PACHS Postdoctoral Fellow Rebecca Onion receives the 2012 HSS Reingold Prize

The History of Science Society (HSS) has awarded the Nathan Reingold Prize to Rebecca Onion, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science, for a chapter in her dissertation written in the Department of American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. The chapter was titled “Thrills, Chills and Science: Home Laboratories and the Making of the American Boy, 1918-1941”. The prize, established in 1955, honors graduate student essays on the history of science and its cultural influences. Rebecca Onion’s research interests include the history of American popular science, childhood studies, environmental studies, and visual and material culture. Her dissertation centered on ways that twentieth-century American adults tried to make science fun for kids, and what that effort can tell us about science as a public project in the United States. Reingold Prize Committee Chair, Richard Kremer, cites Onion as having made “a significant contribution to the history of science and education, history of technology, gender studies and American Cultural history.” He adds that “In addition to being solidly grounded in secondary literature from a number of disciplines, this essay probes a wide array of primary sources, ranging from physical objects, oral histories of engineers who grew up with chemistry sets, and newspapers, books and magazines published for young boy readers.” The History of Science Society is the world's largest society dedicated to understanding science, technology, medicine, and their interactions with society in historical context. Over 3,000 individual and institutional members across the world support the Society's mission to foster interest in the history of science and its social and cultural relations. The Nathan Reingold Prize is named for Nate Reingold, a premier essayist in the history of science and long-time editor of the Joseph Henry Papers. Prizes were formally presented during the HSS’s 2012 annual meeting held at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina.