Perspectives

Perspectives is an ever-growing library of podcasts, videos, and essays on the history of science, technology and medicine, along with resources for further learning and opportunities to engage in ongoing conversations.

Perspectives provides discussions with leading scholars, interviews with recent authors, and archival highlights from the exceptional collections of Consortium member institutions.

 

Courtney Thompson and Alicia Puglionesi discuss their books on the history of phrenology and psychical science in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America. 


 

Watch Peter Galison as he discusses his latest film with esteemed colleagues Lorraine Daston and Simon Schaffer, and then answers questions about the film from friends of the Consortium. 


 

Listen to this ongoing series of perspectives on the history of scientific racism and "race science" from scholars in the humanities and social sciences. There are currently eight episodes in the series that investigate the intersections of science and race in the United States, Latin America, Western Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, and Australia. 


 

Lucas Richert discusses the theory and practice of psychiatry in the 1960s and 1970s, exploring the ways that radical psychiatry and the counterculture changed the discipline. 


 

Teasel Muir-Harmony discusses the political history of Project Apollo and the domestic and foreign policy considerations that went into trying to land a human on the Moon by the end of the 1960s. 


 

Neeraja Sankaran provides a novel approach to the history of the development of medical virology by comparing the history of two groups of medically important viruses: bacteriophages and sarcoma agents.


 

Rachel Walker discusses race and science in early America, using archival images pertaining to phrenology and physiognomy to discuss the ways these techniques were used to prop up existing social hierarchies, and also to subvert them. 


 

Bert Hansen guides us through his donated collection of images of medical treatments and technologies found in nineteenth century mass media publications. 


 

Follow along with Professor Mary Fissell as she discusses her research on Aristotle's Masterpiece, a late 17th century English sex and midwifery manual. 


 

Lucas Richert discusses the theory and practice of psychiatry in the 1960s and 1970s, exploring the ways that radical psychiatry and the counterculture changed the discipline. 


 

Teasel Muir-Harmony discusses the political history of Project Apollo and the domestic and foreign policy considerations that went into trying to land a human on the Moon by the end of the 1960s. 


 

Neeraja Sankaran provides a novel approach to the history of the development of medical virology by comparing the history of two groups of medically important viruses: bacteriophages and sarcoma agents.


 

Rachel Walker discusses race and science in early America, using archival images pertaining to phrenology and physiognomy to discuss the ways these techniques were used to prop up existing social hierarchies, and also to subvert them. 


 

Listen to historian Alberto Martínez as he discusses the ways in which the visionary discoveries of Giordano Bruno were unfairly discredited and excised from history in a centuries-long campaign against the heterodox philosopher and cosmologist. 


 

Courtney Thompson and Alicia Puglionesi discuss their books on the history of phrenology and psychical science in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America. 


 

Watch Peter Galison as he discusses his latest film with esteemed colleagues Lorraine Daston and Simon Schaffer, and then answers questions about the film from friends of the Consortium. 


 
Abraham Gibson explores the history of the Southern United States through its feral animal populations, providing us with an understanding of how domestication and the wild have informed each other over the last four hundred years. 


 

Bert Hansen guides us through his donated collection of images of medical treatments and technologies found in nineteenth century mass media publications. 


 

Listen to this ongoing series of perspectives on the history of scientific racism and "race science" from scholars in the humanities and social sciences. There are currently eight episodes in the series that investigate the intersections of science and race in the United States, Latin America, Western Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, and Australia. 


 
Join us as we speak to historian Wendy Gonaver about her research on the history of the Eastern Lunatic Asylum in Williamsburg, Virginia and the practice of psychiatry in the pre- and post-Civil War American South. 


 
Listen to historian Audra Wolfe as she examines how science was defined and used as a tool of cultural diplomacy and international relations during the Cold War. 


 

Listen to historian Susan Lindee as she discusses how the military establishment transformed science and technology, interrogates why the victims of technologies of war are often left out of our historical accounts, and questions whether growing defense budgets are in society's best interests. 


 

Scholars Dean Jamison and Abdo Yazbeck discuss the creation and impact of the World Bank's World Development Report 1993: Investing in Health, an influential document in the history of global health that they helped to create. They discuss and answer questions about the economization of health, the creation of the DALY measure, and the benefits and downsides of the World Bank's role in international health policy. 


 

Jonson Miller explores the development of the Virginia Military Institute and the engineering profession in the Antebellum United States. Miller delves into the ways in which VMI was a node in the struggle for political representation among lower- and middle-class white men, while explicitly excluding women and black men from its egalitarian mission. 


Recorded presentations and discussions, with written expert commentary, and links to additional resources

 

Courtney Thompson and Alicia Puglionesi discuss their books on the history of phrenology and psychical science in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America. 


 

Watch Peter Galison as he discusses his latest film with esteemed colleagues Lorraine Daston and Simon Schaffer, and then answers questions about the film from friends of the Consortium. 


 

Listen to this ongoing series of perspectives on the history of scientific racism and "race science" from scholars in the humanities and social sciences. There are currently eight episodes in the series that investigate the intersections of science and race in the United States, Latin America, Western Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, and Australia. 


 

Scholars Dean Jamison and Abdo Yazbeck discuss the creation and impact of the World Bank's World Development Report 1993: Investing in Health, an influential document in the history of global health that they helped to create. They discuss and answer questions about the economization of health, the creation of the DALY measure, and the benefits and downsides of the World Bank's role in international health policy. 


