FROM THE DIRECTOR
Last fall the Graduate School decided that our Program should merge with the smaller graduate program in History of Medicine, which has only two full-time faculty. The new name will be Program in History of Science, Technology, and Medicine. This spring and summer the faculty of the two programs worked hard at devising a new curriculum and degree requirements for the joint program. We expect that our larger size and broader coverage will allow us to attract more graduate students. If the new program is approved, as we fully anticipate, we will start admitting students to the joint program for the 2007-08 academic year. This is a merger only of the graduate program. Our Program will remain in the Institute of Technology and the History of Medicine in the Medical School. Appointments and undergraduate teaching will remain unchanged.
An unusual opportunity through a spousal hire with the Law School arose last year to make an additional appointment in history of biology, something that has long been a priority of the Program. Susan Jones, who was in the History Department at the University of Colorado, joins Mark Borrello, who we appointed last year, in Ecology and Evolutionary Behavior as an associate professor. Before doing her graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania in History and Sociology of Science, Susan was a practicing veterinarian for a few years. She wrote a book on the history of veterinary medicine in the United States and is now working on zoonomic diseases. You can read more about her on our web page. Arthur Norberg retired last spring and a search for a new Director of CBI and professor of history of technology is not yet concluded. We hope to able to make an offer by the beginning of October. Michel Janssen was promoted to associate professor with tenure last spring.
The university is still matching contributions to the Roger Stuewer Fellowship Fund, so if you wish to make a contribution this year, it will in effect be doubled. Contact Barbara or me to make a contribution, which is, of course, tax deductible.
We hope to see many of you at the joint HSS and SHOT annual meeting, which will be here in Minneapolis from 2-6 November. As usual, we will have a reception in my suite on Saturday night after the HSS banquet.
Best wishes, and we hope to see you soon.
Brett Steele (1994)
I have just completed my first year at the Homeland Security Institute and got to participate in some classic "start-up" dynamics. Having sunk my teeth into 2000 years of innovation history at the U of M sure helps keep things in perspective. I got to work on a wide range of issues, including fuel-air explosives, wide-area bio-restoration, consequence assessment and counterterrorism strategy. I am now supporting a major training and education initiative in the Department of Homeland Security.
In the mean time I am pleased to report that a number of publication projects have finally seen the light of day. The edited volume that Tamera and I worked so hard on since my postdoc days at the Dibner Institute finally emerged from MIT Press in March. The Heirs of Archimedes: Science and the Art of War through the Age of Enlightenment should be useful for those seeking to better integrate early modern science into both European and Asian History. From a more modern perspective, my little RAND monograph Military Reengineering between the World Wars emerged in May, along with The UN's Role in Nation-Building: From the Congo to Iraq. I wrote the chapters on the Congo and Sierra Leone, with far too little time and resources, but nevertheless discovered how captivating modern African history can be. The major RAND study Reexamining Military Acquisition Reform, in which I conducted some basic economic and historical analyses, also emerged in print a few months ago.
In the mean time, Tamera and I have almost completed the upgrades to our new Alexandria home. Replacing a particularly ugly patch of linoleum will finally rid it of the last vestiges of that awful 1960s decor, which ensured its affordable purchase price.
And finally, please let me know if anyone in the history of science/technology community is interested in homeland security-related research and analysis. A combined background in the life or hard sciences, coupled with the humanities, and tempered with Ph.D.-level research experience may be especially practical in this policy domain.
Robert Ferguson (1996)
Silver Spring, MD
I have a new son, a new house, and a new article. Giacomo arrived on August 12th. We moved into our house in Silver Spring, Maryland in July. And my article came out in History and Technology in June. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the bar at SHOT/HSS this fall.
