Field Trip to The Chemical Heritage Foundation

Each time I teach Collecting Nature & Displaying Authority we take three field trips to local museums. Our first outing took us to the ‎Chemical Heritage Foundation. Megan, one of the Visitor Services Assistants, led us around on an informative tour and engaging tour of the permanent exhibition, Making Modernity. The students were pensive and […]

Press and Pop Culture

Weekly Roundup: History of Science Videos & NSF Report

The History Channel Distorts History A number of the videos at the History Channel’s “Enlightenment” page deal with the history of science—on Isaac Newton, the Scientific Revolution, and a series Beyond the Big Ban: Copernicus, Beyond the Big Ban: Galileo and Beyond the Big Ban: Newton. Some gesture to interesting points, e.g., the interaction between […]

Literature & Scholarship

History of Science Pamphlets

Some time back I stumbled across Brain Washing From Phone Towers and was immediately intrigued by anybody producing pamphlets today,[1] especially pamphlets that deal with any aspect of the history of science. Out of the blue, I sent an email to the woman, Sarah Nicholls (a printer in Brooklyn), behind Brain Washing From Phone Towers. […]


Winstanley’s Anti-Quaker Almanacs from the 1670s

Haverford’s Quaker & Special Collections has three amusing 17th-century almanacs: A Yea and Nay Almanack for the People Call’d by the Men of the World Quakers for 1678, 1679, and 1680. The three are bound together in one volume.[1] These Yea and Nay were the genius of William Winstanley (Dictionary of National Biography entry is […]


Plague Movie

I recently had the chance to talk to the sixth-graders at Friends’ Central Schoolabout the Black Death. I really enjoyed translating scholarship on the plague into terms that middle-school students would both understand and enjoy. Some of it is easy—Gabriele de’ Mussis’s account of plague-infested corpses catapulted[1] into Kaffa, for instance: The dying Tartars, stunned […]