“Pain has become our fifth vital sign.” Speaking last fall at a New Jersey symposium on pain management called “Do No Harm,” the chairman of emergency services at Hackensack University Medical Center said what his audience of doctors and nurses hardly needed to be told. We are all familiar with the medical routine: The thermometer beeps, the blood pressure gauge sighs, breaths and pulse are recorded—and then we’re asked, these days, how much it hurts on a scale of one to 10. Pain didn’t get the… »
By James Hawkes The sheer immensity of Sloane’s collection poses a daunting challenge for the researcher, especially given its present division among different institutions. It might be useful to consider Sloane’s collection alongside smaller and more manageable (not to mention intact!) ones. I recently had the opportunity to travel to the United Kingdom as part of […]
In this deep world of horology, it’s easy to lose sight of just how fascinating the careful assortment of gears, jewels, levers, and screws that make up a wristwatch movement really are. But when you encounter a watch like the Midnight Planétarium from Van Cleef & Arpels, you’re forced to pause. You’re forced to pause and consider the elegant interplay of mechanics and artistry illustrated by a timepiece like this, in which an impossibly tiny solar system revolves around a dial in accurate harm…
Vishwas R. Gaitonde – We all know them and grow up loving them. They are the nursery rhymes and limericks of our youth, but is there a more macabre origin to these simple verses? TPR Contributor Vishwas Gaitonde explores the Black Plague and its possible effect on well-known rhymes.
Govard Bidloo’s Anatomia corporis humani, first published in Latin in 1685, is one of the most famous early modern anatomical atlases. The beautifully rendered illustrations by artist Gerard de Lairesse are notable in how they differ from previous conventions of anatomical illustration. While the dissected figures seen in the works of Italian anatomists such as Vesalius and Casserius posed in lifelike positions, de Lairesse depicted the corpses as the dead bodies they were, and sometimes even… »
We had the chance this week to sit down with physician and historian Scott Podolsky to discuss the history of serum therapy. Podolsky is Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the Countway Medical Library.
If you’re a millennial like me, you remember the Nickelodeon show Are You Afraid of the Dark?, in which kids sit around a campfire (or flickering stage lights or whatever), taking turns giving each other anxiety disorders with scary stories. The title is a bit of a silly question, though. Everyone is to some degree […]
Among the weird creatures of the Cambrian explosion, the first great flowering of animal life half a billion years ago, the most famous is a spiny, walking worm so strange that scientists in the psychedelic Seventies called it “Hallucigenia”. Indeed, so odd was it that scientists then didn’t realise they had [...]
by Lara Freidenfelds Recently, a Canadian fertility clinic made the news because it refused to allow a white client to be impregnated with sperm from a donor of color. The clinic director told the media, “I’m not sure that we should be creating rainbow families just because some single woman decides that that’s what she wants.” When I first read this, I felt offended. Personally. My husband and I are different races, and our kids are bi-racial. I guess I had never proclaimed us a “rainbow famil… »
A Stereoscopic Atlas of the Chick
Working in a Special Collections Departments has its perks. One such perk is being able to browse the closed stacks and treasure hunt for unique items. I ran across this little gem a few weeks ago.
A Stereoscopic Atlas of the Chick by Joseph Long
- Karen Witt
His daily diet included crane and egret, washed down with a bottle of wine. The reign of Richard III only lasted two years but the king used that time to indulge a secret passion for the finer things of life, according to new research.
I would summarize many of my driving interests under the heading of “scientific epistemology”. However, for a long time I had an egregious blind spot: statistics. Although I read my way through Rohlf and Sokal’s classic text “Biometry” six years ago, it left me with something less than a working understanding of statistics as a research scientist would use it. Whether this was my fault or the text’s, or simply a matter of incompatibility, is hard to say.
To ameliorate the situation, I spent much »
Technically, you could argue that, as the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, Birmingham and the Midlands will eventually gift to all humankind a catastrophic environmental collapse that will ultimately destroy the human race. Some might say it’ll be our just desserts for pillaging the planet’s resources. But knowing what form our destruction will take? Well, that can be laid at our door too.
The time was 11:15pm; the place, latitude 35, some 24 degrees west of Greenwich; the ship, the ‘Guinev… »
Listen to Eavesdropping Ep10: Science And Pseudoscience by Sententias: In this episode I discuss criteria for making the demarcation between science and pseudoscience–that is, what we should consider science… | Explore the largest community of artists, bands, podcasters and creators of music & audio.
Listen to Eavesdropping Ep14: The Relationship Between Philosophy And Science by Sententias: How far can science take us and at what point does philosophy and metaphysics take over? Here is the general process of science and phil… | Explore the largest community of artists, bands, podcasters and creators of music & audio.
The Moon is at once a face with a thousand expressions and the archetypal planet. Throughout history it has been gazed upon by people of every culture in every walk of life. From early perceptions of the Moon as an abode of divine forces, humanity has in turn accepted the mathematized Moon of the Greeks, the naturalistic lunar portrait of Jan van Eyck, and the telescopic view of Galileo. Scott Montgomery has produced a richly detailed analysis of how the Moon has been visualized in Western cult…
John Tyndall died of poisoning. From 1890-93, this enthusiastic mountaineer found himself bedridden, struggling with illness. He was in the habit of taking doses of chloral hydrate at night to help him with his insomnia, and every other day some sulphate of magnesia for his constipation. Near the end, his wife, Louisa, 25 years his junior, administered the dosages to him.
