The History and Philosophy of Science

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This seminar is devoted to exploring substantive as well as methodological issues in the history and philosophy of science. Science is construed broadly and the issues considered range from epistemic and historiographic questions to issues of relevance and accountability. Topics include the presuppositions and practice of a range of life sciences, earth sciences, and social sciences as well as the physical sciences and mathematics. In the physical sciences its interests range from antiquity to contemporary quantum theory. In the life sciences and social sciences the fields considered include various forms of historical, evolutionary inquiry (in biology, geology, and the historical social sciences), biotechnology and ecology, economics, psychology and cognitive science, and interpretive social inquiry. The membership of this seminar includes scientists, philosophers, and historians. Most sessions take place in conjunction with the New York City History of Science Working Group.

Professor Matthew Jones

Sean O’Neil

Meeting dates and locations are subject to change. Please confirm details with the seminar rapporteur.



09/27/2017 513 Fayerweather Hall, Columbia University
6:00 PM
Barnum, Bache, and Poe: American Science and the Antebellum Public
John Tresch, University of Pennsylvania

10/11/2017 513 Fayerweather Hall, Columbia University
6:00 PM
Invidious Comparisons: International politics, the Fields Medal, and the past, present, and future of mathematics, 1936-1966
Michael Barany, Dartmouth College

10/25/2017 NYU-Gallatin, Room 801, 1 Washington Place
6:00 PM
Measured Movements: Weimar Germany, Labanotation, and the Choreography of Corporate Life
Whitney Laemmli, Columbia University

11/29/2017 513 Fayerweather Hall, Columbia University
6:00 PM
Saints and Science in Early Modern Italy: Filippo Neri and Francesco Borgia as Patron Saints of Earthquakes
Monica Azzolini, University of Edinburgh

12/13/2017 NYU-Gallatin, Room 801, 1 Washington Place
6:00 PM
How Far Can Facts Take Us? Einstein and Bergson, Ghosts and Demons
Jimena Canales, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

01/31/2018 New York Academy of Medicine
6:00 PM
The Origins of Public Museums: Hans Sloane’s Collections and the Creation of the British Museum
James Delbourgo, Rutgers University

02/28/2018 513 Fayerweather Hall, Columbia University
6:00 PM
Threshold: Generations of Change in Botanical Practice at the end of the Ancien Regime
Lynnette Regouby, University of Oklahoma

03/28/2018 CUNY Graduate Center, Room TBA, 365 Fifth Avenue
6:00 PM
American Convergence: Science and Technology in Colonial Latin America
María M. Portuondo, Johns Hopkins University