Logan Lounge

A Collective Blog for Current and Former Members (and Friends!) of the History and Sociology of Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Workshop Schedule for Spring 2008

HSSC Spring 2008 Workshops (from the Dept. website)

Full schedule of the workshops offered by the Department of History and Sociology of Science in Spring 2008.

This semester workshops will be held Mondays from 3:30 pm until 5:15pm in 337 Logan Hall, with refreshments to follow. Please note the time change!

January 28*CANCELED*

February 4Michael Leja, University of Pennsylvania "Eakins, Science, and Realism"

February 11Sarah Kaplan, University of Pennsylvania“Projecting the Future: The Temporality of Strategy Making”

February 18 Gino Segre, University of Pennsylvania“A 1932 Physics Meeting at Niels Bohr's Copenhagen Institute”

February 25 Paul Burnett, University of Pennsylvania“Extending Agricultural Extension: Theodore W. Schultz, International Development and Political Economy in the Cold War US”

March 3 Shobita Parthasarathy, University of Michigan"Between Human and Technology: Governing Biotechnology at the Patent Office"

March 10 No Workshop (Spring Break)

March 17 Karl Appuhn, NYU“Nature's Republic or Republican Nature? Venetian Forest Management and European Ideas about Nature in the Seventeenth Century"

March 24Janet Golden, Rutgers University"Message in a Bottle: The Making of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome"

March 31 Leila Zenderland, California State University, Fullerton"Anthropology, Psychology, and International Politics in the 1930s: Reconsidering Yale’s Seminar on the Impact of Culture on Personality'”

April 7 Oliver Gaycken, Temple University“A Modern Cabinet of Curiosities: George Kleine and the Educational Film”

April 14Sherry Turkle, MIT"Cyberintimacies/Cybersolitudes"

April 21 Susan Lederer, Yale University“Henry Beecher's ‘Bombshell’: Research Ethics and Omissions circa 1966”

April 28 Sarah Tracy, University of Oklahoma"High Life: Ancel Keys, Human Fatigue, and the International High Altitude Expedition of 1935"

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fall 2007 Workshop Schedule

Fall 2007 Workshops

Mondays from 4pm until 6pm in 337 Logan Hall (unless otherwise noted)

September 10 Matthew Eddy, Durham University, "Reading Practices and Natural History Texts in Enlightenment Edinburgh"

September 24 Simon Cole, University of California, Irvine, "Crime, Privacy, & Identity in the Age of Genetics & Information Technology"

October 1 Babak Ashrafi, Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science (PACHS), "Born's Bad Bet"

October 8 Bruno Strasser, Yale University, "Banking Biology: Property, Privacy and Priority in Late 20th Century Databases"

October 16, 3-6pm, Logan 402 (Tuesday) Peter Galison, Harvard University, "'SECRECY': Communicating Scholarship through Film" (Screening and Discussion)

October 26, location TBA (Friday) Joint workshop with the Philosophy Department, John Beatty, University of British Columbia, "Karl Popper, Darwinism, and Totalitarianism"

October 29 Jutta Schikore, Indiana University, "Early 19th Century Microscopy"

November 5 Wendy Kline, University of Cincinnati, "Bodies of Evidence: Activists, Patients, and the FDA Regulation of Depo Provera"

November 12 Gabriella Petrick, New York University, "Industrializing Taste: Using Science and Technology to Historicize Our Sense of Taste"

November 19 Paul Offit, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, "One Scientist's Perspectives on the History of Vaccines"

November 26 John Krige, Georgia Tech, "Technology as an Instrument of US Foreign Policy"

December 3 Paul N. Edwards, University of Michigan, "Making Global Data, Making Data Global: Climate Change and Meteorological Data Infrastructures"

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Joy Rohde Wins Prize

Congratulations to current Penn HSS Ph.D. student Joy Rohde, who won the Nathan Reingold Prize (for the best graduate student essay) at the History of Science Society meeting recently held in Vancouver, for her paper:

“Gray Matters: Social Scientists, Military Patronage, and Disinterested Truth in The Cold War.”

Monday, October 23, 2006

Save the Date: Conference in Honor of Rob Kohler, 10-12 May 2007

"Knowing Global Environments: Field Scientists and the Multiple Scales of Nature"

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
10-12 May 2007
In honor of Robert E. Kohler
Featuring new and innovative scholarship at the intersection of environmental history and the history of science, considering knowledge at many scales beyond the local: region, state/nation, empire, and globe/world.
Hosted by the American Philosophical Society and the University of Pennsylvania

Co-organizers are Jeremy Vetter (2005 Ph.D graduate) and Susan Lindee (current HSS faculty member). Paper presenters will include a few alums of the department (Alex Checkovich, Lynn Nyhart, Helen Rozwadowski, Jeremy Vetter), along with invited junior and senior scholars from many other places. We are also featuring panel discussions with scholars from the history of science, sociology, geography, anthropology, and STS.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fall 2006 Workshop Schedule

For any curious alumni and friends of the Department, especially those who live near Philadelphia, below I am pasting the Fall 2006 workshop schedule. I understand it has been coordinated by Riki Kuklick this semester, and it looks like an excellent line-up:

*Fall 2006 Workshop*

*History & Sociology of Science, Medicine & Technology*

* *

*Mondays from 4pm until 6pm in 337 Logan Hall*

*September 11*

HSSC Opening of the Semester Extravaganza in the Logan Lounge

*September 18*

Mary Terrall, University of California Los Angles
/Birds and Bees: Natural History Practices in the 18th-Century//
*September 25*

