Working Groups

The Consortium invites area scholars to join our topical working groups for challenging and collegial discussion of interesting publications in their fields and of each others’ works-in-progress.

Each groups meets monthly. All interested scholars are welcome, either in person at the Consortium's offices in Philadelphia, or online via web conferencing software.

Working groups and their regularly scheduled meeting days are listed below. To join a group, click on that group's name, then the "Request group membership" link.

Tuesdays Wednesdays Thursdays Fridays
1st Science Beyond the West Earth & Environmental Sciences Biological Sciences Early Modern Science
2nd History & Philosophy of Science Medicine and Health
3rd Technology Human Sciences History & Theory Physical Sciences

Ancient and Medieval Sciences


Upcoming Meetings

All times Eastern

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 6:00pm

Meredith Sattler, Cal Poly San Louis Obispo, "Knowledge Space Eco-Technics:  Designing Life-Forms and Life Ways at Biosphere 2, 1974-1994"

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 6:00pm

We will discuss the recently published collection, A Living Past: Environmental Histories of Modern Latin America (Berghahn, 2018), edited by John Soluri, Claudia Leal, and Jose Augusto Padua. In particular, we will discuss chapter 7, by Stuart McCook, "Prodigality and Sustainability: The Environmental Sciences and the Quest for Development" along with the volume's introduction (by the editors) and epilogue by J.R. McNeill.
For our conversation, we will be joined by Stuart McCook and John Soluri.

Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 6:30pm

Paul Wolff Mitchell, Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania will present "American Golgotha: Objectivity, Abolition, and Ethical Ambivalence in Cranial Race Science, 1790-1860" 

Friday, April 5, 2019 - 12:00pm


Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 6:30pm

We will read Alexander Reutlinger and Juha Saatsi (eds.) Explanation Beyond Causation (Oxford, 2018), Chapers 5 and 6 (by Michael Strevens and Jim Woodward, respectively).
We will meet from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Consortium (431 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia).   Pizza and soda will be served.

Friday, April 12, 2019 - 3:30pm

Wangui Muigai, Brandeis University, “'Something Wasn’t Clean': Black Midwifery, Birth, and Postwar Medical Education in All My Babies."

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 6:00pm

Benjamin Twagira, Emory University, paper title TBA

Friday, April 19, 2019 - 9:30am

Myles Jackson, Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, on "Radio Engineers, Scientists, Musicians, and the Trautonium."

Friday, April 19, 2019 - 12:00pm

M. Ryan, Kingdom of Stargazers. Astrology and Authority in the Late Medieval
Crown of Aragon, chaps 2 & 4.
[Note, I've included the table of contents and the introduction in case you want a sense of the larger book project.]

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 - 6:00pm

We will discuss selections from two related and recently published books on the history of scale in the environmental sciences, by Deborah Coen and Perrin Selcer:
Deborah Coen, Climate in Motion: Science, Empire, and the Problem of Scale (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018), selection TBA
Perrin Selcer, The Postwar Origins of the Global Environment: How the United Nations Built Spaceship Earth (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018), selection TBA
The two authors will open the discussion with comments on each other's books.

Thursday, May 2, 2019 - 6:30pm

Joanna Radin, Department of History, Yale University, "Rescaling Colonial Life From the Indigenous to the Alien: The Late 20th Century Search for Human Biological Futures"