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YOU ARE HERE:events & info > newsletter > 2004

HST Program Newsletter

Issue No. 3, September 2004

In this issue:
. . . [Message from the Director]
. . . [Updates from Our Alumni]

. . . [Updates from The Faculty] . . . [Updates from Current Students]

Awards were showered on students, alumni, and faculty this year. A record three students — Paul Brinkman, Georgina Hoptroff, and Margot Iverson — won Graduate School Dissertation Fellowships. Stephen Johnson (1997) won the Eugene Emme award for Astronautical Literature from the American Astronautical Society for his book The Secret of Apollo (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002); and John Jackson (1996) won the Early Career Award for Scholarship in the History of Psychology from the American Psychological Association for his overall achievement, which includes his book Social Scientists for Social Justice: Making the Case against Segregation (New York University Press, 2001). And to cap it off, this Spring Sally Kohlstedt won the prestigious President's Award for Outstanding Service. Congratulations to all!

After an extensive search last winter, Mark Borrello accepted a joint appointment with our Program and Ecology and Evolutionary Behavior as an assistant professor to fill the open history of biology position. Mark did his graduate work in HPS at Indiana University and taught for three years at Michigan State University. Students and faculty are enthusiastic about his arrival. Arthur Norberg will be retiring at the end of the year and a search has begun for a replacement as Director of CBI and an appointment to the ERA chair in our program.

The drive for Graduate Student Fellowship funds picked up this year. Your generous contributions have played an important part in our success. The Tomashes have now contributed $150,000 for a fellowship in the history of computing and related fields, and we have raised $80,000 for the Roger Stuewer fund. We are now past the half-way mark in our goal for the Stuewer Fund. Despite the somewhat slow start, we are making substantial progress. The university is still matching contributions to the Roger Stuewer Fellowship Fund, so if you wish to make a contribution this year, it will in effect be doubled. Contact Barbara or me to make a contribution, which is, of course, tax deductible.

Many of us, faculty and students, will be at the HSS meeting in Austin this November. We hope to see you there, and remember that the Program always hosts a reception in my room for the Minnesota community one evening, usually on Saturday. And a reminder: a joint HSS and SHOT annual meeting will be held in Minneapolis 2-6 November 2005.

Best wishes, and we hope to see you soon.
Alan Shapiro

Brett Steele (1994)
Alexandria, VA

I have spent the past four years working for the RAND Corporation on wide range of Army-related research projects. These involved acquisition reform, technological assessment, military transformation, terrorism deterrence, air- mobility analysis, joint-force doctrine, civil-military relations, and stability-and support operations. Recently, I started working at the Systems Division of ANSER's Homeland Security Institute, where I have plunged into a wide range of biological and chemical issues associated with counter-terrorism strategy and disaster management. Speaking of strategy, I was teaching an engineering strategy class at UCLA for the past two years. Just when the course was finally coming together, however, Gov. Arnold's cuts led to its demise. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted to empower/corrupt those bright EE and CS undergraduates with some basic history of science and technology, along with economics and ethics.

Tamera and I (along with our terriers — "Kepler" and "Pico", I confess) recently moved into our spacious new home in the rain forest outside of Alexandria, VA — near the Huntington Metro stop. It is a very welcome change of pace after almost 10 years of LA grime and congestion. It is also good to now be within driving range of the kids: Elizabeth has started her graduate studies in nuclear physics at Yale, while Ian has finished his freshman year at Lehigh. 

John P. Jackson (1996)
Erie, CO 

It has been a very good year professionally for me.

I have finally finished book manuscript tentatively entitled "The Scientific Defense of Segregation" on science in American racial politics in the 1950s and 1960s. Both of New York University Press's referee reports were very positive and the book should appear sometime in 2005. Since researching this book took me into the murky world of the neo-Nazi underground of American politics, I am looking forward to leaving the world of the "Lysenkoist Jewish Conspiracy" that was attempting to destroy "the protoplasmic integrity of the Nordic race."