John P. Jackson, Jr. (1997)
University of Colorado--Boulder
This has been a transitional year, finishing up one large-scale project and beginning another. The finished project is the work I’ve been doing since graduate school on how science was enrolled in the twentieth-century United States in battles about legal segregation. This August New York University Press will publish my Science for Segregation: Race, Law and the Case Against Brown v. Board of Education. This book explores how segregationists attempted to preserve racial segregation in the nineteen-fifties and nineteen-sixties.
I am starting a new project with Professor David Depew of the Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry at the University of Iowa. The tentative title for the book is Organisms as Agents: The Fragile Rhetoric of Liberal Darwinism. The book will explore various ways that Darwinian theory has interacted with social theory in the United States from pragmatism to evolutionary psychology.
Two of my books are coming out in paperback: Social Scientists for Social Justice will be coming out from NYU Press and Race, Racism, and Science: Social Impact and Interaction, written with Nadine Weidman will be coming out from Rutgers University Press.
On the personal front, my family and I spent January in New Zealand. Michele was enjoying her sabbatical by teaching a summer class at the University of Waikato and, of course, we all had to trail along. The kids enjoyed the beaches and the January summer.
You can see exciting pictures of the New Zealand trip here
You can see boring stuff about my professional self here
Stephen Johnson (1997)
Colorado Springs, CO
I have just switched jobs, now working as Research Associate Professor in the Institute for Science and Space Studies at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where I have been living for the last five years. I am working currently under a research contract from NASA, spending about 2/3 of my time on developing theories and processes for dependable space systems engineering, as well as helping them with planning for the new "Vision for Space Exploration" to return to the Moon and Mars, and the other 1/3 on my own research. Currently, my major "research" is being the general editor for a two-volume space history encyclopedia. That project should be done in under a year. I've also been communicating with Brett Steele, another HST alum, regarding issues of risk assessment in space and homeland security applications.
Amy Foster (1999)
I completed my Ph.D. at Auburn University in May, and I am just beginning my new position as Assistant Professor teaching Space History at the University of Central Florida.
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL 32816-1350
(407) 823-4614 or (321) 433-7885
14248 Cheval Danforth Ct. Apt 101
Orlando, FL 32828
I'm less than an hour away from all the major attractions in the Orlando area and the Space Coast, and I'm just 30 minutes from the airport. Visitors are welcome!
Mark Largent (1999)
This fall I began a tenure-track position at Michigan State University. My position is located in James Madison College, a residential public policy honors college on the campus of MSU. In addition to teaching history of science classes, I will direct the specialization in Science, Technology, Environment and Public Policy (STEPPS), which uses history of science, science, economics, and political science classes to train science policy analysts and science administrators. Nancy and I moved to Lansing this summer, bought an old house near downtown Lansing, and (after five years of Northwestern drizzle) look forward to a good old long, harsh, Midwestern winter.
Kai-Henrik Barth (2000)
I continue to teach at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. I am a Visiting Assistant Professor and Director of Studies in the Security Studies Program. I teach courses on technology and security, with a focus on nonproliferation of nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons (www.georgetown.edu/faculty/khb3/) My research focuses on the role of scientists and engineers in international arms control negotiations as well as in national nuclear weapons programs. I am editing (with John Krige) Vol. 21 of Osiris: Science, Technology, and International Affairs: Historical Perspectives, which will be published in 2006. As a physicist and historian of science and technology I enjoy working with political scientists and hope that I can build more bridges between natural scientists, historians and political scientists. Outside of work, I have rediscovered my love of photography (Photoshop CS2 rules!) and developed a new hobby, composing music with GarageBand.
My wife Kati continues to be very successful as a Green Roof consultant and advocate (see www.scholz-barth.com). Our son Per-Niklas is 3 years by now, and he is a big fan of loud music, soccer, baseball, the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum. All three of us love Washington, D.C., and have made it our home.