In 1893, on a Monday morning, Tyndall asked Lousia for a spoonful of magnesium. It was dark, and his beside table was litter… »
Purkinje cells, also called Purkinje neurons, are neurons in vertebrate animals located in the cerebellar cortex of the brain. Purkinje cell bodies are shaped like a flask and have many threadlike extensions called dendrites, which receive impulses from other neurons called granule cells.
With the news filled with sensationalized stories of the current Ebola outbreak, it’s important to remember that we’ve been here before, and that people survive. Here are 15 famous people who contracted the flu in 1918 and lived to tell the tale.
We spend a week every year on the Belgian coast. The kids enjoy building sand castles and their parents enjoy a bit of farniente. We travel by car. It is the most flexible solution. This means, however, that we have to take the ferry. I do not like being on boats. I wish I could enjoy being on boats. I like the idea of boats. But the sad fact is that I am sea sick. I have always been. Once my French grandmother thought she would treat me with a river trip on the Seine. I felt horrid, doubly so … »
By Floris Solleveld
Giambattista Vico died in poverty in January 1744, having spent his last pennies on a new edition of the Principi di Scienza Nuova. Outside Naples, nobody cared. No notices appeared in the learned journals; no obituaries were read at royal or local academies. Eighty years later, his work was translated into German and French; in the 1860s, Michelet retrospectively called him “his sole guiding spirit”, and a statue was raised in the Naples public gardens. Anthony Grafton’s… »
Tuesday 19 August, 7pm Public Lecture: Dr Richard Dunn, Royal Museums Greenwich The curator of the National Maritime Museum’s new exhibition, Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude, offers a new interpretation of the 18th-century challenge to find longitude at sea. Admission free.
Daryn Lehoux’s new book will forever change the way you think about garlic and magnets. What Did the Romans Know?: An Inquiry into Science and Worldmaking (University of Chicago Press, 2012) is a fascinating account of the co-production of facts and worlds, taking readers into the sciences of Rome from the first century BC to the second century AD. Masterfully blending approaches from the history and philosophy of science, Lehoux traces the significance of the “threefold cord” of nature, law, a… »
Today, just three companies – Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta – account for about half of all commercial seed sales. More and more, agricultural patents are used to increase the control these and similar…
What: ‘Narratives of Reproductive Rights in American Literature’ panel at the Annual Modern Language Association ConventionWhen: 8-11 January 2015 (see programme for specific date and time),Where: West 223, Vancouver, Canada Chair: Beth Widmaier Capo, Illinois Coll.1. "Disability, Reproduction, Economy: Edith Wharton’s Novels as Case Studies," Karen Weingarten, Queens Coll., City Univ. of New York2. "What Can Alien Abduction Teach Us…
Historians of medicine and science are most likely aware of Vienna’s Josephinum, the Fool’s Tower, the Sigmund Freud Museum and potentially even the history of medicine-themed sightseeing tours that are offered in the city – all of which are testimony to the fact that Vienna knows how to capitalise its rich medical legacy. There is one museum, however, which is seldom openly advertised, despite or potentially because of its eye-opening and contentious subject matter: the Museum for Contraception »
Given that this site is dedicated to hearing loss, it gives me the opportunity to narcissistically talk about my own experience.
This blog post is, in part, inspired by Jaipreet Virdi-Dhesi’s excellent blog which you can view here.
You don’t miss what you don’t have. Although some people may view deafness as an impairment in need of rectification, it does have its advantages. I remember my early childhood being fairly serene and I put that down to more than the worry-free life of a c… »
Da die Dissertation inzwischen von meinen Betreuern angenommen und inzwischen auch verteidigt wurde, sei es mir gestattet, einige Ergebnisse der Arbeit vorzustellen. Es handelt sich hier um einen leicht gekürzten Vortrag, den ich im Warburg Institute (London) am 27. Februar … Weiterlesen →
The following is a review of the recent Morbid Anatomy/Museum Vrolik Amsterdam Weekend of Anatomy originally published by Katharina von Oheimb and Parm von Oheimb on their German-language Schemenkabinett blog. A translation of the piece, especially for Morbid Anatomy readers, follows; you can see the original piece by clicking here. To get on the Morbid Anatomy mailing list and thus be alerted to similar events in the future, click here.
In Amsterdam, we devoted ourselves to the field between a… »
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Internet history of science, technology and medicine
Editor in Chief: The Ghost of William Whewell
Monday 11 August 2014
Our editorial-staff is back from the first part of their holiday and managed to scrape together a somewhat deficient new edition of our links aggregator for the last seven days of Internet history of science, technology and medicine. If they missed your brilliant definitive blog post, sorry! WE m… »
Science as Practice and Culture explores one of the newest and most controversial developments within the rapidly changing field of science studies: the move toward studying scientific practice—the work of doing science—and the associated move toward studying scientific culture, understood as the field of resources that practice operates in and on. Andrew Pickering has invited leading historians, philosophers, sociologists, and anthropologists of science to prepare original essays for this volu…