For those of you who don't want to wait for NYU Press to get around to my manuscript, I have a book coming out in September 2004. Nadine Weidman of Harvard University and I have written Science, Race, and Racism; a survey of the race concept in western science for ABC-Clio under the editorship of Mark Largent, previously of the University of Minnesota, now at the University of Puget Sound. It should be out any day now and would be perfect for all those on your "hard to shop for" Christmas list.

2004 marked the fiftieth anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education and I was fortunate enough to take part in some events commemorating social scientists' role in that decision. I was invited by the American Psychological Association to take part in a plenary session at this year's APA convention in Honolulu. On the panel was M. Brewster Smith, a psychologist who had testified at the trials and signed the brief submitted to the Supreme Court in 1952 and Minnejean Brown Trickey, one of the "Little Rock Nine" who braved mobs of angry whites to desegregate Little Rock Central High School in 1957. As I said in my talk, it was a great honor me to share a panel with those who actually made the history that I only wrote about.

I was further privileged at the APA convention when I received the "Early Career Award for Scholarship in the History of Psychology." I was the first person to receive this award who does not have a Ph.D. in psychology, so I felt doubly flattered. I wanted to wear my UM-HST T-shirt to the award ceremony, but my wife convinced me that that was too casual even for Honolulu where ties were strictly verboten.

The other conference I went to this summer was in Akron, Ohio. Without getting into any ugly comparisons, and at the risk of appearing to denigrate my beloved Midwest, I will just say that if one has a choice between attending a conference in Honolulu or Akron, choose Honolulu.

The final bit of news is that the University of Colorado has finally recognized the error of its ways and transformed my instructor's line into a tenure-track position. This transformation owed, in part, to Michele (my wife) getting tenure. So we had two bits of good news this year on the job front.

The kids, Maggie (10) and Jack (7) continue to grow. They are clever, smart, funny-all those things that you want in people that you have to spend a lot of time with.

If anyone wants to know more about my work, I have papers and project descriptions posted to my website:

Stephen Johnson (1997)
Grand Forks, ND

The biggest news for me over the last year is that my book The Secret of Apollo, a much-improved version of my 1997 dissertation, won the Eugene Emme award for Astronautical Literature. I continue to work at the University of North Dakota, be the editor of Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly, and am the general editor for the first encyclopedia of space history, which will be called Space Exploration and Humanity, published by ABC-CLIO, probably in 2006. Otherwise, I am continuing to work on my next book, on the early history of cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence. I am far enough along to have figured out there is more to do than I originally thought, and so the first draft will probably be done sometime in late 2005.

Chris Young (1997)
Milwaukee, WI

Chris Young continues in his position at Alverno College in Milwaukee. Administrative duties are accumulating; he (it's fun writing about yourself in the third person) advances plans to take over the institution. His main duties include teaching introductory biology to the enormous class of entering students looking to make a career in nursing. His department chair hopes he will also teach microbiology or anatomy and physiology. In an effort to derail her hopes, he has agreed to serve as the assistant coach for the cross country team this fall. She doesn't know that yet. Chris also hopes to teach upper level courses in evolution and a seminar on global climate change, eventually. For now, he is preparing a senior seminar for biology and chemistry majors that will examine scientific controversy in historical contexts. Imagine that! He also plans to write the paper he is scheduled to present at HSS. He'll see you in Austin!

You can also check out the element of his life that is highest on the "cuteness" index:

Erik Conway (1998)
Pasadena, CA

I've accepted a new job at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, as its first historian. My task there will be building a history program, including oral history and publications. I move out to the Left Coast on 2 September, and start at JPL on the 13th. I plan to be at the History of Science Society meeting in November (although perhaps only for Friday night and Saturday), and I hope to see everyone there and meet the new graduate students!