 

Scholars Deirdre Cooper Owens and Lynn Roberts discuss how slavery and the history of reproductive medicine intersect, the impact of medical racism on Black birthing people, and recent efforts to address racial inequalities in maternal mortality and morbidity.

 


Presidents of the 3 Societies

Join the Presidents of the History of Science Society, the Society for the History of Technology, and the American Association for the History of Medicine as they discuss the current and future roles of the three most important organizations in our field. Jan Golinski (HSS), Tom Misa (SHOT), and Keith Wailoo (AAHM) discuss how their organizations are faring, how they are changing, and how we can participate in, benefit from, and help to shape them.


 

Listen to this series of perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic from renowned scholars in the humanities and social sciences. There are currently twelve episodes in the series, looking at COVID-19 and its historical antecedents from diverse viewpoints and in places such as India, Brazil, China, Iran, South Africa, and the United States. 


 

Beginning with an in-depth look at Johannes Stradanus's Nova Reperta, explore the interplay between invention, social change, and economic development from the Renaissance to today.

 


 

The advancement of space science, the allure of profiting on lunar resources, and ideas for a permanent human presence on the Moon are raising attention. They also generate controversy and pose challenging questions.

 


 

Is the story of American girls’ and women’s access to science and math education a direct path from exclusion to inclusion? What does equity for girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics look like, and how do we get there?


 

What are the historical roots of resistance to vaccination? What is the data about contemporary attitudes? How do these attitudes relate to changing social, economic and political contexts? How do these issues play out in the relationship between a doctor and a patient?


 

Join American historian Billy Smith, and epidemiologist Michael Levy, for a conversation that uses both science and history to understand the intersection of urban development and the spread of contagions.


 

When and why did patients started to be called "consumers," and what are the positive and negative aspects of twentieth-century medical "consumerism?"


 

Explore historical perspectives on the contemporary issue of biobanking and the scientific collection of human biological materials.


Discussions with authors, often with several readers, with links to additional resources

 

Lucas Richert discusses the theory and practice of psychiatry in the 1960s and 1970s, exploring the ways that radical psychiatry and the counterculture changed the discipline. 


 

Teasel Muir-Harmony discusses the political history of Project Apollo and the domestic and foreign policy considerations that went into trying to land a human on the Moon by the end of the 1960s. 


 

Neeraja Sankaran provides a novel approach to the history of the development of medical virology by comparing the history of two groups of medically important viruses: bacteriophages and sarcoma agents.


 

Listen to historian Alberto Martínez as he discusses the ways in which the visionary discoveries of Giordano Bruno were unfairly discredited and excised from history in a centuries-long campaign against the heterodox philosopher and cosmologist. 


 
Abraham Gibson explores the history of the Southern United States through its feral animal populations, providing us with an understanding of how domestication and the wild have informed each other over the last four hundred years. 


 
Join us as we speak to historian Wendy Gonaver about her research on the history of the Eastern Lunatic Asylum in Williamsburg, Virginia and the practice of psychiatry in the pre- and post-Civil War American South. 


 
Listen to historian Audra Wolfe as she examines how science was defined and used as a tool of cultural diplomacy and international relations during the Cold War. 


 

Listen to historian Susan Lindee as she discusses how the military establishment transformed science and technology, interrogates why the victims of technologies of war are often left out of our historical accounts, and questions whether growing defense budgets are in society's best interests. 


 

Jonson Miller explores the development of the Virginia Military Institute and the engineering profession in the Antebellum United States. Miller delves into the ways in which VMI was a node in the struggle for political representation among lower- and middle-class white men, while explicitly excluding women and black men from its egalitarian mission. 


 

Joseph Martin tells the story of how solid state physics challenged and redefined some of the core ideals of American physics, and in the process played an essential role in sustaining the prestige physics enjoyed in Cold War American society.


 

Cameron Strang takes American scientific thought and discoveries away from the learned societies, museums, and teaching halls of the Northeast and puts the production of knowledge about the natural world in the context of competing empires and an expanding republic in the Gulf South.


 

Phrenology was the most popular mental science of the Victorian age. From American senators to Indian social reformers, this new mental science found supporters around the globe.


 

Dóra Vargha uses a series of polio epidemics in communist Hungary to understand the response to a global public health emergency in the midst of the Cold War.

 

 


 

In this podcast episode, we discuss the history of how biblical notions of race influenced European understandings of Africa.


 

Bone Rooms explores the history of human remains collecting. The collection and display of bodily remains became central to debates about ethics, repatriation, and scientific authority that continue today.


 

In Routes of Power, Christopher Jones describes how the American energy industry grew into a vast network of canals, pipelines, and wires - fueling growth and consumption and leading to environmental problems associated with fossil fuels.


 

Explore the history of health and sensory perception in 19th century urban environments.


Spotlights on historical objects by scholars, curators or archivists

 

Rachel Walker discusses race and science in early America, using archival images pertaining to phrenology and physiognomy to discuss the ways these techniques were used to prop up existing social hierarchies, and also to subvert them. 


 

Bert Hansen guides us through his donated collection of images of medical treatments and technologies found in nineteenth century mass media publications. 


 

Follow along with Professor Mary Fissell as she discusses her research on Aristotle's Masterpiece, a late 17th century English sex and midwifery manual.