Categories
Writing

Disciplined Writing

Recent discussions about how historians write have emphasized once again that writing is not an inspired activity. Waiting for your muse merely disguises indolence. As with any craft, writing improves with daily practice. Whether 3,500 words or 500 words or a page, stop making excuses and instead make time to write every day. Contrary to […]

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Press and Pop Culture

Young Creation Scientists & Virginia Heffernan

When I read the Institute for Creation Research’s call for Young Creation Scientists, I first thought: This sounds a lot like Francis Egerton, 8th Earl of Bridgewater’s justification for the Bridgewater Treatises. ICR’s call, however, lacks both the polish of Egerton’s style and the charm of his eccentricity. My second thought was: Perhaps Virginia Heffernan […]

Categories
Press and Pop Culture

Astrology and Relationships

Over the last few days the Smithsonian Magazine has been drawing attention to their recent blog post about astrology and relationships (see this search): “Good News: Astrology Doesn’t Impact the Success of Your Marriage.” Unfortunately, the post missed an opportunity to ask interesting questions about why the study attacked astrology and why it represented as […]

Categories
Academia

A Conversation with Edward Shorter

After reading the interview with Edward Shorter, “How Depression Went Mainstream,” I posted some critical thoughts about his dismissal of contemporary history of science. His point seemed to be that present history of science was boring because most contemporary historians of science do not have the technical training to understand the science. As John Wilkins […]

Categories
Academia

Arthur Golding’s A Discourse vpon the Earthquake

I updated yesterday’s post, “Pamphlets on the Earthquake of 1580,” to include an EPUB version of Arthur Golding’s A Discourse vpon the Earthquake …. While you will be missing out if you don’t go back and read the whole post, if you just want the EPUB file, you can download it here. As with Jan […]

Categories
History

Pamphlets on the Earthquake of 1580

On 6 April 1580, sometime around 6:00 PM, London was shaken by an earthquake that occurred in the Dover Straits. Contemporary accounts describe a relative short quake that damaged church steeples and chimneys, and caused the bells at Westminster to ring. According to most reports, only two people died: Thomas Gray, an apprentice shoemaker, and […]

Categories
Academia

Further Thoughts on Edward Shorter’s Interview

The opinions Edward Shorter expressed recently in an interview seem at odds to his earlier work, at least according to people familiar with his previous books. Shorter now dismisses most history of science and medicine as uninteresting because it doesn’t study “science.” His objection raises once again the internalist/externalist debate and to reflect the different […]

Categories
Academia

Edward Shorter Derides Today’s History of Science

In a recently published interview, How Depression Went Mainstream over at The History News Network, historian of medicine Edward Shorter talks about his newest book, criticizes historians of science, and bemoans trends in the history of science.[1] Shorter is an accomplished historian of medicine. He graduated from Harvard in 1968 and has spent the bulk […]

Categories
Academia

History of Science as Savior for the Humanities

In 1960 A.C. Crombie was optimistic.[1] After more than a century of neglect, historiography had once again turned its attention to the history of science as an important part of civilization alongside social and intellectual history. According to Crombie, this represented a return to the origins of modern historiography first developed in the 18th century. […]

Categories
History

A.C. Crombie on Historiography

As true today as it was 50 years ago: But both the scholastic and the humanist reformers applied the same activist formula to history, taking an attitude to the past determined by the needs and aspirations of the present and providing a programme for future action. Such an attitude seems to be a deeply persistent […]