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Perspectives on Science

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Perspectives on Science

Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine

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A new public events series from the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine brings historical perspective to contemporary issues and concerns. In the public forums, historians and other specialists speak about culturally relevant topics in front of a live audience at Consortium member institutions. Forum subjects range from medical consumerism to public trust in science and technology. Videos of these events are also available at chstm.org. In podcast episodes, authors of ...
 
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In this episode of Perspectives, we speak with Lucas Richert, author of Break On Through: Radical Psychiatry and the American Counterculture.In his book, Lucas Richert discusses the impact of the countercultural movement on the theory and practice of psychiatry in the late 1960s and 1970s. Dr. Richert argues that broader societal developments—e.g.,…
 
In this episode of Perspectives, we speak with Teasel Muir-Harmony, author of Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo.In her book, Teasel Muir-Harmony discusses Project Apollo and the successful mission of landing humans on the Moon by the end of the 1960s. Dr. Muir-Harmony discusses the ways in which fears about Sputnik and the S…
 
Join Dr. Rachel Walker as she recounts how reading a curious passage in the Anglo-African Magazine, which she found in the archives of the Library Company of Philadelphia, led to her research on race and science in early America, and more specifically, the nineteenth-century sciences of phrenology and physiognomy. Professor Walker uses images from …
 
In this episode of Perspectives, we speak with Neeraja Sankaran, author of A Tale of Two Viruses: Parallels in the Research Trajectories of Tumor and Bacterial Viruses. In her book, Neeraja Sankaran compares the research trajectories of two groups of viruses: cancer-causing viruses and bacteriophages, which infect and live at the expense of bacteri…
 
What's that smell? Join us as we revisit our interview with Melanie Kiechle on the history of cities, senses and public health.This episode of our podcast series features Melanie Kiechle's book, Smell Detectives: An Olfactory History of Nineteenth-Century Urban America. The book illuminates the lives of 19th-century Americans—including medical expe…
 
In this episode of Perspectives, we speak with Alberto Martínez, author of Burned Alive: Giordano Bruno, Galileo and the Inquisition.In his book, Alberto Martínez reevaluates the life, career, and death of Giordano Bruno, the philosopher and cosmologist burned alive by the Catholic Inquisition in Rome in 1600. Martínez demonstrates that it was not …
 
If you've watch television or listened to the radio lately, you've probably been bombarded with direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising. Join us as we revisit our forum from October 2018 on the interplay between medicine and advertising, capitalism and consumerism.-------Why do we refer to patients as "consumers" in the United States? Is toda…
 
Direct-to-consumer genetic testing has been in the news this week with the recent IPO of 23andMe. Thus, we are revisiting our forum from September 2017 on biobanking, genetics, and the competing interests of individuals, businesses, and society in the collection and use of genetic samples. -------Are we now approaching a time when we could all live…
 
Held in partnership with the American Philosophical Society, this discussion brings together historians Courtney Thompson and Alicia Puglionesi to discuss the fascinating world of the mind sciences in the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries. During this time period, the human mind captured the imagination of the American public. Effo…
 
In light of the current global vaccination campaign against COVID-19 and the struggles to increase vaccine acceptance and ensure vaccine compliance, we revisit our Trust in Science: Vaccines forum from January 2019.What are the historical roots of resistance to vaccination? What is the data about contemporary attitudes? How do these attitudes relat…
 
Black Holes | The Edge of All We Know is available now on Netflix, or go to https://www.blackholefilm.com and click on the Watch button at the top for more options. What can black holes teach us about the boundaries of knowledge? These holes in spacetime are the darkest objects and the brightest—the simplest and the most complex. With unprecedented…
 
In this episode of Perspectives, we speak with Abraham Gibson, author of Feral Animals in the American South: An Evolutionary History.In his book, Abe Gibson tells the broader social and environmental history of the Southern United States by focusing on the domestication and subsequent ferality of dogs, horses, and pigs over the past three hundred …
 
In light of India's ongoing struggle with COVID-19 and its devastating impacts, we revisit our conversation with Kavita Sivaramakrishnan from June 30, 2020. Dr. Sivaramakrishnan discusses public engagement and political history in the context of the COVID-19 crisis in India.Find this podcast and more in the Consortium's series on COVID-19 at:www.ch…
 
To view Professor Hansen's images and for more resources on this topic, please visit: https://www.chstm.org/video/118.Join Professor Bert Hansen as he discusses a number of popular images of American medicine from the late nineteenth century that he has donated to Yale's Cushing/Whitney Medical Library. In this presentation, Professor Hansen shows …
 
Stephen Kenny scrutinizes the career of surgeon Rudolph Matas, the so-called "father of vascular surgery." Kenny demonstrates how his life and work must be understood in the context of segregation in the U.S. South and the racialized medicine that was practiced there in the 19th and 20th centuries. He also highlights the ways in which Matas used me…
 
In this episode of Perspectives, we speak with Wendy Gonaver, author of The Peculiar Institution and the Making of Modern Psychiatry, 1840-1880. Wendy Gonaver reveals the history of the Eastern Lunatic Asylum in Williamsburg, Virginia and its superintendent, John M. Galt. Gonaver explains the Asylum's exceptional status as the only psychiatric faci…
 
In this recording, historian Warwick Anderson discusses his investigations into the development of "race science" in the Global South and the fabrication of whiteness as a "strategy of authority."Warwick Anderson is the Janet Dora Hine Professor of Politics, Governance and Ethics in the Department of History at the University of Sydney, and leader …
 
