University of Minnesota


Program Newsletter

Issue No. 9, September 2010

In this issue:


HST Director

History of Science and Technology

On the local level, this year our faculty met and conquered one of those significant and time-consuming challenges posed by academic policies by insuring that all of our courses met either core or theme requirements in the newly designed liberal education requirements. Everyone cooperated, and I am delighted to note that our classes are fully enrolled for the fall, even after adding extra sections. This means that everyone, including teaching assistants, will be working at maximum capacity but also that our financially vigilant deans are well-satisfied with our contribution to the college. Our range of courses continues to include the core surveys in the history of science and the history of technology, while upper division courses and seminars mirror the more particular interests of faculty.

The merged graduate program maintains a relatively steady full-time enrollment of about twenty-five students with enrollments relatively correlated with the history of science, technology, and medicine tracks. As usual, our graduate students have garnered dissertation and nationally competitive fellowships, travel grants from a variety of agencies, and other awards for last year and the coming year. You will find the evidence in their reports below. Particularly notable is Gina Rumore’s award for the best dissertation from the American Society for Environmental History.

Writing the history of the Institute of Technology has proven to be a major collaborative project, but the result was ably finalized by Tom Misa and Bob Seidel with assistance of Maggie Hofius, Nathan Crowe, and Ron Frazzini. Generously endowed with historical images and with a well-researched text, it chronicles the independent path to the unusual college of physical sciences, engineering, and mathematics with the added spice of our program in the history of science and technology over the past seventy-five years. Perhaps ironically, as of July 1, IT became the College of Science and Engineering (and the College of Biological Sciences remains independent). You can find the volume, published by an on-demand publisher, on Amazon.

This year we are trying something new and partnering with the University of Wisconsin’s program for our History of Science Society Reception. The goal of reuniting our own current students, faculty, and alumni remains the same so plan to come after the banquet to Ete Des Indiens on the 6th level of the Hyatt at 9:30. Hope to see you there.

Best wishes,
Sally Gregory Kohlstedt

Photo of Director by Nancy A.Johnson

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HMed Director

History of Medicine

Everyone should have to sit down and add up accomplishments periodically—it's amazing to see how everyone's long hours dealing with overgrown to-do lists have paid off. History of Medicine and the HSTM graduate program had an incredibly productive year and some fun along the way. In May we had "John Day" -- an opportunity to acknowledge how much John Eyler means to our program and our field. Chris Hamlin from Notre Dame spoke on "John’s Guys," the Victorian shapers of epidemiology, and we enjoyed time with John and Audrey over great food shared among friends. We also established the John M. Eyler Graduate Student Research Fund in John’s honor—donations are always welcome ( -- to provide support for graduate student research expenses.

In other big news, we hired Jole Shackelford, a prize-winning historian of early modern medicine and science and long-time associate of the Program, as a tenure-track faculty member. In keeping with a tradition of baptism by fire, Jole will be acting director this coming year while I am on sabbatical. Like HST, our undergraduate courses are full and five new HMED graduate students joined us last fall, making for lively discussions around the Wangensteen Library lunch table. Peter Kernahan became the first history of medicine Ph.D. to graduate since our reorganization. Students and faculty have been wildly successful in winning fellowships and grants, giving conference papers, and publishing articles. The Academic Health Center History Project is thriving in this the 40th year of the AHC, with Dominique Tobbell having completed more than 20 oral histories and we’re overseeing the launch of new travel fellowships to use the AHC archival collections.

Finally, we are experiencing the rewards of collaboration among the faculty of the HSTM graduate program. Led by Jole Shackelford as primary investigator, we have been awarded a two-year, $180,000 NSF grant to study the history of chronobiology. The grant will provide graduate student support, a post-doctoral fellow, and develop curricula on the study of recent science in partnership with Troy University in Alabama and HST alum Karen Ross.

If you're in the Twin Cities October 1-2, we're hosting our northern border colleagues for the annual Manitoba-Ontario-Minnesota-Saskatchewan (MOMS) History of Medicine Day.

