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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 L. Jones

Celine Camps

All seminars will meet over Zoom for the 2020-2021 academic year. Meeting links provided upon RSVP. Meeting dates and times are subject to change. 

Meeting Schedule

10/07/2020 Online Meeting
6:00 PM
Science confronts race and racism in a pandemic
Evelynn Hammonds, Harvard University

10/21/2020 Online Meeting
6:00 PM
Persistent Plagues: race, space, and epidemiological thinking in illicit drug use research, 1950-1980
Samuel K. Roberts, Columbia University

11/18/2020 Online Meeting
6:00 PM
Accidents of geography: historicizing genetic cartographies of the middle east
Elise Burton, Newnham College

12/09/2020 Online Meeting
6:00 PM
religion as race: geneticizing religious difference in south asia, c. 1947-1971
Projit Mukharji, University of Pennsylvania

01/20/2021 Online Meeting
6:00 PM
Southern Racial Dilemmas: Brazilian Race Relations and Economic Development in the 1950s
Sebastián Gil-Riaño, University of Pennsylvania

02/17/2021 Online Meeting
6:00 PM
poisoning master: drugs, slave knowledge, and premeditation in a Tennessee murder trial
Keith Wailoo, Princeton University

04/14/2021 Online Meeting
6:00 PM
Counting deaths: a historical look at black infant mortality
Wangui Muigai, Brandeis University