DVMA 30th Anniversary—April 13, 2013
At the DVMA’s 30th Anniversary event at Penn I am speaking on trends and developments in the scholarship on medieval science.
STS in the Liberal Arts—April 19-20, 2013
In April I am speaking at a workshop at Vassar College that explores pedagogical and curricular issues related to teaching science and technology studies at liberal arts colleges. Some of the questions and issues we will be addressing are listed in this post.
Philadelphia Science Festival: “Sounds Made Up: Tales from the History of Science”—April 25, 2013
I am again taking part in the Philadelphia Science Festival’s program that pairs local historians of science with local comedian. After last year’s incredibly successful program, I am once again looking forward to dragging history of science into a new forum and to a broader audience.
Astrology, Kingship, and Scientific Advisors in Fifteenth-Century Hungary
In December I spoke to a great audience of former scientists, academics, and interested people at The Quadrangle, a local senior community. Using astrology in Renaissance Hungary as an example, I outlined how Matthias Corvinus, the Hungarian King, used his patronage of astrology and astrologers as a mechanism for asserting his authority and shoring up his right to rule. In this we see, I argued, an early example of a prince publicly relying on scientific advisors to accomplish his political and dynastic goals.
Maximilian I—The Last Medieval Knight, Then and Now
In September I spoke at the Biennial Meeting of the BABEL Working Group as part of a panel that explores medievalisms in scholarship and popular culture. I want to show how and why Emperor Maximilian I is considered simultaneously the last medieval knight and the first renaissance man. In particular, I will link these seemingly contradictory identities to nationalist myths and traditional historiographies. For more on this conference, see 2012 Meeting
History of Museums—Wagner Free Institute of Science
On 9 May I am spoke at the Wagner Free Institute of Science to a class from Drexel University on the history of museums and collecting. The Wagner is a great place to talk about museums, collections, and display (and the gerunds: collecting and displaying). It celebrates itself as a museum of a museum. It’s main gallery is still laid out much as Joseph Leidy arranged it in the late 19th century. See Speaking at the Wagner for thoughts from the event.
On 26 April 2012 I spoke at the Philadelphia Science Festival. Once again, historians of science were paired with comedians from the Philadelphia Improv Theater to explore in a humorous and serious way episodes from past science. I spoke about a woman who in 1569 gave birth to a cat. For more information and tickets, see here.
On 23 March 2012 I will speak at the Renaissance Society of America annual conference on how politics shaped scientific knowledge in Renaissance Hungary. By examining how and why the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus enlisted scientific authority, we can see how the exercise of political authority establishes scientific authority and, in turn, how scientific authority is used to legitimate political authority.
On 19 March 2012 I spoke at Penn on technical expertise in Byzantine politics. This presentation examines how Nikephoros Gregoras constructed his technical expertise and how he defended it against competing claims to expert knowledge.
“What is an Astrolabe and How is it used?”
On 27 February 2012 I spoke to 4th graders at Friends’ Central School on astrolabes, scientific instruments, and the history of science more broadly. See “Taking the History of Science to ‘Them’” for why I feel this outreach is so important.