Al Martínez (2000)
Since this year has been the centenary of Einstein in 1905, I traveled to Boston, San Juan, Tenerife, and Switzerland to give talks about special relativity, Einstein, his first wife, etc. Now I've finished my visit as an Instructor at Caltech, where students behave like zombie androids in class and like people in private. As a spin-off of a course on replicating scientific experiments (co-taught with Jed Buchwald), I'm now working on a paper that presents surprisingly good results on my reconstruction of Coulomb's torsion balance of the 1780s. Also, while in Pasadena I got to spend some time with Erik Conway, watching low-grade Hollywood flicks. My articles this year include "Handling Evidence in History: The Case of Einstein's Wife," in School Science Review (March 2005), and "Conventions and Inertial Reference Frames," in American Journal of Physics (May 2005). My book, Negative Math, is due out in December, thanks to Princeton U Press. My manuscript on kinematics still waits and hesitates at Oxford UP. Anyhow, I'm now at the University of Texas at Austin, as a visiting lecturer. It's hot here, way too hot, but my air-conditioner is doing well.
Kevin Francis (2002)
I have just completed my first year at the Evergreen State College—a public liberal arts college in Olympia, Washington—where I was hired as a philosopher of science. (Previously, I was the “science department” at Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Oregon for four years.) During my first year at Evergreen, I taught a full-time program called “Introduction to Natural Science” as part of a four-person faculty team. For most of the next two years, I’m slated to teach first-year students in programs called “History and Evolution of Disease” (with two biologists) and “Visualizing Ecology” (with an artist and an agronomist). I really enjoy the work and Evergreen’s unorthodox approach to learning, which is good since so far it has kept me very busy. Tom (my partner) also started a new job this year. He has been teaching evidence and legal analysis at the University of Washington law school. After working on court opinions and appellate briefs for the past few years, Tom is happy to be teaching again. I have been taking advantage of the Puget Sound by learning to sail. We look forward to visitors in Olympia or Seattle. We can be reached at 227 Sherman St NW, Olympia, WA.
David Sepkoski (2002)
All things considered, I guess you could say the past year has been a pretty good one. Dara and I are still at Oberlin, where we'll be for the next year at least. Our daughter, Ella, turned 2 in June and is very happy and healthy. On the professional front, while I still haven't landed that tenure-track job, things are nonetheless looking up: I got a contract from Routledge to publish my dissertation, and one from U Chicago Press to publish a book I'm co-editing with Michael Ruse titled Paleontology at the High Table. The latter represents a fairly radical departure from my dissertation work on 17th century math; it's a collection of essays about the transformation of paleontology in the 1970s and 80s into a more theoretically-driven, evolutionary science. In addition to the edited volume, I'm working on my own book, tentatively titled Re-Reading the Fossil Record: The Rise of Paleobiology as an Evolutionary Discipline. I've been digging extensively into archival records and published literature, and I'm in the process of conducting interviews with the key players who are still living. The other bit of good news is that I got a big grant from NSF to fund this research, and I'll be able to take the Spring off from teaching to write. I've also published a couple of articles this year: one in Historia Mathematica and the other in JHB. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone in Minneapolis in November, where--as has become an annual tradition--my session has been scheduled in conflict with Don Opitz's.