Diana Kenney (1998)
Marstons Mills, MA

The highlight of my year was winning a science journalism fellowship at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. During the first week I took a biomedical laboratory course where I sequenced and cloned DNA, learned how to use genomic databanks, and other useful skills. For two following weeks I went to scientific lectures, used the MBL's fabulous library and wrote. Last week I conducted an hour-long interview with James D. Watson and Matthew Meselson for the MBL's archives. Also wrote an article about Watson's visit for the Cape Cod Times, and this week have a story coming out on reproductive technologies. It's been great to re-immerse myself in science and history of science. I saw John Beatty at the MBL; he's doing well in Vancouver but misses you all in Minnesota.

Mark Largent (1999)
Vashon, WA

This year will be my forth year teaching history of science classes at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. All of my classes for the 2004-5 school year will be taught in the new program I co-founded with Mott Greene and Jim Evans, the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at Puget Sound. My research is increasingly focusing on the history of eugenics and coerced sterilization, and I have begun work on a biography of Charles Davenport. Nancy and I recently bought a small house on Vashon Island, which is located in the Puget Sound between Tacoma and Seattle.

Al Martínez (2000)
Pasadena, CA

Hi everyone. Here's what I've been up to. Over the past year I've been a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University. I mainly carried out my research at their affiliated Center for Einstein Studies with the friendly guidance of John Stachel.

Finally, I finished my book manuscript: Neglected Science of Motion, A History of Kinematics from Ampère to Einstein, which is now under review at Princeton U Press. And even better, great news from them: they have already approved to publish another book manuscript of mine dealing on controversies in the history of the algebra of signed numbers.

Aside from that, I also carried out research at the American Institute of Physics, History Center/Bohr Library, thanks to an AIP grant. My articles this year are: "Ritz, Einstein, and the Emission Hypothesis," Physics in Perspective 6 (April 2004), 4-28; "Arguing about Einstein's Wife," Physics World 17, No. 4 (April 2004), 14; "Kinematic Subtleties in Einstein's First Derivation of the Lorentz Transformations" American Journal of Physics, 72 (6) (June 2004), 790-798; "Material History and Imaginary Clocks: Poincaré, Einstein, and Galison on Simultaneity," Physics in Perspective 6 (June 2004). I also submitted "Euler's 'Mistake': The Radical Product Rule in Historical Perspective" to The Mathematical Intelligencer, but I've waited a year on that and I'm giving up hope that they'll ever get around to accepting it or rejecting it. I also submitted an article on "Conventions and Inertial Frames" to the AJP, and I co-authored with Sam Schweber an article on "Field Theories," forthcoming in the New Dictionary of the History of Ideas (Charles Scribner's Sons/Thomson Gale).

Moreover and overburdened, I've also been working as a midwife since last Dec. as an editor for the "Physics of Scale" branch of the History of Recent Science and Technology project at MIT's Dibner Institute, as well as serving as an interviewee for a TV series for science teachers produced by the Media Group of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

All this work and headaches, and blood, tears, toil and sweat brought along some more good news. A job! Starting this Sept, I'll be an Instructor on history of science at Caltech. Sunny rosy Pasadena, with L.A. pollution in the sky; what more could I want?

Karin Matchett (2002)
Minneapolis, MN

At the 2-year post-Minnesota mark, life is very good. In a couple of weeks I will finish up my postdoc as a research assistant for Dan Kevles in the History of Science and Medicine at Yale. It's been a great two years here. I've had the chance to do varying amounts of research into the history of horticulture and animal breeding, the Patriot Act and its effect on the practice of science, forensic DNA, etc. I taught two renditions of a seminar on history of agriculture and public health in Latin America and advised senior essays by some really outstanding people.

This fall I've chosen to continue doing research for Kevles part time, and to physically return to Minnesota in November to connect back with the university and Minnesota issues in general. Right now I'm talking with people on the St. Paul campus about possibly coordinating work on an interdisciplinary initiative on sustainability, energy, and the environment. No position announcement exists yet, but I'm hopeful that I'll be officially involved this winter. In the meantime, I have a lot of work left to do on my dissertation-based book on corn and culture and politics in Mexico. I will be spending September and October once again at the Rockefeller Archives finishing research for the book. I've had an article accepted in the Journal of History of Biology and am working on a chapter in an edited volume on the life sciences and industry, one that grew out of a Woods Hole seminar a few years ago. I've also been getting more involved in encouraging discussion among people who do history of science and environmental history, in the HSS and American Society for Environmental History.

