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September 2017

John Tresch – Barnum, Bache, and Poe: American Science and the Antebellum Public

September 27, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Fayerweather Hall, Room 513, 1180 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10027 United States
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This talk will explore how the sharp increase of printed matter and an elitist movement to unify knowledge through centralized institutions in the 1840s influenced Barnum, Bach, and Poe, therefore changing the relations of science and public in this early phase of industrialization.

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October 2017

Michael Barany – Invidious Comparisons: International politics, the Fields Medal, and the past, present, and future of mathematics, 1936-1966

October 11, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Fayerweather Hall, Room 513, 1180 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10027 United States
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First presented in 1936, the Fields Medal quickly became one of mathematicians' most prestigious, famous, and in some cases notorious prizes. Because its deliberations are confidential, we know very little about the early Fields Medals. This talk will analyze newly discovered letters from the 1950 and 1958 Fields Medal committees.

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Whitney Laemmli – Measured Movements: Weimar Germany, Labanotation, and the Choreography of Corporate Life

October 25, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
NYU Gallatin, 1 Washington Place, Room 801
New York, NY 10003
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In 1928, the German choreographer Rudolf Laban announced what he believed to be an explosive development in the history of dance: the creation of an inscription system that could “objectively” record human movement on paper. The technique, known as “Labanotation,” relied upon byzantine combinations of lines, tick marks, and boxes. In this talk, Dr. Laemmli will explore two seemingly distant, but in fact closely-linked, moments from Labanotation’s history: its origins in the anxiety-ridden, vibratory atmosphere of Weimar Germany and its use in the American and British corporate office in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.

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November 2017

Monica Azzolini – Saints and Science in Early Modern Italy: Filippo Neri and Francesco Borgia as Patron Saints of Earthquakes

November 29, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Fayerweather Hall, Room 513, 1180 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10027 United States
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This event is part of the New York History of Science Lecture Series and features Monica Azzolini, a Senior Lecturer in Early Modern European History, University of Edinburgh.

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December 2017

Jimena Canales – How Far can Facts Take Us? Einstein and Bergson, Ghosts and Demons

December 13, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
NYU Gallatin, 1 Washington Place, Room 801
New York, NY 10003
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What is the role of facts in scientific revolutions? Some of the most important controversies and discoveries in modern science involved agreement about basic facts but disagreement about something else. This talk will discuss advances in science that were not settled by known facts, focusing in particular on the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.

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January 2018

James Delbourgo – The Origins of Public Museums: Hans Sloane’s Collections and the Creation of the British Museum

January 31, 2018, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
New York, NY
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In 1759 London’s British Museum opened its doors for the first time – the first free national public museum in the world. But how did it come into being? This talk recounts the overlooked yet colorful life of the museum’s founder: Sir Hans Sloane. The little-known life of one of the Enlightenment’s most controversial luminaries provides a new story about the beginnings of public museums through their origins in imperialism and slavery.

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February 2018

Lynnette Regouby – Threshold: Generations of Change in Botanical Practice at the end of the Ancien Regime

February 28, 2018, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Fayerweather Hall, Room 513, 1180 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10027 United States
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This event is part of the New York History of Science Lecture Series and will feature Dr Lynette Regouby.

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March 2018

María M. Portuondo – American Convergence: Science and Technology in Colonial Latin America

March 28, 2018, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The essential backdrop of the history of the region we now call Latin America is the centuries-long process of negotiation between the different social, religious, cultural and political registers of the Indigenous, African and European peoples who came to inhabit the area. The resulting American scientific and technological convergence involved the combination and recombination of practices whose exact origins are difficult to trace. This talk proposes a framework for the study of the scientific and technological registers of the American convergence. It recognizes the hybrid, complex and local nature of the convergence and explores these through three kinds of human activities: learning, moving and making.

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