Categories
Historical Expertise

Good Science Often Makes Bad History

A new article in Weather has been getting considerable attention the last few days. In “How useful could Arabic documentary sources be for reconstructing past climate?” Spanish researchers had the novel idea to look at medieval Islamic texts to see if they could find any climate information. According to the summary, Arabic Manuscripts: It Used […]

Categories
Historical Expertise

History and the Problem of Historical Expertise

[Reposted from History and the Problem of Historical Expertise at PACHS.] In his recent post, History: The Everyman Discipline?, Paul Lockhart wonders about what makes a person a historian. His characterization of “the public ‘at large,’ if you will” seems accurate both to academic and non-academic publics. This public at large, he suggests, believes: If […]

Categories
Historical Expertise

Historians of Science—A Call to Action

[Reposted from A Manifesto at PACHS.] Recently I have had the opportunity to reflect formally on the functions and uses of the history of science, both in my scholarly activities and in general public discourse. I think historians should more frequently and openly consider such broad questions. I am happy to see a number of […]