As of September, my email will be, and phone is (612) 729-6782. If you pass through town, please call!

Jennifer Alexander

Revisions to the efficiency book manuscript have kept me busy most of the summer — its current title is "Seeking Efficiency, Encountering Mastery," but other suggestions are welcome. I have also been pleased to find some wonderful materials right here, at Minnesota, for "Sport and Work," my on-going project on the history of the international biomechanics movement. At graduate student request, I am developing a new graduate seminar on the Industrial Revolution that will be offered for the first time next spring; it grows out of an article I am writing on eighteenth-century engineer John Smeaton and the engineering concept of experiment. This fall the informal science studies group at Minnesota will begin meeting again; it is a group that came together in discussions about revising the graduate minor in Studies in Science and Technology, and shows the broad interest in science studies across campus. I am helping to get it together, and it includes faculty from a number of departments, including history, anthropology, rhetoric, and sociology.

Mark E. Borrello

Rather than update I'll make this an introduction. As a new faculty member in HST I've spent the summer making the transition from Michigan State University to the University of Minnesota. I spent the early summer in Panama teaching a course in Tropical Biodiversity and Conservation, which was great fun. My wife Regina, my son Nico and I are all incredibly excited to be here and have taken full advantage of the farmer's market, the museums and the lakes. We celebrated Nico's first birthday on the 25th of July with a beautiful day at Lake Calhoun. I'll be teaching Biology and Society in the 19th and 20th Centuries this fall and getting to know my new colleagues and students. I'll also be participating in the Future Directions in History and Philosophy of Biology in San Francisco in September and another workshop at the American Philosophical Society titled "Descended from Darwin: Insights into American Evolutionary Studies 1925 - 1950" in Philadelphia in October.

Michel Janssen

As usual, my year revolved my two great heroes, Einstein and Dylan (not necessarily in that order). I wrote a lengthy paper with Juergen Renn of the Max-Planck-Institut on how Al found the field equations of general relativity. This paper should finally supersede the classic 1984 paper on the same topic by John Norton that made me decide to go study with him at Pitt back in 1989. Juergen and I had been trying to do this for years. John has yet to concede but I think we succeeded this time. Research has gone well this year. I think I may even have found a viable topic for my first outing in history of quantum theory. It's about time because this is what I have been promising ever since I got here four years ago. I talked about it at this year's Seven Pines symposium (we got a two-page spread in Science: Unfortunately, half of what I said was nonsense. Ah well. At least the quote I get in Science is spot on even if I stole the quote from my friend and quantum guru Christoph Lehner.

And I did finally publish my first article on Bob. In the Seward Profile no less — the local rag of the Seward neighborhood. It's based on an interview with the local musicians who played on Dylan's 1975 masterpiece, Blood on the Tracks. The bass player on his thoughts while accompanying Bob on the interminable "Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts": "How are we going to bail out this sh**?!" Copies of the relevant issue of the Seward Profile are available on request. My TA Tom Noerper stole a whole stack of them for me. Just send a SASE. I saw Dylan himself in concert three times this year, once in St. Paul and twice in Chicago, all three times together with fellow traveler Paul Brinkman. While Brinkman was picking up the pieces of his love life, I managed to pick his brain on "vert paleo" in the 19th century. I gave the lecture both in my history of science survey course and to a much more appreciative audience, my son's 2nd grade class. That was it for outreach this year I'm afraid. I'm off to see Dylan the fourth time around this year in Madison, this time with Brinkman and Rich Bellon, who'll drive in from East Lansing (caught the Blonde on Blonde reference?). While in Madison I hope to see Karin Ellison, whom many of you will remember from her stint in the program in 2000-2001.

Happy trails, Michel.