John Gustafson (2004)
Knife River, MN
After a long process of graduate studies lasting well over a decade and bridging two centuries, in July of 2004 I finally completed the requirements for the Ph. D. degree! I may be the oldest living fossil uncovered in Minnesota's History of Science and Technology program. My dissertation Wolfgang Pauli 1900 to 1930: His Early Physics in Jungian Perspective dealt with Wolfgang Pauli's early fascination with Jungian archetypal concepts and how those thoughts influenced his physics, and thus the history of quantum mechanics. If you are having problems sleeping at night, contact me for a copy of my dissertation. Seriously, I feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to return to graduate studies in my middle years, and to have studied under Roger Stuewer who taught me to see so much more in the history of physics. I am currently teaching at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet, Minnesota in a full time adjunct, grant-funded position, where I have recently developed a two-year degree program to train Native Americans for apprenticeship openings in the electric utility industry. The program is called the Electric Utility Technology program. I am now focusing on ways to incorporate into the existing program new courses in renewable energy technologies. I am also involved with a new initiative for our college, which is to develop a four year degree program in sustainable development using a Native American perspective. Meanwhile, I continue to teach introductory physics and other science courses, while pounding nails for a new dining room for our home. Needless to say, my work in the history of physics has lapsed, hopefully just temporarily. In trying to maintain momentum in the field of history of science and technology, I am exploring some new topics of interest...Mayan mathematics, Frank Oppenheimer, etc. Pauli continues to talk to me, although the next level of Pauli research will require more concentrated effort than I am currently able to provide. Thus, I plan to soon start looking for a position where I can actually do professional work in my degree area, before I retire in a decade or so. My wife Karen and I live within a stone's throw of Lake Superior, and Knife River's best smoked fish shop. When you are next traveling along Minnesota's north shore, drop in for a visit to our home, a snack of smoked fish, and some lively conversation. I may be reached at , and 218-834-3378.
Don Opitz (2004)
Mounds View, MN
My big news is that I graduated last December! I probably set a record for the amount of time between admission (1991) and graduation (2004)--but who's counting? I continue to work as a teaching specialist and coordinator of math tutoring in the University of Minnesota's General College as I apply for new jobs. I have been dividing my time between my history of science scholarship and developmental education work, which has resulted in an interesting mix of presentations and publications this year.
On the presentations side, I had the pleasure (and pressure!) of giving my first "extempore" talk to the Columbia History of Science Group at Friday Harbor in March, but then reverted to reading a paper at the ISHPSSB conference at Guelph, Ontario, in July. For publications, 2004 was my anno mirabilis: articles on the natural history of Alice Balfour (Archives of Natural History, vol. 31) and the photography of Mary Rosse (Studies in the History of Sciences and Humanities, Prague, vol. 13); the introduction to a reprint of Mary Roberts's Conchologist's Companion in the Science Writing by Women series (Thoemmes Continuum); and several entries in the Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century British Scientists (Thoemmes Continuum). In press is a chapter on country-house science for the forthcoming anthology, Sidelined Sciences? Shifting Centres in Nineteenth-Century Scientific Thinking (Anthem) and, reflecting my developmental education work, two coauthored chapters for The General College Vision: Integrating Intellectual Growth, Multicultural Perspectives, and Student Development. Works-in-progress include two book reviews and an entry for the new Dictionary of Scientific Biography. I am also preparing a book prospectus based on my dissertation, "Aristocrats and Professionals: Country-House Science in Late-Victorian Britain."
Although much of my energy will go into job applications these coming months, I am excited to be teaching two classes, including a Freshman seminar on literacy (in which the students will do some volunteer community work), and to be otherwise engaged on campus. Off-campus I continue to play French horn in the Calhoun-Isles Community Band in Minneapolis, as well as lend my administrative skills to the band's Board of Directors, for which I serve as Co-President. On the home-front, my life partner Gregg Albrecht is preparing applications for graduate school: apparently my own trials and tribulations did not disenchant him!
My book manuscript, "Encountering Efficiency," is now under contract to Johns Hopkins, and I will deliver the final manuscript this fall. Work on the next project, "Sport and Work," a study of the international biomechanics movement, continues; I will speak on one aspect of it at the SHOT/HSS meeting in Minneapolis in October. Our informal science studies group has now been funded by the University's new Institute for Advanced Studies as the working group "Science/Nature/Culture," and includes faculty from a variety of departments and programs across campus, including history, anthropology, sociology, and rhetoric.
Mark E. Borrello
Not surprisingly, my first year at the U has been a busy and productive one. In the fall I gave a paper at the American Philosophical Society as part of a conference organized by Minnesota alum Joe Cain. I’m currently finishing the manuscript of the paper for inclusion in the volume “Descended from Darwin: Insights into American Evolutionary Studies 1920 – 1950.” I’ve also just begun work on a chapter for a forthcoming volume “Rebels of Life: Iconoclastic biologists of the 20th Century”. In June I spent a couple of weeks in Panama working with my colleagues from Michigan State on our course on Tropical Ecosystem Biodiversity and Conservation. Then, after a family visit to Hawaii, I spent a sweltering week in Guelph participating in a roundtable on teaching the Darwinian Revolution and presenting a paper on the history of group selection. On the personal side, Regina, Nico and I moved to the Lyndale neighborhood last fall and we were joined in March by our new baby Gia. I’m looking forward to a busy fall. I’ll be teaching a seminar on the concept of progress in evolutionary theory and my biology and society in the 19th and 20th centuries course. I’m also excited about the arrival of Susan Jones (another historian of science in St Paul!) and the possibility of Dylan show with Michel sometime in the next year.
Like "the summer of George" on "Seinfeld," this should have been my year. After all, we're supposed to be celebrating the centenary of Einstein's annus mirabilis 1905. Sure enough, I've given over a dozen talks so far, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to London, Ontario, and from Portland, Oregon, to Tampa, Florida, but mostly for half-empty rooms. The US, it seems, couldn't care less about Albert. This is very different in Europe. I was blown away by the Einstein exhibit put together by my dear friend and long-term collaborator Juergen Renn smack in the middle of Berlin. Juergen has thereby secured the existence of the Max Planck Institute for History of Science in perpetuity. The Einstein exhibit forcefully drove home the point that I missed my share of opportunities. Robert Schulmann and I still haven't managed to drum up any interest in our treatment for an Einstein movie and Christoph Lehner and I won't put out the Cambridge Companion to Einstein till 2006. At least I made tenure this year. As newly tenured faculty, we all got a clock. I thought the tenure clock was supposed to STOP ticking at this point. Go figure. Anyway, my first foray into the history of quantum theory is still going well. I'll be giving another talk on my project at the HSS meeting here in Minneapolis in November under the title "The Dawn of Quantum Mechanics in Minnesota" singing the praises of our own John Hasbrouck van Vleck (OK, until he left us high and dry to go to Wisconsin). Finally an official apology: for someone who owes his entire career to Einstein, it was unseemly to call him a "fuddy-duddy" on BBC television.
Sally Gregory Kohlstedt
Seeing life as an adventure, I agreed last fall to chair the Department of Anthropology for one year; then, with the promise of a search for an outside chair who would start in fall, 2006, I have agreed to continue for another one. My new colleagues have been very cooperative, putting together an important cross-discipline colloquia series, producing a newsletter, and generally helping publicize the quality of a great program with several enthusiastic and energetic junior faculty. Nonetheless, I am still fully engaged in our HST program, serving as DGS as well as teaching, advising, and writing. Right now my challenge is to keep up with my advisees who are producing chapters almost as fast as I can read them carefully - so watch for a fresh group of UMN Ph.D.s to be out soon in the ranks of historians of science. My own academic work on nature study continues. You will see an article in the September 2005 Isis. No sooner was that manuscript in the works this spring than I was asked to write something reflective on museums for a "forum" in the December issue of Isis. Reviews, occasional editorial board work for Isis and Minerva, and all the other professional tasks are part of the mix. Only an occasional break to visit that new cabin on the Gunflint Trail, but the memories of starry skies, occasional moose sightings, and the sound of a mournful loon keep my city life with all its allures in balance.
I continue working on a book on technology transfer, teaching ethics in science and technology, historiography, science in American culture and high-tech weapons, and organizing the department colloquia. I served as an alternate to the Faculty Senate this past year, which meant I had to go to every meeting. The highlight of the summer was my daughter’s wedding and I also had fun learning to drive formula racing cars. I am also writing several articles for various reference works, and a paper for the History of Science Society meeting, where I expect to see many of you in November.
