Lectures, Symposia & Colloquia
"Why do Academics Publish (the way they do)?"
Professor Aileen Fyfe will be delivering her inaugural lecture as Professor at the University of St. Andrews on 18 November.
American Women of Science: Recovering History, Defining the Future
The Smithsonian Institution held an online symposium on women in science from 10/20 to 10/28/2020, as part of its American Women's History Initiative; the recordings are available for replay.
Paige Madison successfully defended her dissertation, "Discovering Human Origins: Fossils and Controversies," at Arizona State University.
"The science of human origins (paleoanthropology) emerged in the mid-nineteenth century as one way of knowing about ourselves as humans and our evolutionary past. My dissertation is an historical analysis of paleoanthropology, examining the intersection of science and culture around fossil human ancestors (hominins) over the last century and a half. Focusing on fossils as scientific objects, this work examines three controversial discoveries from the science’s history asking: how do fossils formulate, challenge, and reconfigure notions of what it means to be human? The three specimens at the center of this narrative are the type specimens of Homo neanderthalensis, Australopithecus africanus, and Homo floresiensis, each discovered three quarters of a century apart on three different continents (1856, 1924, and 2003 respectively). Through comparing, contrasting, and connecting the stories of these three specimens, I found that 1) the specimens themselves play an important role in knowledge production about the past, 2) scientific practices shaped both interpretations of fossils and larger questions of what it means to be human, and 3) the scientific practices are shaped by local culture, which continually interacts with attempts to establish a global perspective about our origins."
The Focus section of Isis (111, no. 3 (September 2020) features two essays by Caucus members:
Karen Rader's "Introduction: The Changing Pedagogical Landscapes of History of Science and the "Two Cultures" and "Crash Course History of Science: Popular Science for General Education," by Allison Marsh and Bethany Johnson.
Pnina Abir-Am has published "The Women who Discovered RNA Splicing" in American Scientist (108, no.5 (Sept-Oct 2020), address how the names of numerous scientists who made fundamental contributions to award-winning discoveries continue to dwell in the shadows.
Awards & Recognitions
Allison Marsh is the recipient of the HSS 2020 Joseph P. Hazen Education Prize.
Abena Dove Osseo-Asare is the recipient of the AHA 2020 Martin A. Klein Prize for Atomic Junction: Nuclear Power in Africa after Independence (Cambridge University Press, 2019).
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