Sally Gregory Kohlstedt

My manuscript on nature study is finally drafted, although there is still considerable work to be done to bring it to publication. A plenary lecture for a 2002 NSF conference on women in science was published in the NWSA Journal and an article with Paul Brinkman, "Framing Nature The Formative Years of American Natural History Museum Development" is in press in the Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences. I keep busy as DGS and with a wonderfully hard working and smart group of graduate advisees who keep me reading chapters. If you go to the AAAS meeting in Washington this February, you will see me there because I am currently on the Council and chairing the Committee on the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion. This spring I was honored with the UMN President's Award for Outstanding Service, a recognition of my efforts as Board chair renovating and reviving the Campus Club. When you alums come back, give me plenty of warning and I would love to take you to lunch to show off the new facility. In the spring David was a Moore Visiting Professor at CalTech, so I made several extended trips to Pasadena (winter hardship duty!) where I had a desk in the Einstein Papers, occasionally used the Huntington Library, but most often enjoyed just reading in the gardens. Kris is still a computer scientist at Orbitz in Chicago and Kurt will be going for an MA in architecture at UWashington in Seattle in the fall, so some of you Northwest Coast types may see me more often.

Bob Seidel

Bob Seidel has been working on a history of technology transfer focusing on the question of privatization of university and non-profit generated technology, helping Ioanna Semendeferi rework her dissertation for publication, refereeing NEH grant proposals, and teaching historiography, ethics in science and technology and, for the first time, Science in American culture. His mother's death this past summer and antecedent arrangements to place his parents in assisted-living in Dallas have been sad interruptions to this work. On a happier note, he attended Anne Fitzpatrick's wedding in Santa Fe, NM and saw his daughter, Mary, graduate from the University of New Mexico, where she will attend law school this fall. Chris continues to help autistic children with speech and language difficulties in the Prior Lake school system. Oh, yes, then there's the car:

He's put 28,750 miles on it, circling the West in 2003 and oscillating between Minneapolis, Dallas and Santa Fe this year. So look out, he may be coming your way.

Alan Shapiro

This fall and winter I will be giving more talks than usual. My interest and work in art and science have increased, and I am now getting invited to workshops and conferences on that topic. Last fall I attended an exciting workshop in Ghent on David Hockney's thesis concerning optics and the origin of realism in Renaissance art. (I even got to know David Hockney a bit, since we often went out together to smoke.) This October I am giving a talk at a workshop on Light in Seventeenth-Century Painting at Wolfenbüttel. My talk will be on Descartes' theory of light. In November I have organized a workshop to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the publication of Newton's Opticks at the Dibner Institute at MIT and will also give a talk there. The physicists at the University of British Columbia invited me to give a few talks in January. I am also looking forward to seeing John Beatty there.

Roger Stuewer

First things first: John Gustafson, my last graduate student, defended his thesis in June; his predecessor, Ioanna Semendeferi, defended hers last year — happy events indeed. Another happy development is that Physics in Perspective, the journal that John S. Rigden and I founded and is now in its sixth year of publication, is doing well, so well in fact that the Harvard Physics Librarian told us it is the most read journal in the library, which makes it the most stolen journal, so he keeps it in his office for safekeeping — quite a remarkable testimony to its excellence, we think. I also continue to edit the Resource Letters of the American Journal of Physics, and this past year I served as Chair of the Selection Committee for the Abraham Pais Award for the History of Physics, which is jointly sponsored by the American Physical Society and the American Institute of Physics — the winner for 2005, the first year of the award, is Martin J. Klein.

Research and writing, too, remain part of my life. This past July my wife Helga and I flew to Vienna and then left to attend an international conference in Keszthely, Hungary, on beautiful Lake Balaton, where I gave a talk on "Historical Surprises," which will be published in a future issue of Science and Education. We then went to Prague, where the author of a future article for Physics in Perspective took us to Einstein's old haunt, the Louvre Cafe, for coffee. Returning to Vienna, I participated in a meeting of the Program Committee of the Vienna International Summer University (VISU), before and after which we had the great pleasure of seeing Helen Longino and John Beatty there; they were teaching in VISU 2004. In fall semester, with Michel Janssen on sabbatical leave, I will be teaching a course on the history of 19th-century physics. Then further travel beckons: In March and September, in conjunction with the celebrations for the World Year of Physics 2005, the 100th anniversary of Einstein's annus mirabilis, I am scheduled to give talks in London and Warsaw on the discovery of the Compton effect. Retirement, it seems, carries with it little change in lifestyle.

