News of the Consortium

June 2019
In this issue:
  • Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Issues in Science, Technology and Medicine
  • Johns Hopkins University Joins the Consortium
  • 2019-2020 Incoming Fellows
  • Fellows Updates
  • Collections Updates
  • Support the Consortium
 Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Issues in
 Science, Technology and Medicine

The Consortium has launched a program of public events at member institutions, with accompanying online video, audio, short essays, discussion forums and lists of resources. The program brings a variety of perspectives to discussions of contemporary issues in science, technology and medicine. Participants include historians and other scholars in the humanities, practitioners, and policy and technical experts as well as interested or concerned non-specialists. This content is archived on the Consortium website for teaching, learning, research and continued discussion.

The program also includes a podcast series featuring book discussions in which authors answer questions from readers of various backgrounds who bring different perspectives to the book.

The first round of events and book discussions are linked below. Please have a look or a listen. Tell us what you think. How might you use this material? What changes would make this program more interesting or useful to you? What other topics would interest you?


Immortal Life: The Promises and Perils of the Genetic Archive

Explore the intersection of biology, privacy, and indigeneity through the history of programs to collect and study cells and tissues from people around the world.


  • Susan Lindee, University of Pennsylvania
  • Projit Mukharji, University of Pennsylvania
  • Joanna Radin, Yale University
  • Nathaniel Comfort, Johns Hopkins University
  • Yulia Egorova, Durham University
  • Kenneth Weiss, Penn State University

Shopping for Health: Medicine and Markets in America

Two pressing issues in the political economy of U.S. health care—insurance coverage and access to opioids and other narcotics—have telling, relevant histories that are examined in this forum.


  • David Herzberg, University at Buffalo (SUNY)
  • Nancy Tomes, Stony Brook University
  • Roberta Bivens, University of Warwick
  • Alex Mold, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Sickness and the City

Urban history, history of medicine, and epidemiology inform this discussion of how diseases and cities shape each other in the past and present, and in the Global North and South.


  • Michael Z. Levy, University of Pennsylvania
  • Billy Smith, Montana State University
  • Julia Mansfield, Yale University
  • Kathryn Olivarius, Stanford University

Smell Detectives: A Conversation with Melanie Kiechle

Learn how sensory history, particularly the sense of smell, can inform our understanding of public health and urban history.


  • Melanie Kiechle, Virginia Tech
  • Gary Burlingame, Philadelphia Water Department
  • Robert DeSalle, American Museum of Natural History
  • Allison Goldberg, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
  • Richard Taylor, Pennsylvania College of Technology

Trust in Science: Vaccines

This forum bridges history, medicine, sociology, public health, and philosophy to examine the roots and persistence of anti-vaccine movements.


  • Jeffrey Baker, Duke University
  • Elena Conis, University of California, Berkeley
  • Robert Hauser, American Philosophical Society
  • Erica Kimmerling, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • James Colgrove, Columbia University
  • Neal Halsey, Johns Hopkins University
  • Mark Navin, Oakland University
  • Jennifer Reich, University of Colorado, Denver
  • Daniel Salmon, Johns Hopkins University

Energy Transitions Past and Present: A Conversation with Christopher Jones

Explore how the development of the infrastructure of the American energy industry influenced patterns of growth, consumption, and environmental degradation, and the implications of this history on efforts to transition to new sources of energy now.


  • Christopher Jones, Arizona State University
  • Clayton Ruminski, Hagley Museum and Library
  • Bill Ward, retired physician and technology enthusiast
  • Jim Weisberg, technology entrepreneur
  • Joshua Gottbetter, Johnny Lu, and William Forman, students of Conevery Bolton Valencius, Boston College

Human Remains in Demand and on Display: A Conversation with Sam Redman

Learn how the collection of human remains shaped modern museums, the field of anthropology, and race theory in the nineteenth century, and how these collections, stored in “bone rooms,” have placed museums at the center of current debates over ethics and scientific authority.


  • Samuel Redman, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Beth Lander, College of Physicians of Philadelphia
  • Lauren Maloy, Historic Congressional Cemetery
 Johns Hopkins University Joins Consortium
The Consortium welcomes Johns Hopkins University as its newest member. In addition to being home to long-standing programs for graduate education in history of science, medicine, and technology, Johns Hopkins holds a wealth of archival material relevant to the Consortium's community. The Historical Collection of the History of Medicine Department ranks among the best such collections housed in American medical schools, and is one of the few to be directly linked with a major research and graduate teaching program. The collection contains over seventy-eight thousand volumes, including runs of more than eight hundred journals. It has one of the most comprehensive collections of secondary literature in the history of medicine, and subscribes to almost all currently published periodicals in history of medicine, history of science and social studies of medicine. A notable number of landmark works of medical history are held in the comparatively small rare book collection of some twenty-five thousand volumes, which is also especially strong in the history of infectious disease and public health. The Alan Mason Chesney Archives holds the institutional records and the personal papers of the faculty of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. The Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University include the Garrett Library at Evergreen House, which has an outstanding collection of books relating to exploration and travel, as well as the Peabody Library, an incredibly rich research collection with strengths in many areas of history of science.
 2019-2020 Incoming Fellows
Ellen Abrams, Cornell University
Research Fellow
Making Mathematics American: Representation, Labor, and Engagement during the Growth of American Mathematics, 1894-1945

Hannah Anderson, University of Pennsylvania 
Research Fellow
Lived Botany: Households, Ecological Adaptation and the Origins of Settler Colonialism in Early British North America

Ryan Dahn, University of Chicago
Fellow in Residence
Nazi Entanglement: Pascual Jordan, Quantum Mechanics, and the Legacy of the Third Reich

