Happy summer GECC members and readers! With temperatures rising and most classes taking a hiatus it’s time to add something to your reading list in the form of our summer blog series. Last year, under the direction of Emmie Miller (now GECC co-chair), the blog profiled early career scholars working in fields outside academia. If you haven’t read the interviews, check them out here. In taking up the mantle as communications co-chair I wanted to continue in a similar vein and use the blog to highlight some of the excellent work being done by historians of science as graduate students, traditional academics, and those branching out in new directions.
The first half of 2017 has brought current events into the forefront of many of our academic as well as non-academic lives. On the national and international stage coping with the fallout from the US election and Brexit, immigration, and activism including the Women’s March, Science March, and ongoing social justice advocacy by groups like #blacklivesmatter fill headlines and twitter feeds. Within the community of higher ed campus activism, funding concerns, and local politics continue to draw deserved attention. Personally, I have found myself asking what graduate and early career historians of science can bring to the table at this time. What platforms are there to express our concerns? How can our work reflect the times we live in? What is the role of historical criticism and how does it escape the academic bubble? These questions pre-date 2017, but with increased awareness and active commentary from organizations as large as the AHA and National Parks Service the time seemed right to look at the opportunities within our own house.
To that end, we will post three interviews over the next month (look for them on Thursdays!) addressing projects intended to break history of science out of a narrow academic box. In short, how historians of science are making a difference. Sarah Pickman co-organized a conference at Yale University on social justice issues which reached out to medical practitioners aw well as historians. The digital magazine Lady Science, co-edited by Lelia McNeill and Anna Reser brings critical historical assessments of science and gender to a broader audience. Finally, I spoke with co-editors-in-chief of the journal Endeavour, Richard Bellon and Joseph D. Martin, about its “In vivo” section, a dedicated space for historians to write about history and public policy. Each discussion is edited, but even with editing they are quite lengthy so please be patient. I hope they serves as both useful and entertaining reading over the weeks to come.
Sarah Naramore, GECC communications co-chair
About the author/editor- Sarah Naramore is a PhD candidate in the History and Philosophy of Science Program at the University of Notre Dame. Her research looks at the development of the American medical profession and medical theory from the American Revolution to the early nineteenth century.