Mary Anne Andrei

Before moving to Charlottesville, Virginia last June, I presented "Jumbo Stuffed: Carl E. Akeley and the Mounting of Barnum's Great Elephant" at the Midwest Junto. This spring I presented "The Society of American Taxidermists, 1881-1886 at Friday Harbor. This fall I will present "Smithsonian Taxidermy and the Birth of Wildlife Conservation" at the HSS in Austin. These papers are portions of my dissertation, a study of a small group of taxidermists who trained together at Ward's Natural Science Establishment and went on to play foundational roles at many of America's major museums, including the National Museum, American Museum, Field Museum, and Carnegie Museum. Most of my research is now complete and I am concentrating on writing. Settled in Virginia with my husband Ted and son Jack (who turns two in October), I am working steadily toward the completion of my dissertation and also working as an editorial assistant at the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Retirement Series, at Monticello. In the summer of 2004, I participated in the preservation of museum taxidermy mounts at the Smithsonian Institution.

Nicolas Bergeron

During the last year, I worked on my dissertation, which will focus on the emergence of computer security in the United States, from the 1950s to the end of the 1970s (and a little beyond, when necessary). I am presently working on the military side of security, exploring the paranoia of military for spies and Communists and the technological transformations that influenced research on computer security. I was also involved in an interesting project with a professor in the department of journalism and mass communication on e-mail history. This project helped me understand many issues regarding network security and the specific problems encountered during the design of Arpanet. I presented a paper at the 2004 Midwest Junto and am revising that presentation as an article. Finally, I am enjoying my life as a married man (to Valerie) and the adoption of two wonderful cats.

Anne Brataas

Anne opened her sole-proprietor science communications and curriculum development company, The Story Laboratory (607 Grand Avenue, #300, St. Paul 55102; 651-298-0689), in the fall of 2003. Her clients include university and non-profit biomedical research enterprises, for which she translates research into accessible lay language, often for media distribution or medical newsletters and newspapers columns. She also writes science curriculum for kindergarten through grade 4 in hopes of starting habits of mind and inquiry that will serve and endure until the current 5 year olds reach graduate school. In January 2004 her curriculum on evolution, "The Placoderm Club," won a AAAS science educators award, presented at the annual meeting in Seattle (where she unexpectedly saw Sally Kohlstedt!). The lesson was presented in a poster session, which was a riot! Dinosaurs, move over. It is also being published on the AAAS science educators' website, Science Net Links. She would love to hear from former and current students.

Juliet Burba

I am completing my dissertation on Native American origins research and its relationship to anthropological method and theory in late 19th and early 20th century United States. I am also working for the Science Museum of Minnesota on an exhibit on the subject of Race (, being done in collaboration with the American Anthropological Association and with funding from the National Science Foundation.

Sara Dietrich

I am a second-year student interested in early modern science. Among the more exciting things in my life recently was my trip to Tokyo at the beginning of the summer. While in Japan, visited many shrines and gardens, had excellent fresh sushi, and met two STS graduate students studying at the University of Tokyo.

Suzanne Fischer

Suzanne plans to take her preliminary exams in fall 2004, and is excited to begin research on nineteenth-century popular anatomy museums.

Amy Fisher

I hope to take my qualifying exams in December and have been doing preliminary research on topics on eighteenth-century electricity. This summer I have worked at the Bakken Museum and am learning a lot.