Jennifer Gunn
On leave as Director, History of Medicine

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Paolo Palladino (1991)

Lancaster, UK

During the past academic year, I ended my term as chair of the Department of History at Lancaster University and was promoted to Professor of History and Theory. I will be on sabbatical research leave during the coming academic year, completing my research on the biology of ageing and beginning a new project on Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault and biological understanding of human mortality.

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Brett Steele (1994)

Alexandria, VA

I recently became an associate professor at the National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs (NDU-CISA), where I’m now teaching graduate-level courses on geostrategy and the origins of conflict and war. My daytime students comprise mostly foreign military officers from all over the world, while my evening students come primarily from Capitol Hill and the Department of Defense. So, in spite of all the hard work required to get up to speed on all this political-science and international-relations discourse, I am thrilled to have this unique academic career opportunity.

For much of this past year, I was developing the energy-management domain of Ideal Innovations, Inc. I worked hard with our partner Emacx Systems, Inc. in marketing their intelligent peak-load control system to the federal government's facility managers. The business was finally taking off this summer, but the opportunity at NDU-CISA was too good to pass up.

Meanwhile, Tamera and I recently returned from another trip to Japan, where we got to hang out with the sacred deer of Nara, gawk at the mind-blowing architecture of Uji, munch on chewy squid balls in Osaka, and transcend in the Zen gardens of Kyoto.


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John P. Jackson, Jr. (1997)

Boulder, CO

I had to check my CV to see if I'd actually accomplished anything in the past year. Turns out I published a book review or two, a paper in a conference proceeding (on the history of logical positivism, who knew?), and a paper on how evolutionary psychologists abuse the history of science in their presentation of the "Standard Social Science Model." I'm still working on the book with David Depew and hope to finish a significant chunk this fall when I am on my first ever sabbatical. I plan to pack a picnic lunch during faculty meetings and enjoy it right outside the window while my colleagues are doing whatever they do in faculty meetings. The joys of tenure.

One highlight from last year was that our marimba band, named Chapungu, played an outdoor concert in Estes Park in forty degree weather and pouring rain. This was our Woodstock albeit with 249,998 less people in the audience. If you'd like to hear a recording of the concert (entitled "The Wet Album") it is a free download here:

Hope to see everyone in Montreal. Those French have a different word for everything.

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Chris Young (1997)

Milwaukee, WI

I spent the year updating my Facebook status and tracking down friends from grade school. Since I was on sabbatical, I was able to devote a lot of time to this task.

Alverno College continues to employ me in the Biology Department, offering one semester of sabbatical time, which I stretched over the academic year. This meant I taught half my usual load for the year. Sadly, because I am SO valuable to the biology program, my courses had approximately double the number of students. Long story short, I had fewer preps and minimal committee responsibilities, but spent a lot of time dealing with students and giving feedback.

My actual sabbatical work consisted of a great deal of catch up reading in our field and in environmental history. I am working on the history of the concept of habitat in ecology, especially as it relates to wildlife conservation. I’m also curious about the persistence of habitat for wildlife in urban areas and the ways that has shaped certain research programs in ecology. Perhaps in the next 6-10 years I’ll manage to write something about all this. It might turn out to be a collection of urban wildlife stories, linked to a history of ecology, which I might argue has provided a basis for our continuous sense of wonder that wildlife appear in the streets in front of our homes.

A big transition as I return to my full-time status will be taking on the role of science education coordinator for the college. If all goes well, I may realize that this is where I’m meant to be, connecting historical approaches to science ed and exploring the nature of science with students who will inspire a new generation of scientists and science scholars.

Once again, the highlight of the year was attending Largentpalooza. This year the event expanded to three days and two concerts, with a 50 percent increase in attendance. As in previous years, no one was arrested, although a run-in with a trio of local police officers has already developed a historical narrative of its own, closely linked to scientific studies of the nitrogen cycle and the growth of low shrubs as well as the physiology of voluntary contraction of involuntary muscles. A more substantive retelling of this history is planned for a special (late-night) session in Montreal. I hope to see you there!

