Azuma Makoto’s astonishing extraterrestrial plants are a totally new type of landscape, set against the infinity of space
Azuma Makoto has created a completely unprecedented set of landscape images that show organic life on the edge of space.
Working with JP Aerospace, the Tokyo artist has sent a bonsai tree, orchids, lilies and other plants into the stratosphere, suspended in a balloon.
Silas Weir Mitchell’s fame comes from his work as a neurologist and as an ardent believer in the “rest cure,” which was used to treat women (and occasionally men) who were suffering from a variety of nervous disorders. In his later years, however, he began a second career as a novelist. He was fairly successful at the time, although his works are not regarded as classics of American literature. His most enduring literary legacy might actually be that he indirectly inspired Charlotte Perkins … »
Ronen Shamir’s new book is a timely and thoughtful study of the electrification of Palestine in the early twentieth century. Current Flow: The Electrification of Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2013) makes use of Actor-Network Theory as a methodology to trace the processes involved in constructing a powerhouse and assembling an electric grid in 1920s Palestine. The book brilliantly shows how electrification “makes politics” rather than just transmitting it: under the auspices of British c… »
Andreas Vesalius was an ambitious young man who was not shy of self-publicity. Born in Flanders 500 years ago, he had his eye on one of the most prestigious roles in medicine. He sought an appointment as personal physician to the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. To optimise his chances, Vesalius set out to demonstrate his extensive knowledge of the workings of the human body. One of the ways he did this was to publish in 1543 an extraordinary tome known as the Fabrica, in reference to its Latin …
During the mid-nineteenth century, Johann Gregor Mendel experimented with pea plants to develop a theory of inheritance. In 1843, while a monk in the Augustian St Thomas’s Abbey in Brünn, Austria, now Brno, Czech Repubic, Mendel examined the physical appearance of the abbey’s pea plants ( Pisum sativum) and noted inconsistencies between what he saw and what the blending theory of inheritance, a primary model of inheritance at the time, predicted.
A while back we posted images from Georg Bartisch’s flap anatomy. Here are some images from another flap anatomy (or movable atlas, as it chooses to call itself). This is an English translation of part IV of G.J.A. Witkowski’s Anatomie iconoclastique, and shows the parts of the eye. The library also has Part III (the female genital organs) and Part VII (the male genital organs).
1842-1920 Charles Lapworth was born in Faringdon, Berkshire and trained as a school teacher in Oxfordshire, his main interests at that time being literature, history, art and music. His first post, in 1864, was in Galashiels and in 1875 he was appointed to Madras College in St Andrews. Lapworth’s interest in geology started shortly after his move to Scotland and, although largely self taught in the subject, he soon began to make significant contributions towards unravelling the geology of the S…
Twitter is the source of a great deal of modern news, and scientists are often encouraged to tweet about their research. So what if Twitter had been around during the times of historic scientific breakthroughs and discoveries?
The story of pain and suffering since the eighteenth century. Prize-winning historian Joanna Bourke charts how our understanding of pain (and how to cope with it) has changed completely over the last three centuries.
Welcome to this new blogsite – the ‘Asylum and Post-Asylum Spaces’ site – which aims to be a premier port of call for anyone interested in lunatic asylums, mental hospitals, psychiatric institutions, mental health facilities of all kinds, or indeed the still-wider concerns broadly clustering under the heading of ‘mental health geographies’ (which we also…
On March 14, 1835, Italian astronomer and science historian Giovanni Schiaparelli was born. He is remembered best for his observations of planet Mars, where he discovered a dense network of linear structures on the surface of Mars which he called "canali" in Italian, meaning "channels" but the term was mistranslated into English as "canals" indicating that the observed structures should be of artificial origin.
Your weekly digest of all the best of
Internet history of science, technology and medicine
Editor in Chief: The Ghost of William Whewell
Monday 21 July 2014
We’re back for another week and a new edition of the best #histsci, #histtech and #histmed links list in the entire cosmos. This week saw the forth-fifth anniversary of the first moon landing. Although in reality, as a political propaganda exercise, this anniversary actually belongs to political hist… »
Our Manuscript Monday offering comes from the William Beaumont papers held at the Becker Medical Library (the correspondence can be found online here). During his tenure as a military surgeon stationed at Fort Mackinac, Beaumont treated Alexis St. Martin, a French Canadian fur trapper who had been shot in the stomach. While St. Martin recovered, he was left with a permanent fistula in his stomach. Beaumont realized that this would give him a unique opportunity to study the digestive process,… »
Robert Boyle’s remarkable to-do list for future scientists inspires five contemporary researchers to write their own.
Please consider subscribing to The Appendix. Your patronage supports our continued publication.
JF Ptak Science Books Post 2255
In three issues1 of Nature (London) magazine in 1883, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin)–polymath of a great and inquisitive mind–tried to create a good reference point for the size of atoms, mainly to establish that their size while being incredibly small were not unimaginably so, and that even objects of this minor magnitude could be approximated and studied. And he did so with great ease and in a popular general-audience sort of way.