Ron Frazzini

Travels occupied a good share of the past academic year. First to Ivrea, Italy in December '03 to scout out the Olivetti archives. A trip to New Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, India with side trips to Amsterdam and London took three weeks in March and April. We managed to get in a week in Colorado before heading off to Sweden, Norway, and the Highlands of Scotland for three weeks plus. Had wonderful times, met many new people, and had first hand reactions to our foreign policy. I'll be returning to Ivrea in October for about six weeks to concentrate on the dissertation research in the archives, with side trips to authors and scholars in Rome, Milan and Turin. There are still many Olivetti people in Ivrea and nearby towns which will provide a rich interview base. The writing, as one might guess, is proceeding slower than I'd like.

Margot Iverson

This past year I passed my preliminary exams and started work on my dissertation (working title, "Genetic Studies of Native Americans and the Debate over Biological Theories of Race in American Anthropology,1940-1970"). This summer I'll be visiting archives in Washington, DC, and Philadelphia (at the APS) and then next year I will be at the University of British Columbia (working with John Beatty) while on a dissertation fellowship. So if anyone will be visiting Vancouver during the next academic year, please get in touch!

Kate Jirik

I am interested in the interplay of biological science, politics, and ethics. I am focusing on eugenics at the moment. My talk at the Midwest Junto in April considered the eugenics articles that appeared in Good Housekeeping in the early twentieth century. I generate a student email discussion after each colloquium talk. Two different projects have my current interest: I am looking in the YMCA Archives at the University of Minnesota's Social History Archives for evidence of eugenic ideas in their publications. The other project is looking at a journal published between 1896 and 1918 written by and for superintendents for the feeble-minded.

Rachel Mason

I am interested in twentieth-century evolutionary biology. I have a sustained interest in the history of various applications of evolutionary theory to human behavior, such as sociobiology and evolutionary psychology. Recently, though, my curiosity has been piqued by the history of interspecies associations, such as symbioses and pollination systems. This interest was initiated during a recent research trip to Costa Rica, where I assisted my fiancé, Bryn, in his collection of macrofungi. Bryn and I will become the first members of the Mason Dentinger family at the end of August; and I will become Rachel Mason Dentinger.

Georgina (Hoptroff) Montgomery

My dissertation focuses on primatology in America between 1930 and 1950 and examines the development of places and practices for field studies of animal behavior. During the last year, I have presented papers concerning the field methodologies used by American primatologist Clarence Ray Carpenter at both ISHPSSB and HSS. These papers explored Carpenter's use of increasingly experimental field practices and how these techniques challenged his concept of 'natural' primate behavior. A manuscript based on these presentations is currently under editorial review for publication in JHB. This summer, I will be conducting archive research with the aid of a travel grant from the University of Minnesota Graduate School. Looking ahead to my fifth year, I am excited to work full time on my dissertation with the support of a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the University of Minnesota Graduate School for 2004-2005. Finally, on a more personal note, I will be getting married this summer to Bobby Montgomery.

Don Opitz

I'm continuing to write the dissertation on science and the aristocracy in Victorian Britain. Several articles have been published this year: an introduction to a reprint of the first edition [1824] of Mary Roberts's Conchologist's Companion and five biographical sketches for the Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century British Scientists. Articles in press are "'Behind folding shutters in Whittingehame House': Alice Blanche Balfour (1850-1936) and amateur natural history," Archives of Natural History; "'This House is a Temple of Research': Country-House Centres for Late-Victorian Science," in Sidelined Sciences? Shifting Centres in Nineteenth-Century Scientific Thinking; and "'So Clever a Photographer': Mary Countess of Rosse and Victorian Photographic Science," in Women Scholars and Institutions, Proceedings of the International Conference organized by the Commission on Women in Science of the IUHPS in Prague. Currently the Math Center coordinator in General College, I coauthored two chapters concerning developmental mathematics education in Integrating Intellectual Growth and Student Development: The General College Model (scheduled for May, 2005).

Hyung Wook Park

While in Korea this summer I practiced driving for my international driver's license. I also read some articles and books necessary for the revision of my article, based on my MA thesis, which I hope to publish in one of the history of science or history of medicine papers. In order not to forget my spoken English, I have met Samantha Pace from time to time, who is now staying in Korea to teach English, after receiving her master's degree with John Eyler in history of medicine.