Michael Lynch, Cornell University
/After Closure: /

/The Implications of DNA Evidence in Forensic Identification Science/

*October 2*: No workshop (Yom Kippur)

*October 9*

Morris Low, Johns Hopkins University
/Promoting Scientific and Technological Change in Tokyo, 1870-1930:
Museums, Industrial Exhibitions and the City/

*October 16*

Jim English, University of Pennsylvania
/Prizes, Prestige, and Money/

*October 23*: No workshop (fall break)

*October 30*

Jorge Canizares-Esguerra, University of Texas--Austin
/Crusading Epistemologies:/

/Iberian Influences in Early-Modern European Science/

*November 6*

Amy L. Fairchild, Columbia University

*November 13*

Cyrus Mody, Chemical Heritage Foundation
/Molecular Electronics in the Longue Durèe/

*November 20*

Francine Hirsh, Wisconsin
/Expert Knowledge and the Making (and Remaking) of the Soviet Union/

*November 27*

Kathy Brown, University of Pennsylvania

*December 4*

Mark Harrison, Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of
/Quarantine and the Politics of Empire:/

/India, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, c.1866-1880/

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Neo-Institutionalist Turn in Sociology of Science

Here at the Max Planck Institute, we just concluded a wonderful visit by Prof. Tom Gieryn of Indiana University. Another postdoc and I invited him in order to lead an Institute-wide colloquium on the past and future relationship between the history of science and sociology of science. After reviewing his own version of the past several decades in the field, he argued that a new movement coming from mainstream sociology--which he and others call "neo-institutionalism"--is now displacing the constructivist/STS-style sociology of the 80s and 90s, at least within the United States.

How is the neo-institutionalist approach different from contructivism? As Gieryn presented it (and he admitted himself this is a necessary oversimplification), constructivist sociology of science offers case-based analysis celebrating contingency and locality, favors archival and ethnographic methods, emphasizes agency over structure, and often focuses on issues related to epistemology and knowledge. Neo-institutionalism, on the other hand, searches for patterns over time and space, is more enthusiastic about using statistical and quantitative methods, emphasizes how structure can constrain actors, and returns in part to a sociology of scientists and organizations that was more characteristic of the pre-constructivist, Mertonian era. Now, of course, there are plenty of exceptions--such as some of the Edinburgh School SSK research that connects knowledge to social structure (e.g., MacKenzie's work on the history statistics), and the sophisticated neo-institutionalist case study work done by Daniel Lee Kleinman on how the larger structural context has shaped what goes on at a Wisconsin plant pathology lab. But Gieryn's overall dichotomy did prove quite engaging and useful for our discussion at the MPI. While taking something of a middle position, Gieryn himself seemed more concerned than excited about these new trends in American sociology of science.

Both of us who co-organized the colloquium had the chance to present brief commentaries. Not surprisingly, given our many fruitful debates over the past several months, we found ourselves taking opposing points of view. My colleague, who was/is a student of Bruno Latour, the turn in American sociology away from agency-centered constructivism is not at all a welcome development, and she ably presented the case for continuing to focus on how actors of all kinds (including non-human actors) engage in construction, enrollment, and network-building. On the other hand, my talk was much more favorable towards the neo-institutionalist turn. While admitting the enduring benefits of the constructivist approach--and, indeed, continuing to work broadly in this tradition in my own work--I advocated the welcoming of a more structural, larger-scale, or institutional turn in the history and sociology of science. I argued that many recent trends in the history of science--towards the macro-scale and "big picture"--are actually tending in a sympathetic direction, and we need to place more emphasis on how actors are constrained by the historically constructed but partly stable institutional instructures--norms, power relations, etc. I do think that historians of science must involve ourselves in the neo-institutionalist turn, so that our hard-won insights about how identities, categories, and practices have changed over time can be properly incorporated into the big picture. (And of course to keep issues of knowledge/epistemology on the front burner!) Otherwise, there is certainly the risk that neo-institutionalist big pictures will lack the historical and geographical subtlety required to account for variability over time and space.

Okay, enough of my own commentary. I just wanted to summarize what Tom Gieryn had to say, because I think the issues involved will be of great interest to many in the Penn HSS community. We had a wonderful visit from Tom, and I highly commend him to anyone who has the chance to hear him give a talk sometime or to engage with him in small group discussion.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Conference at Penn This Weekend

I probably should have posted this sooner, but just in case any alumni readers of this blog haven't heard yet, there is an exciting conference coordinated by Riki taking place this weekend at Penn, sponsored by the HSS Dept.:

* * *

“Histories of the Human Sciences: Different Disciplinary Perspectives.”

Conference on May 6th, 2006, University of Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Department of History and Sociology of Science.

During recent decades, interest in the history of human sciences has grown considerably. Research has been undertaken by practitioners of the human sciences as well as by historians, and also by scholars in other disciplines. Not surprisingly, scholars have typically addressed their own disciplinary audiences. The objective of this conference is to stimulate discussion across disciplinary boundaries.

Speakers: Matti Bunzl; John Carson; Susan Hegeman; Barbara Herrnstein Smith; Peter Logan; Philip Mirowski; Jill Morawski; Alice O’Connor; Leila Zenderland.

Commentators include Elizabeth Lunbeck and George W. Stocking, Jr.

Attendance space is limited. Those interested in attending the conference should declare their intention of doing so. Further particulars will be sent to them. Please send an e-mail message headed “Conference on May 6th” to Patricia Johnson, pjohnson@sas.upenn.edu.