« March 2013 »

Fri Mar 1, 2013

Vincent DeSantis Lecture - Denise Phillips


Location: 109 O'Shaughnessy

Professor Denise Phillips is an associate professor of history at UT-Knoxville, and author of the book, published last year by University of Chicago Press, Acolytes of Nature: Defining Natural Science in Germany, 1770-1850. The lecture will take place Friday, March 1st at 3:30pm in 109 O'Shaughnessy. As usual, light refreshments will be provided.…

Tue Mar 5, 2013

HPS Reading Group, 7th Meeting


Location: 131 Decio

Alan Richardson, "The Many Unities of Science: Politics, Semantics, and Ontology."

And the introduction to the Kellert, Longino, Waters (2006) collection on Scientific Pluralism.

If you wish to participate, please let Monica know (asolomo1@nd.edu)…

Thu Mar 7, 2013

HPS Colloquium. Michael Gordin - Looking Askance at the Lysenko Affair: Three Approaches


Location: 231 DeBartolo

Michael Gordin - "Looking Askance at the Lysenko Affair: Three Approaches"

Michael Gordin


The history of the control over Soviet genetics assumed by Trofim D. Lysenko — and hence dubbed “Lysenkoism” in the West but never in the Soviet Union, which it was always “Michurinism” — has been recounted so often that the historiography has acquired a rigid, stylized character. This narrative emphasizes political intervention in the sciences, perceived pathologies of the Soviet science system, and a hagiographic martyrology. In contrast, this presentation unfolds three perspectives from outside the conventional narrative of the “Lysenko Affair” with the hopes of opening up new angles on the most notorious episode of “pseudoscience” in the twentieth century. The first explores how Lysenko’s theories came to be variously framed in the United States as violating a series of norms of science in the mid- to late 1940s. The second uses the two distinct translations of Lysenko’s Heredity and Its Variability into English to examine the ways in which the Soviet state wanted to present Michurinism abroad. And, finally, it turns to how Lysenko’s reign was viewed within the Soviet Union after his fall from power in 1965, but before his death in 1976; that is, what did it mean to look at Lysenko the man when there was no more “Lysenkoism”?

Mon Mar 18, 2013

William Kamkwamba. "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope"


Location: McKenna Hall

William Kamkwamba Reilly Center

This event is free and open to the public.

William Kamkwamba
is a Malawian inventor, author and student. After being forced to drop out of school because his family could not afford tuition he regularly visited his village's library. There, he found the book Using Energy and discovered a picture and explanation of windmills. He gained fame in his country when, in 2002, he built a windmill to power a few electrical appliances in his family's house using parts collected in a local scrapyard. Since then, he has built a solar-powered water pump that supplies the first drinking water in his village.

His story is told in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope, published in 2009. Kamkwamba is one of four recipients of the 2010 GO Ingenuity Award, a prize awarded to inventors, artists, and makers to promote the sharing of their innovations and skills with marginalized youth in developing nations.

Book signing and reception to follow the lecture.

The lecture takes place at the Notre Dame Conference Center in McKenna Hall. Parking is at the visitor lot south of Legends.

Sponsored by: cSEND Energy Lecture Series, College of Engineering Edison Lecture Fund, College of Science Lynch Endowment, Center for Social Concerns, Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values, College of Arts and Letters, and the Office of Sustainability, and in partnership with Malawi Matters.

Bringing young students? Click here for the young readers (ages 6 and up) version of Kamkwamba's book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.

Tue Mar 19, 2013

HPS Reading Group- Topic for Fall 2013


Location: 131 Decio

We will be meeting today for deciding the topic for next Fall.

Join us for coffee, cookies, tea, and the selection of possible topics/readings.

1. HPS and the Cold War

2. George Caguilhem, 2000. A Vital Rationalist: Selected Writings, Zone Books, 2000. pp. 482.

3. John Tresh, 2012. The Romantic Machine: Utopian Science and Technology after Napoleon

Thu Mar 21, 2013

Brown-bag Lunch with Ann Blair


Location: 119 O’Shaughnessy

Ann Blair, Harvard College Professor, Henry Charles Lea Professor of History

The topic of the brown-bag lunch is: "Methods of collaboration of Renaissance humanists."


HPS Colloquium. Ann Blair - "Natural Theology in early modern Catholicism--the case of the Jansenist Antoine Pluche"


Location: 102 DEBARTOLO

Ann Blair, HPS speakers, HPS colloquium


Natural theology or the argument from nature to the existence of God (including the argument from design) is most often associated with Protestant contexts, where it is generally considered to have played an essential role in the development of science on the one hand and in the trend toward the rationalization of religion on the other. But natural theological arguments are wonderfully versatile and widespread. As part of a study of Catholic natural theology in France I will focus in this talk on a peculiar form of argument from design in which the mysteries of nature are emphasized as evidence of the greatness of God precisely they are beyond human understanding. This non-rationalist form of natural theological argument is not unique to Catholic thinkers, but reached an especially wide audience in one of the most widely owned books of the 18th century, the Spectacle de la Nature of the Jansenist abbé Antoine Pluche (1688-1761).

This talk is part of the HPS Colloquium Series.