remote island in Southeast Asia. This small skeleton surprised the discovery team of international scientists, causing them to fiercely disagree over the significance of creature’s tiny brain, primitive features, and implications for human evoluti...

Life SciencesPart of Organized Session

In 1912, ethno-botanist Melvin Gilmore met with White Horse, an elderly member of Nebraska’s Omaha Nation. White Horse described the terrible transformation he had seen in his lifetime: “Now the face of all the land is changed and sad. The living creatures are gone. I see the land desolate, and I suffer unspeakable sadness.” This presentation...

Non-Western SciencePart of Organized Session

In a 1944 letter to Robert Thornton, Albert Einstein described the pedagogical value of HPS, expressing his concern that “[s]o many people today – and even professional scientists – seem to me like somebody who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest.” While he was responding to Dr. Thornton’s inquiry about the role of HPS...

HistoriographyRoundtable

When Carl O. Sauer and William Thomas began planning the “Man’s Role in Changing the Face of the Earth” conference, they initially envisioned it as being a celebration of the 19th century conservationist George Perkins Marsh. As such, it seemed obvious to Sauer and Thomas that they could not put on a “Marsh Festival” without inviting the ...

Environmental SciencesPart of Organized Session

Omaha ethnologist Francis La Flesche (FLF) has been remembered either as an unsuccessful supporter of the settler project or a misunderstood subversive social scientist. Before his appointment with the U.S. Bureau of Ethnology in 1910, FLF worked for three decades with ethnologist and allotment agent Alice Fletcher as a native informant, an epistem...

Human and Social SciencesPart of Organized Session

   In 1903, the Select Committee on Ventilation, appointed by Britain's House of Commons, published a critical review of ‘modern’ ventilation systems. It decried the infamous lack of success engineers had had in ventilating the Houses of Parliament, but, more critically, it noted new statistical information showing that ‘impurity of...

Medicine and HealthIndividual Paper

In response to the events in Chicago in 1968, several professional societies moved their annual meetings from Chicago to other cities, but the Association of Computing Machinery chose not to. In response, a group of computer scientists attempted to organize “The Counter-Conference,” a conference that would be held concurrently with the ACM’s ...

TechnologyFlashtalk

From 1896 to 1898 three Anglo-Australian expeditions were made to the Pacific atoll of Funafuti to test competing theories of coral reef formation, one published by Charles Darwin more than fifty years earlier and the other proposed by John Murray as a consequence of his research on the 1872-1876 voyage of H.M.S. Challenger. Darwin himself had died...

Life SciencesPart of Organized Session

Accidents of geology and history made Kentucky’s Inner Bluegrass region into one of the world’s premier areas for raising thoroughbred horses. Limestone-rich soils provided the region’s eponymous grasses with high levels of calcium and other nutrients that resulted in strong and fast-growing horses. Geology, ecological relationships, politica...

Environmental SciencesIndividual Paper

The arrival of electricity as an everyday scientific and technological phenomenon into colonial Calcutta from the late-1870s onwards coincided with the emergence of the Bengali theatre as a physical and metaphorical stage to publicly portray, discuss and debate the contemporary social, cultural and nationalist issues of the emerging Bengali middle ...

Practical KnowledgePart of Organized Session

This paper will explore the relationship and tensions between curanderismo–a traditional Mexican faith-healing practice–and professional medicine in the Mexico-Texas borderlands over the turn of the century by examining both the Mexican and U.S. government's attempts at regulating healing practices during this period.   This paper will foc...

Medicine and HealthPart of Organized Session

While fish fueled the making of modern Southeast Asia, they also fed the growth of Malay nationalism. This paper looks at the relationship between fish and politics through the career of Ishak bin Ahmad (1887-1969), a fisheries scientist who became the first non-European to head a department in Malaya in the 1930s. It tells a different kind of scie...

Non-Western SciencePart of Organized Session

In 1955, an influential group of scholars, who included historians, geographers, ecologists, and zoologists gathered at the Princeton Inn for the international symposium “Man’s Role in Changing the Face of the Earth.” Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, conference participa...

Environmental SciencesOrganized Session

In the last half of the nineteenth century, Western scientists expected the global extinction of large game animals as a consequence of encroaching human activities, especially land-intensive practices like farming and ranching. Extinction was seen as the inevitable, if lamentable, byproduct of humanity’s steady advance. In other words, the perma...

Life SciencesPart of Organized Session

In 1923, just three years after becoming a museum, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History sent 16 men on an expedition to collect scientific specimens. The Blossom Expedition, named after Elizabeth Bingham Blossom who sponsored the voyage, set out from New London, Connecticut, to explore the islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, including the Cape ...

Life SciencesPart of Organized Session

  In the first decade of the Cold War, scientific dialogue between the United States and the Soviet Union was reduced to occasional contacts at conferences. As scientific practices became more collaborative and global, two of the leading academic communities barely enjoyed any communication. The situation called for changes for several reason...

Physical SciencesIndividual Paper

The Kaplan Daguerreotype dates from the early 1840s and is thought by some to depict the young Abraham Lincoln. Competing authorities, from historians to reconstructive surgeons, have weighed in with their professional opinions as to whether or not the man in the image is the former president. In the early 1970s, a computer program developed at the...

Human and Social SciencesPart of Organized Session

Prenatal health care emerged in the early twentieth century amidst immigration anxieties, urban squalor, and global consciousness. As physicians and public health departments began to campaign for the medical surveillance of all pregnant women, they framed their arguments in terms of gender, race, nationalism, and civilization. While the practical ...

Medicine and HealthPart of Organized Session