Johanna Hood, University of Sydney
Research Fellow
Vital Fluid: Evolving Social, Moral and Economic Values of Blood and Cadavers in China

Charles Kollmer, Princeton University
Research Fellow
From Elephant to Bacterium: Microbes, Microbiologists, and the Chemical Order of Nature

Zachary Mann, University of Southern California
Research Fellow

The Punch Card Imagination: Authorship and Early Computing History

Christina Nigro, University of California at San Francisco
Dissertation Fellow
The Active Brain - A History of the Electrophysiological and Molecular Study of Cognition in the 20th Century

Megan Piorko, Georgia State University
Dissertation Fellow
Chymical Collections: Seventeenth-Century Textual Transmutations in the Work of Arthur

Aditya Ramesh, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bengaluru
Research Fellow
Vital Cities: Public Health, Non-human Life and Infrastructure in South Asian Cities, 1890-1970

Katherine Reinhart, University of Cambridge
NEH Postdoctoral Fellow
Images for the King: Art, Science, and Power in Louis XIV’s France

Alexis Rider, University of Pennsylvania
Research Fellow 
A Melting Fossil: Ice, Life, and Time in the Cryosphere, 1840-1970

Emma Schroeder, University of Maine
Dissertation Fellow
Women's Transnational Technological Activism and the Origins of Ecological Domesticity, 1960-1989

Rebecca Woods, University of Toronto
Research Fellow
Body of Animal, Body of Evidence: Paleolithic Remains and the History of Science

Sarah Yu, University of Pennsylvania
Research Fellow
Healthy and Hygienic Publics in Republican China, 1912--1949

 Fellows Updates

Leah Aronowsky, 2016-2017 Research Fellow
Leah has been awarded the Rachel Carson Prize for best dissertation in environmental history from the American Society for Environmental History, and a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

George Aumoithe, 2016-2017 Research Fellow
George has been awarded a Career Enhancement Adjunct Faculty Fellowship by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, as well as a Hurst Fellowship for the J. Willard Hurst Summer Institute, and has been selected to participate in the 2019 Law & Society Association Junior Scholars Workshop. George organized a conference titled "Law, Difference, and Healthcare: Making Sense of Structural Racism in Medico-Legal History" at Princeton University. For more on this conference, see

Elaine Ayers, 2018-2019 Albert M. Greenfield Research Fellow
Elaine has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Museum Studies at New York University.

Jessica Dandona, 2018-2019 Research Fellow
Jessica was was promoted to Professor in the Department of Liberal Arts, Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Theodora Dryer, 2017-2018 Dissertation Fellow and 2018-2019 Fellow in Residence
Theodora will join the AI Now Institute at New York University as a Postdoctoral Researcher.

Stephen Hausmann, 2018-2019 Research Fellow
Stephen has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of History at the University of St. Thomas.

Joseph Martin, 2011-2012 Dissertation Fellow and 2016-2018 Fellow in Residence
Joseph has accepted an Assistant Professorship in the Department of History, Durham University. His paper “When Condensed Matter Physics became King” appeared in Physics Today. He and his collaborator Agnes Bolinska were awarded the 2019 IUHPST Essay Prize for their paper “Negotiating History: Contingency, Canonicity, and Case Studies.”

Taylor Moore, 2017-2018 Fellow in Residence
Taylor was awarded a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for the 2019-2020 academic year, during which she will be writing and researching in Cairo and at the American Research Institute in Turkey.

Christine Peralta, 2016-2017 Research Fellow
Christine recently accepted a Center for Research On Race and Ethnicity in Society (CRRES) Postdoctoral Fellowship at Indiana University for 2019-2021, and was selected to participate in the Huntington Library Residential Summer Institute in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.

Lisa Ruth Rand, 2015-2016 Dissertation Fellow and 2018-2019 Fellow in Residence
Ruth was awarded the Perry World House's Inaugural Emerging Scholars Global Policy Prize for original essays intended for a policy audience that draw on original academic research. She also published an article titled "Falling Cosmos: Nuclear Reentry and the Environmental History of Earth Orbit" in Environmental History. In fall 2019 she will begin a Haas Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Science History Institute.

Yuan Yi, 2017-2018 Research Fellow
Yuan Yi has been awarded a Dissertation Fellowship for the 2019-2020 academic year by the D. Kim Foundation for the History of Science and Technology in East Asia. Her dissertation project “Malfunctioning Machinery: The Global Making of Chinese Cotton Factories, 1889-1949" examines the industrialization of Chinese cotton spinning in the early twentieth century from a technological perspective.

 Collections Updates
Image Courtesy of Hagley Museum and Library
The Rockefeller Archive Center staff has now processed the first set of records of the Hewlett Foundation (29 cu. ft.), documenting its early history and programs. This collection includes records of the office of the president, board of directors dockets, annual reports, oral histories, and some early grant actions.
The Hagley Library has acquired the Herbert Harwood Jr. Railroad and Transportation Collection of photographic negatives. Comprising nearly 150,000 images covering all of the twentieth century, the collection includes Harwood’s own work as a railroad photographer as well as the work of others. 
Columbia University

Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Library recently acquired Baguettes de Nepper, auteur des tables des logarithmes, an unpublished 17th-century French manuscript on a mathematical calculating device and a significant text for the history of dissemination of mathematical knowledge. 
Wellcome Collection

Wellcome Collection is pleased to announce that the papers of Stephen Abrams (1938-2012), parapsychologist, Jungian scholar and cannabis law reform campaigner, are now available for research.
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