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Posts Tagged ‘history of science’

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Warning: This episode contains frank discussions of human anatomy and some violence.

Ever wondered why wonder is so important in science? We’re taught from an early edge that science is a world of wonder, and encouraged to indulge our natural curiosity as a first step to achieving scientific rationality. Today, we’ll investigate the fascinating history of wonder, including times when wonder was not in fashion and times when it led grown men to kick old women in the stomach. (Yes, you will need to listen to find what that refers to.)

Guest voice: Many thanks to Tim Ralphs of the Room Behind the Bookcase podcast for playing Ambroise Paré.

For further reading:

On the shelf:

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Audio credits:

All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, except where noted.

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Sputnik

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How did the Civil War and the Cold War affect the acceptance of evolution in the United States? Tune in to today’s program to find out. This is the second episode in a three-part series on the history behind the evolution-intelligent design controversy.

First guest essay – Caitlin McShea, “Atomic Bombs and Evolutionary Mushroom Clouds

  • Caitlin McShea is a sophomore majoring in biology and philosophy at Southwestern University. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in bioethical law.

Second guest essay – Kate Peteet, “Evolution Is Not a Dirty Word”

  • Kate Peteet is a sophomore studying art history, architecture, and design at Southwestern University. She plans to attend graduate school as well, perhaps to study pre-Columbian South American art.
  • Additional voices in the essay provided by fellow students Jennifer Pitzen and Marco Duran.

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On the Shelf:

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All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, except where noted.

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Caracol - “The Observatory” in Chichén Itzá

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This month, guest essayist Scott Lough concludes his exploration of time’s strange behavior, this time focusing on how early human societies understood and measured it.

Guest essay – Scott Lough, “The Weirdness of Time” (part 2)

  • for further reading:
    • Abel, K. Drum Songs: Glimpses of Dene History. Montreal and Kingston: McGill and Queen’s UP, 2005.
    • Aveni, A. F. “Old and new world naked eye astronomy.” In Brecher, K., Feirtag, M., (eds.), Astronomy of the Ancients (pp. 61-89). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1979.
    • Aveni, A. F. Empires of Time: Calendars, Clocks, and Culture. New York: Basic Books, 1989.
    • Aveni, A. F. Conversing with the Planets: How Science and Myth Invented the Cosmos. New York: Times Books, 1992.
    • Barbour, J. B. The End of Time. New York: Oxford UP, 1999.
    • Cobo, Bernabé. Inca Religion and Customs. Hamilton, R. (ed. and trans.), Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990.
    • Ferris, T. Coming of Age in the Milky Way. New York: Doubleday, 1988.
    • Galison, P. L. Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps: Empires of Time. New York: W. W. Norton, 2003.
    • Gleick, J. Faster. New York: Vintage, 2000.
    • Hawking, S. W. A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. New York: Bantam, 1998.
    • Hesiod. Works and Days. Tandy, D. W., Neale, W. C. (eds. and trans.). Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.
    • Krupp, E. C. In Search of Ancient Astronomies. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1978.
    • Krupp, E. C. Echoes of the Ancient Skies. New York: Meridian, 1983.
    • Krupp, E. C. Beyond the Blue Horizon: Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets. New York: Harper Collins, 1991.
    • MacDonald, J. The Arctic Sky: Inuit Astronomy, Star Lore, and Legend. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum/Nunavut Research Institute, 2000.
    • Massie, P. “Time and Contingency in Duns Scotus.” The Saint Anselm Journal 3, no. 2 (2006): 17-31.
    • Smith, A. A., II. “Time and the Medieval World.” Philosophy Now Magazine 62 (July/Aug. 2007): 18-20.
    • Smolin, L. The Life of the Cosmos. New York: Oxford UP, 1997.
    • Staley, K. M. “Omniscience, Time, Eternity: Is Aquinas Inconsistent?” The Saint Anselm Journal 3, no. 2 (2006): 9-16.
    • Urton, G. At the Crossroads of the Earth and the Sky: An Andean Cosmology. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981.
  • Scott Lough is a husband, father, Montessori teacher trainer, educational consultant, science writer, lay preacher and resident of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, in Canada.

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All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, except where noted.

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This episode considers some of the animals – big and small, welcome and unwelcome – that have accompanied us humans on our journeys through the history of scientific and medical discovery. Of course animals have been the subject of scientific study for centuries, but what we often forget is that they aren’t simply passive subjects. Animals have their own agenda, which sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t harmonize with the agendas of the people they live with.

(You also get to hear what the host sounds like when microbes’ agendas get the better of her immune system.)

Host essay: “The Dog Who Would Be Naturalist”

Host essay: “No Flies on Me”

Audio credits:

All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network except where noted.

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section of berin wall painted with double helixListen to this episode.

On today’s show, we embark on the first of what I hope will be many virtual excursions together. This time we visit Berlin, Germany. This beautiful city is famous for its political and cultural past, but also has a fascinating history in science and medicine.

There is so much to examine, but this episode will focus on Charité — an institution founded as a plague hospital that ended up treating soldiers, training medical students, hosting the founding work of modern pathology, and most recently housing a history of medicine museum — and the Berlin Phonogram Archive, a founding institution for ethnomusicology and a key voice in early twentieth century evolutionary arguments about race.

Host essays: “I Feel Your Pain” and “Evolution in Four-Part Harmony”

  • for further reading/viewing/listening:
    • Eric Ames, “The Sound of Evolution,” Modernism/Modernity 10 (2003): 297-325.
    • Lazare Benaroyo, “Rudolf Virchow and the Scientific Approach to Medicine,” Endeavour 22, no. 3 (1998): 114-116.
    • Der Himmel über Berlin, aka Wings of Desire, dir. Wim Wenders (1987)
    • Arthur E. Imhof, “The Hospital in the 18th Century: For Whom?” Journal of Social History 10 (1977): 448-470.
    • Music! The Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv, 1900-2000 (Wergo, 2000).
    • Konrad Obermann, “Materialised Medical History,” The Lancet 359 (2002): 361-362.
    • Alexandra Richie, Faust’s Metropolis: A History of Berlin (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1998).
    • Londa Schiebinger, “Maria Winkelmann at the Berlin Academy: A Turning Point for Women in Science,” Isis 78 (1987): 174-200.

Audio credits:

All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network except where noted.

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berdacheListen to this episode.

On today’s show, we look at the seemingly obvious idea that women and men are opposites. So many cultures historically have assumed this to be so, and so many of these cultures have argued that differences between men and women had a natural basis. We will see how difficult that argument has been to maintain as science has probed deeper into the human body.

Guest essay: Amber Hoerauf, “The Hormone Revolution”

Host essay: “Yin to His Yang”

Audio credits:

All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network except where noted.

Contest: Leave a substantive comment here on the website or on iTunes by September 25, and your name will entered into a drawing to win two books on the history of science fiction. Be sure to leave your e-mail address so that I know how to contact you.

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Today’s show considers some of the ways that science fiction has drawn inspiration from planetary science.

Host essay: “Dying Planet”

Guest essay:
Megan Healy, “Attack of the Lady Scientists!”

Audio credits:

Guest voices:
Jack Green Musselman

Win fabulous prizes:

Leave a substantive comment here on the website by August 25, and your name will entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to Powell’s Books.

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