Working on art and science gets me invited to classier conferences and workshops, where I mingle with art historians, artists, and museum curators as well as a few historians of science, than those in history of science and technology. Next summer I will give a paper at a workshop—"Inside the Camera Obscura: Optics and Art under the Spell of the Projected Image? - 1600-1675"—at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. The focus of the workshop will be on Vermeer and the camera obscura, and I will talk on how the images projected in a camera obscura effected the development of optics. Last fall I attended a workshop on “Light in Seventeenth-Century Painting” at Wolfenbüttel, a very pretty town where Leibniz had been the librarian to the Duke of Hanover. I just finished revising my paper on “Cartesian Painting” for the proceedings. Last November Jed Buchwald and I organized a workshop to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the publication of Newton’s Opticks at the Dibner Institute at MIT. It was deemed sufficiently successful that Jed and I were invited to publish the proceedings in the Dibner workshop series. To my surprise, I learned this summer that I was elected a Vice President of the International Academy of the History of Science. Alas, for four years this will require attending Council meetings in Paris. Linda retired from her job at the university in June, and she now does some free-lance writing while collecting her social security check.
The journal that John S. Rigden and I founded, Physics in Perspective, is now in its seventh year of publication and doing well: People continue to tell us that they read its four annual issues cover to cover. We publish articles written in English by authors from many parts of the world, so as editor I have become quite expert in converting X-English into English, where X stands for the author’s mother tongue. I also continue to edit the Resource Letters of the American Journal of Physics, probably the most valued section in this journal as revealed in part by a five-year review that the American Association of Physics Teacher undertook of it this past year.
I remain active in the Forum for History of Physics (FHP) of the American Physical Society (APS). This past year I served on a committee that succeeded in raising an additional $100,000 to enable us to convert the Pais Award into the Pais Prize for the History of Physics just in time to present its first winner, Martin J. Klein, with a check for $10,000 instead of $5,000 at the APS meeting in Tampa last April. I was Chair of that Selection Committee and also served on this year’s Selection Committee that recommended John L. Heilbron as the second winner of the Pais Prize, which he will receive at the APS meeting in Dallas next April. I also was recently elected to serve a four-year term as the FHP representative on the Council of the APS beginning next January.
In connection with the World Year of Physics 2005, I gave invited talks on the discovery of the Compton effect at meetings in London, England, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Warsaw, Poland, and also a talk on a topic in the history of nuclear physics at a meeting in Piaski, Poland, which is on one of the beautiful Mazurian Lakes. This summer my wife Helga and I again expect to go to Europe where I will participate in a meeting of the Program Committee of the Vienna International Summer University and also quite likely in an international conference on the history of physics in physics teaching in Oldenburg, Germany.
CURRENT STUDENT UPDATES
It pains me to admit that I really don't have anything interesting to share. All I've been doing for the last 12 months is slavishly working on my dissertation. I expect to defend it sometime in the fall - I guess that's worth putting in the newsletter.
I will complete my coursework (including some Latin and a history minor) in the fall and will take my exams in the Spring of 2006.
I continue to work on my dissertation: a comparative history of the formation and practice of economic geology by late-eighteenth and early nineteenth-century naturalists with an emphasis on the making and meaning of the different types of expertise attached thereto. Presently I am working on a chapter titled "Humboldt's Moral Economy: The Pictorial Utility of Nature and Number" in which I investigate the aesthetic and moral values displayed in Humboldt's collection, organization, and translation of private, piecemeal note-taking into political economic-minded publications. This fall I will participate in the workshop "Maps, Pictures, Graphs: Scientific Images and Science" to be held at the University of British Columbia.
I've been working on my dissertation, tentatively titled "VD on Display: Sexuality, Masculinity, and the Business of Commercial Medical Institutes, 1900-1945." It focuses on the three Reinhardt brothers, who owned many Midwestern VD clinic/museum hybrids, and treats issues around sexuality, quackery and public health. I presented a paper at the Midwest Junto this spring on the Reinhardts' exploits in Milwaukee. Writing and research proceed apace, including a very productive trip to the American Medical Association archives in Chicago. The plan is to finish by the spring of 2006. In other news, I've been volunteering at the Midtown Public Market (farmers' market) on Lake and 22nd, and I recently bought a spinning wheel.