PHOTO: Mark bought me the coolest hat in the world at Largentpalooza 2010

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Erik Conway (1998)

Pasadena, CA

The past year has been pretty exciting for me. Naomi Oreskes and I published Merchants of Doubt in May 2010, with Bloomsbury USA. Bloomsbury is a commercial press, and the book's publicity campaign has kept both of us pretty busy either travelling on book tours, doing book signings, and writing various op-ed pieces for newspapers, magazines, and online-publications. We've gotten reviews in Science and Nature as well as a number of newspapers, including the "Minneapolis Star-Tribune" and "Washington Post." We were on a panel at the LA Times Book Festival, and have done bunch of radio interviews (though not much television). That's been a very different experience than my previous Johns Hopkins books, which went entirely without notice. I've been trying to keep track of all the reviews on my Facebook page and on the book's website,

I'm largely done with my part of the book touring, and am starting to put my free time to use digging into the subject of "market based" environmental regulation. As we were writing Merchants of Doubt it became clear that there's a history of advocacy for market-based regulatory reform that goes back at least into the late 1960s within academic economics, even though national-level policy implementation doesn't occur until the 1990s. That seems a worthwhile history to unearth and examine.

Oreskes, John Krige and I also co-organized Caltech's Bacon workshop in the history of science this spring. Our topic was the Cold War in Science, which we tried to view broadly. We invited papers on science in the United States, Western Europe, the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. We plan to publish a volume in the next year or so.

Sally Kohlstedt and Bob Seidel invited me back to Minneapolis in February to give a talk on my current work, part of which is on the intersection of planetary and earth sciences. I'm very grateful for that invitation. It was wonderful to see everyone again, to meet the new graduate students, and to see how much the campus has changed in the decade I've been gone.

I'm closing in on completion of my long-awaited history of robotic Mars exploration. My self-imposed deadline for getting it off to review is end of September, 2010. It probably will still be at least a year before it sees publication, though, as I expect the combined internal JPL review and the NASA History Office review will take at least six months. It's been a fun project. It is much more history of technology than it is history of science, and happily lacks all the controversy of my other recent work.

I haven't been out on the conference circuit much this year. I had a great time at Friday Harbor, as always, but I'm going to miss both the Society for the History of Technology meeting (due to a long-planned family vacation), and the History of Science Society meeting. Montreal is in a foreign country as far as NASA is concerned, and getting foreign travel permission, and the required export license for my computer and phone, is a little too painful for two and a half days of conference-going. But I'll certainly be back on the circuit next spring, and I hope to see everyone again then.

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Diana Kenney (1998)

Marstons Mills, MA

I am still working as the science writer at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA, and still loving it. While last year I could have added "and grant writer" to my job description (we were taking advantage of the ARRA funds), this year it's been "and event planner." (Your guess is as good as mine what new skill sets will be required next year.) We recently held a symposium to commemorate Thomas Hunt Morgan (a longtime MBL researcher) that was amazingly successful - full house and lots of enthusiasm. Historians Jane Maienschein and Gar Allen spoke, as well as one of Morgan's granddaughters, Barbara Morgan Roberts, and a contemporary (and distinguished) scientist, Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado, who has been greatly influenced by Morgan's book "Regeneration." I wasn't sure such an eclectic mix of speakers would work, but it went off wonderfully. And Morgan's granddaughter brought his Nobel prize for us to display, and afterwards gave me a box of chocolates! Only a historian of science can appreciate the thrill of that. Now I am planning a complicated, interdisciplinary event with many moving parts called TEDxWoodsHole, a regional version of the TED (Technology Entertainment Design) conference held each year in California. After this is over, I truly hope to go back to mainly writing and editing. Until who knows what comes up next .... My work is endlessly varied and interesting, and in a beautiful, seaside place with smart people. What more can I ask? A big highlight of last year was celebrating my 50th birthday in the South of France with my husband and 8 good friends (first time I left my "baby" -- now 12 -- for so long!). We rented a "mas," explored during the day, regrouped at night to make gourmet meals ... such good memories. And I am still teaching Zumba, a Latin dance-fitness class, which is very fun. Hope you are all well!

