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September 2015

Andrea Wulf – The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World

September 30, 2015, 6:00 am - 8:00 pm
New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
New York, NY
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In The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World, author Andrea Wulf reveals the extraordinary life of the visionary German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) and explores how he created the way we understand nature today. Though almost forgotten today, his name lingers everywhere from the Humboldt Current to the Humboldt penguin. Humboldt was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, whether climbing the highest volcanoes…

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October 2015

Joan Richards – Images of Mind: Reason, Logic and the Divine in Victorian England – NY HoS Series

October 28, 2015, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
NYU Gallatin, 1 Washington Place, Room 801
New York, NY 10003
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Speaker: Joan Richards, Professor of History, Brown University As Professor of Mathematics at University College London , Augustus De Morgan was a leader in England’s move towards becoming a secular society. UCL welcomed students independent of their religious commitments. At UCL, religion became a private concern, to be pursued at home; in the public world of the university, knowledge was to be pursued independent of religious convictions. Maintaining this division required absolutely fundamental adjustments in the views of knowledge of…

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November 2015

Nick Wilding – Forging the Moon; Or, How to Spot a Fake Galileo – NY HoS Series

November 11, 2015, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Speaker: Nick Wilding, Fellow of the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, New York Public Library, and Associate Professor of Early Modern History at Georgia State University The integrity of the historical record is a prime concern for any historian. It follows that the art of detecting forgeries is crucial to our craft. Early modern print materials have generally been held above suspicion as a technologically impossible, or at least unprofitable, subject for forgery. But the emergence in 2005 of…

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December 2015

Henry Cowles – How the Other Half Thinks: Human Science in the Gilded Age – NY HoS Series

December 16, 2015, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
NYU Gallatin, 1 Washington Place, Room 801
New York, NY 10003
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Speaker: Henry Cowles, Assistant Professor of the History of Medicine and of History, Yale University How do I know what you think—or that you think at all? This is the so-called “problem of other minds,” a philosophical puzzle that gained new meaning in the Gilded Age. Under the star of evolution, American practitioners of the human sciences probed a range of “other minds” for common elements. These human scientists came to agree that, across gaps of age, gender, race, class,…

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January 2016

Marga Vicedo – Niko Tinbergen’s Research on Childhood Autism: Interpreting Gestures from Gulls to Children – NY HoS Series

January 27, 2016, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
NYU Gallatin, 1 Washington Place, Room 801
New York, NY 10003
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In 1973 Niko Tinbergen shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his studies on animal behavior. In his acceptance speech, however, Tinbergen talked about childhood autism. Extrapolating from his studies of approach-withdrawal conflict in herring gulls, Tinbergen argued that autistic children are victims of environmental stress caused mainly by a mother’s failure to bond with her child and to protect her child from conflicting situations. In this talk I situate Tinbergen’s work on autism within the history of…

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February 2016

Barbara Naddeo – From Arcana Imperii to Statistics: G.M. Galanti, Political Information and Science in the Age of Enlightenment – NY HoS Series

February 24, 2016, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
NYU Gallatin, 1 Washington Place, Room 801
New York, NY 10003
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Speaker: Barbara Naddeo, Associate Professor of History, CUNY: The City College of New York and The Graduate Center In the early modern period the most fundamental social statistics of the age’s monarchies, from demographics to public finances, were considered to be the property of the king, whose officers most jealously archived and selectively employed them in the service of royal power. With the age of Enlightenment these same statistics became the objects of inquiry of a new breed of professionals,…

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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, NY 10003
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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

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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