Susan Rensing

This past year has been a busy one for me. I spent the summer of 2003 at New York University at the Margaret Sanger Papers Project, doing an archival internship for the electronic edition of her papers. Then I spent a month at the American Philosophical Society doing research before returning to the Twin Cities to delve into writing with the help of a Dissertation Fellowship. In the Spring I taught a CLA Honors seminar on the history of eugenics and current issues in genetics, which I really enjoyed. Jackie and I bought a house in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis in March and are enjoying home ownership immensely. In the meantime, I have also presented topics from my dissertation at the Comparative Women's History Workshop, The Women and Gender Historians of the Midwest Conference, and at our very own DaWGs (Dissertators and Writers Group).

Karen Ross

For the past year I have been teaching history of American science and technology at Iowa State University. I also gave papers at the American Association for the History of Medicine and the newly revived Women and Gender Historians of the Midwest meetings. I had a wonderful time in Ames, but I am happy to be back in the Twin Cities. I am finishing my dissertation on early twentieth century American biomedicine and working at the Division of Epidemiology on the cardiovascular disease epidemiology history project.

Gina Rumore

I am a second year student interested in the history of ecology. Currently I am looking into the historical role of national parks in generating and disseminating scientific knowledge. I believe that national parks are a good analytical tool for gauging the ever-changing scientific and popular understandings of "wildness" through the 19th and 20th centuries and across national boundaries. When I am not buried in the annals of the history of science, I spend my free time running, biking, and swimming (I am aiming to finish a half-ironman triathlon and the Boston Marathon in the coming year) and hanging out with my husband Sean and the latest addition to our family, Kona (he's a puppy).

Pete Schmidt

In addition to finishing up course work for my second year in the program, I completed four dictionary entries for Thoemmes Press publications and I also presented two papers. At this year's Midwest Junto I examined the relations between genetic art and science, and at this year's Popular Culture Association conference in San Antonio, I continued my exploration of the representations of science and technology in American comic books. In addition, I presented a guest lecture on aspects of culture and ethics in upper division classes. If all goes according to plan, I should be taking (and passing) my exams at the end of this summer. In the fall I hope to begin research on my dissertation, which will examine the creation of and relationship between professional and popular images of space and space exploration.

Rick Swanson

I've begun work on my dissertation, an examination of the extent to which chemistry influenced medical theory and practice, set against the backdrop of an evolving national identity and the quest for scientific and medical authority. The dissertation examines both the theoretical and experimental "tool kits" American chemists employed in their quest to understand and combat the yellow fever epidemics of the 1790s. I am awaiting the publication of "The Entrance of Informatics into Combinatorial Chemistry" in Proceedings of the Second Conference on the History and Heritage of Science and Technical Information Systems (HHSTIS2); the conference was in November 2002 and publication should be in Fall 2004.

Betty van Meer

I am currently in Prague for research on my dissertation dealing with Czech engineering professionalization. The list two years I have presented papers at the SHOT, HSS, and Midwest Junto conferences, besides writing on my dissertation. This August I will participate in an interdisciplinary seminar for junior scholars at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Olivia Walling

Olivia is writing a dissertation in the history of physics in postwar United States. She is researching the investigations of the abundance of elements by astronomers and the synthesis of elements in stars by physicists at the California Institute of Technology. Her research as been supported by the Maurice A. Biot Fund of the Caltech Archives and by a grant-in-aid from the Friends of the Center for the History of Physics, American Institute of Physics.

Michael Ziomko

After passing my exams last May (2003) I switched my area of interest from modern technology to early modern science, so I've been reading Scientific Revolution literature to narrow and define a topic for my dissertation. I am currently focusing on matter theory, specifically, the question of the coherence and organization of matter. Robert Boyle's work looks especially promising on this topic. I certainly wouldn't mind a research trip to England! — though it's not clear that that's on the horizon.

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