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history of science


  • Originally published 08/07/2013

    Bob Filner, San Diego mayor facing sexual harrassment scandal, formerly a history prof.

    Bob Filner, the embattled mayor of San Diego who faces allegations of sexual harassment and abuse, taught in the history department at San Diego State University for over twenty years before running for Congress in 1993. Filner, who was born in Pittsburgh, received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. His Ph.D. dissertation, entitled “Science and Politics in England, 1930-1945: The Social Relations of Science Movement,” was completed under the supervision of L. Pearce Williams in 1973. He was employed as a historian of science by San Diego State from 1970 until his election to Congress in 1993. HNN filed a public records request at SDSU for Filner's employment records, but we were informed that all employment files at that university are purged after ten years.

  • Originally published 04/17/2013

    Cantankerous Historian of Science Questions Whether Science Can Achieve “Truth”

    One of the best things about teaching at Stevens Institute of Technology, which I joined in 2005, is shooting the shit with distinguished historian of science James E. McClellan III. Jim has authored, co-authored or edited half a dozen books, including Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction, which he wrote with our late Stevens colleague Harold Dorn. The book, which won an award from the World History Association, serves as my textbook when I teach “History of Science and Technology.” Every time I read the book I learn something new, which perhaps means that I never read it carefully enough. Just kidding. I’ve learned more about the history of science from Jim than I like to admit....Horgan: To what extent can we learn about the emergence of modern science by focusing on pre-revolutionary France?

  • Originally published 01/16/2013

    Lawrence M. Krauss: Deafness at Doomsday

    Lawrence M. Krauss, a theoretical physicist at Arizona State University, is the author, most recently, of “A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing.”TO our great peril, the scientific community has had little success in recent years influencing policy on global security. Perhaps this is because the best scientists today are not directly responsible for the very weapons that threaten our safety, and are therefore no longer the high priests of destruction, to be consulted as oracles as they were after World War II.The problems scientists confront today are actually much harder than they were at the dawn of the nuclear age, and their successes more heartily earned. This is why it is so distressing that even Stephen Hawking, perhaps the world’s most famous living scientist, gets more attention for his views on space aliens than his views on nuclear weapons.Scientists’ voices are crucial in the debates over the global challenges of climate change, nuclear proliferation and the potential creation of new and deadly pathogens. But unlike in the past, their voices aren’t being heard....