I am now entering my fourth year in the program. I spent a pleasant and fruitful summer working at the Bakken Library and Museum. I received a SSHRC doctoral award for this coming year. I am now ABD and I am enjoying research and writing.
The past year has been occupied with research for the dissertation on the innovation process at Olivetti, the Italian typewriter and calculator manufacturer. I spent seven weeks in Ivrea, Italy, at the Olivetti archives, a beautiful little town at the foothills of the Alps. Most of this was completed with the help of the Babbage-Tomash Fellowship. I am presently well into the writing, and hope to be completed by next February. Another two weeks in Italy is in order to track down a couple of specific, but elusive items (I know, but someone has to do it).
I’ve just finished my fourth year of graduate school and am currently working on my dissertation on the history of genetic studies of Native Americans. I was fortunate enough to receive a UMN doctoral dissertation fellowship this past year (2004-2005), and I spent my fellowship year living and dissertating in many places, but principally in Vancouver, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. I presented a poster last August at the 2004 Gordon Research Conference on Science Policy, and in the spring of 2005 I gave talks on different chapters of my dissertation at Penn State and the University of Puget Sound. I, my car, my cat, and my many boxes of documents all enjoyed many adventures driving around the continent this past year, but I am now living once again in Minneapolis and am delighted to report that I have firm plans to remain geographically stationary for the next year.
This year I have pursued part of my supplemental program by looking at political and cultural influences on science. I gave a talk at the Midwest Junto in April, “Some Cultural Influences on Aristotle's Biology”. I'm still interested in the intersection of science, politics and ethics, with a focus on American eugenics. I also initiate the weekly grad student email discussion on the Friday colloquium.
We’ve enjoyed our first year in Minneapolis quite well and I equally enjoyed my first year in the program. I’ve been able to narrow my interests over the course of this year to concentrate on early modern astronomy and am working to find specific topics to pursue. I had the pleasure of joining the U of M HST group that attended the Midwest Junto conference in April and am looking forward to the HSS meeting on our home ground.
Rachel Mason Dentinger
I am currently studying for my preliminary exams, which I hope to complete during September 2005. I look forward to discovering a fruitful dissertation topic in twentieth-century evolutionary biology soon afterwards.
Hyung Wook Park
I recently learned that my paper on Frank Macfarlane Burnet was accepted for publication in the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. It should be published in October 2006. My current doctoral research project is about the biological study of senescence in the early twentieth century, which was primarily done by Edmund Vincent Cowdry and his colleagues and Peter B. Medawar. I am now planning to apply for grant-in-aid at the Rockefeller Archive Center, where Cowdry and his friends (E. Cohn, A. Carrel, and others) did their early research. I am also searching for the archival resources in the British National Archive, Wellcome Library, and Rice University, which contain some of Medawar's papers. Unfortunately, Medawar papers were not collected by one institution. I passed my French course, and now I am preparing for my preliminary written exam of this August.
This past year was a busy one for me. I presented on various aspects of my dissertation at Friday Harbor in March and ISPSSB in July, and upcoming at HSS in November. I taught in the honors program again last fall, and have been active with the Dissertation Writing Group (DaWGs) which will be turning out a record number of PhDs in the near future. I am currently finishing up my dissertation on eugenics and women's social reform and also taking my first steps into the job market this fall. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at HSS on home turf soon!
Betty van Meer
I look forward to seeing everybody again at HSS/SHOT in November. The past year I have been busy reworking the drafted chapters for my dissertation. This summer, my husband and I undertook the experiment of co-teaching a class together at IU Bloomington. And this Fall I will be an adjunct teacher for a World Civilization survey, focusing on history of technology, at Franklin College here in Indiana.