In this recording and in her book Darwin's Hunch: Science, Race, and the Search for Human Origins, Christa Kuljian examines the history of paleoanthropology in South Africa, interrogating the ways in which ideas about racial hierarchies influenced the founding and development of the field. Her research demonstrates how the social and political cont…
 
In this episode of Perspectives, we sit down with Audra Wolfe to discuss her book, Freedom's Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science. In Freedom's Laboratory, Dr. Wolfe examines the relationship between science, politics, and governance in the United States during the Cold War, highlighting the ways in which scientists, policymake…
 
In this episode of Perspectives, we talk with M. Susan Lindee, author of Rational Fog: Science and Technology in Modern War.In Rational Fog, Susan Lindee explores the way that science, technology and medicine were transformed by the military establishment and defense funding. She discusses the ways in which thousands of scientists, engineers, and p…
 
Elise Burton discusses the development of genetics, "race science," and race concepts in the Middle East. Dr. Burton sketches the connections between European, North American, and Middle Eastern scientists, and elaborates upon how contemporary issues (such as COVID-19) are influenced by ideas of genetic nationalism.Find this podcast and more in the…
 
This seminar in the Economization of Global Health series focuses on the origins, production and reception of one of the major moments in the economization of global health: the World Bank's World Development Report 1993: Investing in Health (WDR93). Our speakers, both internationally recognized economists, played key roles in this venture: Dean Ja…
 
Sebastián Gil-Riaño examines how scientific articulations of human diversity have been used to both legitimize and confront notions of race and racism in the modern world. Find this podcast and more in the Consortium's series on Race Science and Scientific Racism at: www.chstm.org/video/101By Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine
 
Sadiah Qureshi recounts the history of the exhibition of displayed peoples in nineteenth-century Britain, and how these shows contributed to the formation of anthropology. Find this podcast and more in the Consortium's series on Race Science and Scientific Racism at: www.chstm.org/video/101By Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine
 
In this podcast episode, we talk with Jonson Miller, author of Engineering Manhood: Race and the Antebellum Virginia Military Institute. In Engineering Manhood, Jonson Miller explores the development of the Virginia Military Institute and the engineering profession in the Antebellum United States. Miller delves into the ways in which VMI was a node…
 
John Jackson discusses the legacy of nineteenth-century "race science" on twentieth-century scientific investigation, the challenge to "race science" made by population genetics and anthropology, and the ways in which the pseudoscience of race continues to inform twenty-first century debates.Find this podcast and more in the Consortium's series on …
 
This event looks at the profound health inequities around giving birth, further laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussions with experts include how slavery and the history of reproductive medicine intersect, the impact that medical racism has on Black birthing people from slavery to freedom, engagement in the national reproductive justice move…
 
Follow along with Professor Mary Fissell as she discusses her research on Aristotle's Masterpiece, a late 17th century sex, midwifery, and childbirth manual popular in England and America from its publication until well into the 20th century. Dr. Fissell explores the ways in which readers used their copies of the book to record births and vows of l…
 
Join Fellows of the Consortium and Jan Golinski, Thomas Misa, and Keith Wailoo, the respective presidents of the History of Science Society, Society for the History of Technology, and the American Association for the History of Medicine, as they discuss the challenges of the present moment and what the future holds for their organizations. They dis…
 
What is the relationship between technological change and economic development? Do the roots of the 'knowledge economy' lie in sixteenth century Europe? Explore these issues and more beginning with an in-depth look at Johannes Stradanus's Nova Reperta [ca. 1590], an engraved series of prints depicting inventions such as the printing press, gunpowde…
 
On July 20, 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon. Fifty years later, five nations have sent spacecraft to the Moon and private enterprises are increasingly engaging with its exploration. The advancement of space science, the allure of profiting on lunar resources, and ideas for a perma…
 
In this podcast, we discuss the history of vaccines and public health with Dora Vargha, author of Polio Across the Iron Curtain: Hungary's Cold War with an Epidemic.Dora Vargha uses a series of polio epidemics in communist Hungary to understand the response to a global public health emergency in the midst of the Cold War.Dora Vargha was a 2010 to 2…
 
In this podcast episode, we talk with James Poskett, author of Materials of the Mind: Phrenology, Race, and the Global History of Science, 1815-1920. Phrenology was the most popular mental science of the Victorian age. From American senators to Indian social reformers, this new mental science found supporters around the globe. Materials of the Mind…
 
In this episode, we talk with Joseph Martin, author of Solid State Insurrection: How the Science of Substance Made American Physics Matter. Joseph Martin tells the story of how solid state physics challenged and redefined some of the core ideals of American physics, and in the process played an essential role in sustaining the prestige physics enjo…
 
In this episode, we talk with Cameron Strang, author of Frontiers of Science: Imperialism and Natural Knowledge in the Gulf South Borderlands: 1500-1850. Cameron Strang takes American scientific thought and discoveries away from the learned societies, museums, and teaching halls of the Northeast and puts the production of knowledge about the natura…
 
In this podcast episode, we discuss the history of how biblical notions of race influenced European understandings of Africa with Michael Robinson, author of The Lost White Tribe: Explorers, Scientists, and the Theory that Changed a Continent.Find this podcast and further resources on the Consortium's website at:https://www.chstm.org/video/70…
 
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