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March 2016

Jamie Pietruska – Weather Prophets, Frauds, and Counterfeiters from the Gilded Age to the New Era – NY HoS Series

March 30, 2016, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
NYU Gallatin, 1 Washington Place, Room 801
New York,
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This talk will draw together histories of science, capitalism, and culture to examine epistemological debates over weather prediction during a period when the first national weather service in the United States found itself in constant competition with a multitude of private commercial forecasters in a contest for professional scientific authority.

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April 2016

Joseph Dauben – Science and Art in China. 利瑪竇 Li Matou (Matteo Ricci), 郎世寧 Lang Shining (Giuseppe Castiglione) and the Influence of Western Geometry and Mathematical Perspective on Early Qing Dynasty Mathematicians and Artists – NY HoS Series

April 27, 2016, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The New York Academy of Sciences, 250 Greenwich Street
New York,
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Speaker: Joseph Dauben, Distinguished Professor in the Department of History,  Herbert H. Lehman College and Ph.D. Program in History, The Graduate Center, CUNY In 1607 the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci (1552–1610), in collaboration with his colleague 徐光啟 Xu Guangqi (1562–1633), translated the first six books of Euclid’s Elements of Geometry into Chinese. Among those to take a serious interest in this work was the prominent mathematician 梅文鼎 Mei Wending (1632-1721), but his 幾何通解 Jihe tongjie (General Explanation of (Euclid’s) Geometry) eliminated most of…

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September 2016

Paula Findlen – Newton’s Prisms: Why Francesco Algarotti Became an Experimenter

September 28, 2016, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Faculty House, 64 Morningside Drive
New York, 10027 United States
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This talk explores the circumstances that led the teenage Algarotti to become a celebrity experimenter in relation to debates about Newtonian science in Italy in the early eighteenth century.

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October 2016

Audra Wolfe – The Fight for Science and Freedom: Recovering the Role of Science in Cold War-Era Cultural Diplomacy

October 26, 2016, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The Center for Science and Society, 513 Fayerweather Hall, 1180 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10027 United States
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Audra Wolfe uses the story of the Congress for Cultural Freedom’s failed science programming to explore broader U.S. visions of science as a tool for cultural diplomacy—covert, overt, or something in between.

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November 2016

Fabian Kraemer – The Two Cultures Avant La Lettre: The Sciences and the Humanities in the Nineteenth Century

November 30, 2016, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
NYU Gallatin, 1 Washington Place, Room 801
New York,
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Fabian Kramer will trace the emergence of the dichotomy between science and the humanities with a particular focus on the German academic system in the nineteenth century.

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December 2016

Toshihiro Higuchi – Birth of the “Atomic Tuna”: Radioactive Fallout, U.S.-Japan Alliance, and the Politics of Radiological Standards in the Mid-1950s

December 14, 2016, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
NYU Gallatin, 1 Washington Place, Room 801
New York,
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The talk, which will serve as an introduction to my book project on worldwide contamination with radioactive fallout (currently in preparation for publication), will focus on the bilateral politics of standards for the radiological inspection of tuna as a key driver behind the rise and fall of the “atomic tuna” scare.

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January 2017

Sara Pritchard – Polluted Nightscapes: “Natural Night-Sky Brightness,” Skyglow, and the U.S. National Park Service

January 25, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The Center for Science and Society, 513 Fayerweather Hall, 1180 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10027 United States
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Since the late nineteenth century, light pollution has increased dramatically throughout most of the urban, industrial world. This talk examines how the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) and specifically its “Natural Sounds and Night Skies” Division came to care about nighttime landscapes—or nightscapes. Despite challenges to wilderness in the environmental humanities, the development of alternative conservation strategies that seek to address both environment and livelihood, and the complexity of light pollution as a phenomenon, relatively new concerns about artificial light at night nonetheless replicate older conservation and environmentalist rhetoric.

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February 2017

Stephanie Dick – After Math: Reasoning, Proving, and Computing in Postwar United States

February 22, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
NYU Gallatin, 1 Washington Place, Room 801
New York,
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With a focus on communities based in the United States in the second half of the twentieth century, this talk will introduce different visions of the computer as a mathematical agent, software that was crafted to animate those imaginings, and the novel practices and materialities of mathematical knowledge-making that emerged in tandem.

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March 2017

Neil Safier – Where Entangled Empires and Early Modern Science Intertwine: An Iberoamerican Perspective

March 29, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Room C/197, The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016 United States
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Arguing that this multi-polar and multi-actor scenario emerged organically from the concerns of Atlantic history, and also moved beyond them in important ways, the talk will highlight several recent examples from the Iberoamerican world, one of the proving grounds of this new approach merging the history of more permeable imperial and colonial spaces with a broader approach to science in what were formerly considered imperial peripheries.

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April 2017

Ann-Sophie Barwich – Scent Track: What can the History of Olfaction tell us about Theorizing in the Life Sciences?

April 26, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
New York, NY
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Perfumery may possibly be the second oldest business in the history of mankind. Olfaction, the sense of smell, has attracted systematic interest in scientific studies only recently, however. The discovery of the olfactory receptor genes by Linda Buck and Richard Axel in 1991 catapulted olfaction into core neurobiological research. Seldom does a discovery represent the birth of an experimental system as markedly as in the case of the olfactory receptors. Olfaction has been a fairly neglected field before, conducted only by a few but dedicated researchers throughout the past centuries.

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