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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, Columbia University, 64 Morningside Drive
New York, NY 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

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, NY 10003
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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, NY 10003
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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, 2017, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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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