Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Does American Science have a "paranoid style"?


David Engber explores this question in a three-part series for Slate magazine that may be of interest to FHSA members.  Engber traces the manufacture of uncertainty about science through a number of examples, ranging from intelligent design, industry-sponsored research, and environmental activism.  He connects this trend to Richard Hofstadter's discussion of the "paranoid style in American politics."  Sage Ross has an interesting assessment of moderate versus immoderate doubt about science from a history of science perspective.  

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Darwin's Reach Conference Call for Papers


Hofstra University announces an interdisciplinary conference titled, "Darwin's Reach: A Celebration of Darwin's Legacy across Academic Disciplines," to be held March 12-14, 2009.  Historians of science and those working in all areas of academic inquiry related to Darwin and evolution are invited to submit abstracts.  200-word abstracts are requested for a June 16, 2008 deadline.  The full call for papers, with further information and instructions, is available at Hofstra's event website.  Hofstra University is in Hempstead, New York, 20 miles east of Manhattan.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

American Science Live!

The history of American science as a field has certainly grown by leaps and bounds since the 1970s, but how much has that history filtered into the public consciousness?  I've been pondering this question because Isaac Newton just came to my small town as part of his latest FMA Live tour.  Who knew that "Newt" was so cool?  His website is great fun, including a brief history of Newton's career that ends with "Thanks, Newt.  Props to you for being the Man Behind the Motion!"  This program is sponsored by Honeywell and is aimed at getting middle-schoolers excited about science.  My question, then, for members of FHSA, is which American scientist should be next to go on tour?  Ben Franklin?  Rachel Carson? Alexander Dallas Bache? T.H. Morgan? Maria Mitchell?