All told, this was a very … »
While searching for information regarding Åke Gustafsson, a plant breeder who practiced mutagenesis (and cited by Stebbins as providing experimental data for mutation studies), I stumbled upon an amazing video: footage from the 8th International Congress in Genetics held in Stockholm in 1948!
Bengt Bengtsson and Anna Tunlid of Lund University digitized and annotated the video (the host site), uploaded it to Youtube, and published an article in Genetics that usefully contextualizes the event, e… »
Below are some of the interesting articles that I came across while writing my monthly column The Compass Chronicles Vol. 5 for The Hindu BusinessLine. Here are Volume 4, Volume 3, Volume 2 and Volume 1.
The Fall Of Shergotty (pdf), by Kevin Kinchka
Mystery of the meteorite in Bihar’s opium fields, by Amitava Ghosh
A survey of Bengali writings in science and technology (1800-1950) by various authors.
Introduction of Modern Astronomy In India during 18-19 centuries, (pdf) by S.M. Razau… »
Curator Deborah Warner’s research on a valuable accessory may reveal a connection to President Abraham Lincoln’s assassin.
This intriguing object is the subject of much curatorial research
Binocular field glasses were introduced in Vienna, Austria, around 1840 and soon caught the attention of those who would see things from afar. Although binocular opera glasses had been used since the 17th century, field glasses were a new style of large, rugged, and powerful binoculars designed for heavy d… »
The Vault is Slate’s history blog. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @slatevault, and find us on Tumblr. Find out more about what this space is all about here.
The great project Public Domain Review recently posted about these prints, which are held at the Library of Congress. The series, credited to the Japanese Department of Education, represents the trials and tribulations of Western inventors and intellectuals. While the Library of Congress places their publication in the late 19th … »
In researching the history of the Westinghouse Science Talent Search a few years ago, I happened upon some amazingly gender-stereotyped publicity photographs of young female contestants in the 1950s. The girls—who had jumped a rigorous series of academic hurdles on the way to the national science talent competition—had been photographed holding up banquet dresses, sharing milkshakes with male contestants, and gazing at the Hope Diamond on a visit to the Smithsonian.
The official government line… »
This is a slightly expanded version of the paper I gave at the Annual Association for Medical Humanities Conference, University of Aberdeen, 8th – 10th July 2013. I have posted a review of the conference here. On giving this paper I attempted to access a past that is remote to me. I have, for the…
The Beagle’s library of more than 400 books has been reconstructed and made freely available in digital form
The lost collection of books that kept Charles Darwin company aboard HMS Beagle and provided inspiration for his later works on evolution has been made publicly available for the first time today.
Hundreds of titles that filled the shelves of the ship’s library on Darwin’s five-year circumnavigation of the globe in the 1830s have been brought together and made freely available through the »
An international team of researchers has found new evidence that our prehistoric ancestors had a detailed understanding of plants long before the development of agriculture. By extracting chemical compounds and microfossils from dental calculus (calcified dental plaque) from ancient teeth, the researchers were able to provide an entirely new perspective on our ancestors’ diets. Their research suggests that purple nut sedge (Cyperus rotundus) — today regarded as a nuisance weed — formed an imp…
David Thompson, former Curator of Horology, British Museum
Do you own a watch? What does your watch look like? Is it a traditional mechanical watch made by one of the leading Swiss watch manufacturers or is it perhaps a cheap everyday item which you use just to tell the time? There is no doubt that even today, where smartphones have become a popular way of keeping time; watches are still very personal items. For many they are birthday, Christmas or anniversary presents. For others they have been »
Since last October, the United States has caught tens of thousands of children crossing the border with Mexico, most fleeing violence in Central America. Thousands continue to come into the country, and President Obama has called the influx an “urgent humanitarian situation,” asking Congress for $3.7 billion in funding to deal with the children and families that have arrived.
Complicating the problem are growing protests against the immigrants. “I’m protesting the invasion of the United States … »
All cells that have a nucleus, including plant, animal, fungal cells, and most single-celled protists, also have mitochondria. Mitochondria are particles called organelles found outside the nucleus in a cell’s cytoplasm. The main function of mitochondria is to supply energy to the cell, and therefore to the organism. The theory for how mitochondria evolved, proposed by Lynn Margulis in the twentieth century, is that they were once free-living organisms.
The brain three ways. From the top:
Thomas Willis. The anatomy of the brain and nerves. Birmingham, Ala. : Classics of Neurology and Neurosurgery Library, 1983; 1664.
Charles Bell. The anatomy of the brain, explained in a series of engravings. London: Printed by C. Whittingham, 1802.
Jean Marc Bourgery. Atlas of human anatomy. Los Angeles: Taschen, . Originals published between 1831-1854.
OSLER, Sir WILLIAM, physician, educator, medical philosopher, and historian; b. 12 July 1849 in Bond Head, Upper Canada, son of Featherstone Lake Osler*, a Church of England priest, and Ellen Free Pickton, both of Cornwall, England; m. 7 May 1892 Grace Linzee Revere, widow of Dr Samuel Weissell Gross, in Philadelphia, and they had two sons, one of whom survived infancy; d. 29 Dec. 1919 in Oxford, England.