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Speaking

Eratosthenes and Second Graders

One recent sunny afternoon, I took a bunch of exercise balls with little sticks taped to them to the local grammar school where I met a class of second graders. As part of my war on the flat earth myth, I had encouraged their teacher to read Kathryn Lasky’s The Librarian Who Measured the Earth […]

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Speaking

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 […]

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Speaking

Speaking at the Wagner

Yesterday I had the chance to visit The Wagner Free Institute of Science and to speak to a group of students from Drexel University. As part of a class on the history of museums, they had spent considerable time at the Academy of Natural Sciences—last year Drexel acquired (the official term is became affiliated with) […]

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Speaking

Thoughts on Life, Sex, Death (and Food)

Last night’s “Life, Sex, Death (and Food)” was great fun. Having gone through this once before, the people from the Philly Improv Theater and the returning academics had a better idea about how to prepare and set up the show. While it was still a bit hectic and last minute—something tells me such preparation is […]

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Speaking

History of Science and Comedy

When was the last time you got to see historians of science and comedians on the same stage together? For that matter, when was the last time you saw historians of science on stage? Come this Thursday to Life, Sex, Death (and Food): A Historical Look at the Science that Drives Us and laugh with […]

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Speaking

Philadelphia Science Festival

Next month is the second Philadelphia Science Festival. Once again, one of the events will feature a group of historians of science paired with comedians from the Philly Improv Theater. In last year’s show, “Seemed Right at the Time,” historians picked some episode in from the history of science and explained how it was rational […]

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Speaking

Taking History of Science to “Them”

Monday I am taking my astrolabe and my ePamphlet on astrolabes to a local grammar school where I will talk to 4th-graders about astrolabes, explain to them how to use it, let them fiddle with one, and talk about science and scientific instruments. It should be fun. This is one way I think about public […]

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Speaking

Art History and History of Science

Elizabeth Kessler spoke recently at Bryn Mawr College on artist appropriations of astronomical photographs. In her talk, titled “Retaking the Universe: Appropriation and Astronomical Artifacts,” she explored the ways three different artists “appropriated” photographs of stars, redeveloping them or cropping them or converting them into pencil drawings. She focused on the work of Linda Connor, […]