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history of science



  • How Fossil Fuel Dollars Warped University Climate Research

    Fossil fuel profit "secures favorable white papers, journals, societies, public-policy comments, courtroom testimony, and front groups that attack what the industry sees as damaging science," copying the 1950s playbook of the tobacco industry with more money and higher stakes. 



  • Steven Shapin on the Trust Inherent in Science

    The historian of science has examined the social relationships of credibility that must prevail for scientific expertise to exist, and also critiqued the evolving conventions of wine-tasting terminology from "Old BS" to "New BS." 



  • Review: Scientific Thought and Windows on Reality

    by Philip Kitcher

    The fierce debates over vaccines, masking, and other COVID mitigations have unsettled the security of "science" as a source of authoritative knowledge. A new book discusses the long debates about how scientific knowledge is produced, and how it becomes "The Science." 



  • What if Mental Illness Isn't All In Your Head?

    by Marco Ramos

    A historian of mental health reviews two new books and concludes that pharmaceutical and neurological approaches to mental health have failed and it's time to turn the lens onto society.



  • These Books Tell of Change Happening Slowly, then Suddenly

    Historians Lynn Hunt, Adam Hochschild, Kate Clifford-Larse and Keenaga-Yamahtta Taylor are among the authors whose books dig beneath the surface of famous leaders to describe how social movements built the strength to change laws, institutions and ideas. 



  • Darwin's Enduring Hold on Our Imaginations

    by Tom Chaffin

    The excitement that greeted the return of missing notebooks by the British naturalist reflect the fact that his work, while foundational, remains both controversial and poorly understood. 



  • Why Following Joe Rogan Seems Easier than Following the Science

    by Yair Rosenberg

    "But in order for this science to be followed, it has to include the science of how people interact with each other. In other words, there has got to be a science of the virus, and there’s also got to be a science of society."


  • Latitude: The Pioneering International Mission to Measure the Earth

    by Nicholas Crane

    The scientists and technicians of the Geodetic Mission to the Equator did more than measure a degree of latitude; they showed how a disparate group of human beings from different countries and backgrounds could pool their collective resources and solve problems.



  • UFOs and the Boundaries of Science

    by Greg Eghigian

    The history of the UFO phenomenon is a lens on to the process by which scientists police the bounds of respectable inquiry. 



  • The Feminist Past History Can't Give Us

    by Paula Findlen

    "What it really meant to be a woman of science three centuries ago is not so easily conscripted into contemporary narratives of feminist liberation."