PHOTO: The Collection Rambert, Avignon, France

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Amy Foster (1999)

Orlando, FL

I recently completed my fifth year at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. I will be submitting my Promotion and Tenure portfolio next week. So hopefully I will have more wonderful news to report next May. I'm expecting 2011 to be a big year for me. P&T aside, my book should be coming out next fall with the John Hopkins University Press. Since my research has focused on the history of women at NASA and the space shuttle program, it's been both special and poignant to be in Central Florida these last few years. The very last shuttle flight is scheduled for June 2011. I hope to be there with a friend who is working on an oral history project of Kennedy Space Center. I did get lucky enough to watch the last flight of Atlantis in May while standing in the shadow of the Vehicle Assembly Building and within 200 yards of Launch Control. Absolutely amazing! (Fellow MN grad Erik Conway will confirm how cool it was!)

In addition to teaching and my own research, UCF has launched a new Public History initiative we are calling RICHES of Central Florida. I am the coordinator for a project within that initiative called Next Exit History (TM). It's a project started by the University of West Florida in Pensacola to create historically vetted content on cultural heritage sites in the state of Florida in the form of audio and video clips. That content is then delivered to handheld phones and other GPS-capable devices. UCF has gotten on board to help develop content on the Central Florida region for the database. I'm responsible for overseeing UCF's contributions; helping to develop classroom projects not only in the History department, but also in English, Film and Digital Media; and creating some of the content. I have claimed the piece on the Barnum & Bailey circus winter camp in Sarasota for myself!

PHOTO: At Xi'an, home of the Terra Cotta soldiers, with my traveling buddy (in my hand), Vic the Traveling Vicuna.

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Mark Largent (1999)

East Lansing, MI

I spent much of the last year filling out the endless reams of paperwork necessary to apply for tenure. I am happy to report that I now enjoy the benefits of both tenure and the status of associate professor. Frankly, I haven't noticed much difference between having tenure and not having it, but I'm glad to be done with all that paperwork.

I continue to teach history of science and science policy classes at Michigan State University, where we have gathered a very nice group of historians of science and have started a history of science graduate program that focuses mostly on the history of the life sciences.

My research has increasingly drawn me away from the history of science and into the history of medicine. This summer I finished the draft of a book on the autism/vaccine controversy. I am hoping this book will reach an audience outside of the academy, and have targeted it toward what I call "New York Times-reading parents." As this book works its way through the review and publication process, I have begun work on my next project, the history of male circumcision in the U.S.

Once again, the highlight of the year was the annual meeting of 80's hard rock enthusiasts, Largentpalooza. The festival has continued to grow - this year's offering had three times as many bands and twice as many people as did last year's. Most of the attendees believe that the most enduring memory from this year's event was when Jeff Keith, the lead singer of Tesla, pulled Chris Young up on stage and gave him the cowboy hat he had been wearing at the start of the show. Rumor has it that next year's Largentpalooza might take place in Salt Lake City.

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Kai-Henrik Barth (2000)

Doha, Qatar

Kati, Per-Niklas, and I begin our third year in the Middle East, where I continue to teach at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Doha, Qatar. My research continues on Iran's nuclear ambitions, in particular on Iran's nuclear scientists and managers as drivers of Iran's program. As you can imagine, sources are often difficult to get, especially since last year's contested election in Iran. I also examine the nuclear power efforts of other Gulf states, always with an eye on possible nuclear weapons implications. This line of work has lead me into risk and threat assessments and even nuclear proliferation forecasting, something I would have never contemplated as a historian of science and technology. However, much of the quantitative work by political scientists in this area is problematic, and my background in physics as well as in history and sociology of science can be a necessary corrective, I hope.

Last November the Jordanian government invited me as part of a U.S. State Department delegation to brief Jordanian government officials about how to establish effective nuclear export controls. I am glad to contribute to efforts that will make illicit nuclear trafficking more difficult. The last thing I want to see is plutonium and highly enriched uranium falling in the wrong hands.

