Working Groups

Physical Sciences

The Working Group on the History of the Physical Sciences meets monthly to discuss a colleague’s work in progress or to discuss readings that are of particular interest to participants.

Meetings are usually held at the Consortium offices in Philadelphia from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. on third Thursdays. Scholars located anywhere can also participate online.

To join this working group, click "Request group membership" at right. You will receive instructions for participating online or in person.


  • Joseph Martin

    Joseph Martin teaches in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge. He has published on the history of twentieth-century physical sciences and the philosophy of science and technology.


  • Kathryn Olesko

    Kathryn Olesko is Associate Professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Her main research interest is the history of science and technology since the seventeenth century, with a special interest in measuring practices, science pedagogy, science and engineering in Prussia, and comparative nuclear cultures.


Upcoming Meetings (all times Eastern)

  • Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 9:30am

    Matthew Shindell, National Air and Space Museum, Title TBD

  • Friday, January 19, 2018 - 9:30am

    Melinda (Lindy) Baldwin, Books Editor, Physics Today, American Institute of Physics. "How 'real' science' became peer revied: Tracing the role of scientific refereeing through the 19th and 20th centuries."

  • Friday, February 16, 2018 - 9:30am


  • Friday, March 16, 2018 - 9:30am


  • Friday, April 20, 2018 - 9:30am


Past Meetings

  • October 19, 2017

    A. Emilie Gehl Skulberg, University of Cambridge, "Building Around a Black Hole: Materiality and Embodiment in Visual Representations of Black Holes, c. 1965-2017."

  • September 21, 2017

    Ryan Dahn, “Denazification in Postwar German Physics: The Case of Pascual Jordan."

  • April 18, 2017

    Jonnie Penn, University of Cambridge, "Inventing Intelligence: Exploring the Origins of Artificial Intelligence as Social Technology"

  • March 21, 2017

    Dan Liu, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: "Crystals, Colloids, and Fibers."

  • February 21, 2017

    Sarah Robey, Temple University: "The Fallout from Fallout: The Peacetime Threat, 1954-1960." This paper will be a chapter from Sarah's dissertation on The Atomic American: Citizenship in a Nuclear State, 1945-1963.

  • January 24, 2017

    Deborah Coen, Barnard/Columbia: "Climate and the Power of Difference in Austria-Hungary"

  • December 15, 2016

    Michael Barany (Dartmouth College) introduced his recent article, “Fellow Travelers and Traveling Fellows: The Intercontinental Shaping of Modern Mathematics in Mid-Twentieth Century Latin America,” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, Vol. 46, Number 5, pps. 669–709. A copy of his article can be accessed here.

  • November 17, 2016

    Sarah Bridger (CalPoly), discussed her paper, "Disgruntled Women Scientists in the 1970s."

  • October 20, 2016

    John Krige of Georgia Tech discussed chapter two from his book Sharing Knowledge, Shaping Europe (MIT 2016).

  • September 15, 2016

    Joanna Behrman of Johns Hopkins University introduced her paper "Domesticating Physics: Introductory Physics Textbooks for Women in Home Economics, 1914-1955"

Group Membership