At the moment I am preparing interviews with some local decision-makers and energy experts, but this has been delayed by nearly a year by an Institutional Review Board process. It appears that the IRB was concerned that interviewing individuals about nuclear matters in this region leads to incalculable risks.

Per-Niklas will turn 9 in December, and he loves his American School of Doha, where he just began his third grade. He enjoys soccer, tennis, and badminton, and he loves his daily time in the swimming pool with his compound buddies. He is an avid reader and of course also loves his Wii. Kati had a more successful second year here in Doha. She designed, with one of her former Harvard students, a massive new playground for Per-Niklas's school and redesigned the entire landscape of the Elementary School in a more water sensitive way. She also held a temporary adjunct faculty appointment at Virginia Commonwealth University's Doha Center for Research in Design, working as project manager on the "Proof of Concept: Improving Labor Housing by Design." As president of SustainableQatar she organizes lectures and meetings on environmental issues in Qatar.

We were fortunate again to make time for travel: we toured the Golden Triangle of northern India (Rajasthan) and Sri Lanka in the Fall, visited Lebanon and Syria with good friends over Christmas, and in spring we tried the ultimate beaches in the Maldives. The summer we spent in Europe, mostly hiking in the French Alps and watching the soccer world cup. For the rest of the year we have plans to go to Oman, Egypt, Kenya and Tanzania. All this traveling feeds my addiction to photography. See for some results, if you like.

When you fly through Doha, please come visit!

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Al Martinez (2001)

Austin, TX

Hi everyone, I hope all's well. My update: still living in Austin, gladly, and glad to report that I made it past the UT tenure hurdle in December 2009. It's surely a good thing to be "on the other side," though I have not much to report about it since I have not yet been to any secret resort meetings nor have I received any ivory underground leaflets. Meanwhile, due to anonymous reviewers' nitpicky and petty complaints, agh, I ended up changing the publisher for my new book; it'll now be coming out from University of Pittsburgh Press, in 2011. They're starting a line in history of science books and will feature mine as a "flagship," whatever that means; hopefully it involves pirates. It's about myths in science, and I think it'll be a crowd-pleaser. What else, I published a long review of the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, volumes 1 through 12, in Annals of Science. Suffered a hot summer in Austin and Puerto Rico, though I also visited France and LA. Key findings: the French are shocked if you order a croissant during lunchtime (on the grounds that "it's sweet") and there are people who think that "the unemployed are spoiled." In any case, remember that it's better to regret the things you've done than the things you haven't done, so do them. That's it for now. Do look me up if you visit Austin!

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Kevin Francis (2002)

Olympia, WA

After six years, I continue to enjoy teaching at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. One of my favorite aspects of this job is the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues in many disciplines in teach-taught programs. During the past year I taught in programs that focused on forest ecology and Native American history. Both programs challenged me to wrap my mind around new subjects and consider the applications of history and philosophy of science to them.

I return to more familiar terrain this fall in a program called Foundations of Health Science, which I will teach with a biologist and a chemist. I will be focusing on bioethics and health-care policy, history of medicine, and evolutionary biology in the context of immunology and infectious disease.

On the scholarship side, I presented two conference talks this year. At the Society for the Philosophy of Science in Practice in Minneapolis, I discussed strategies of generalization in the historical sciences. (I highly recommend this conference for historians who want to focus on philosophical aspects of their work.) And at HSS in Phoenix, I gave a talk about Enlightenment ideas on extinction, which meant dipping my toe into the ocean of scholarship on Thomas Jefferson.

I’m also continuing (with Melinda Gormley) to organize the program for the Columbia History of Science conference in Friday Harbor, Washington. Consider submitting a paper: it's a great opportunity to present work to a diverse audience of historians and it's especially supportive for graduate students. The conference also takes place in a gorgeous location. Contact me ( or visit the website ( ) for more information.

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David Sepkoski (2002)

Wilmington, NC

I guess the big news for 2009-10 is that I got tenure. I know that's supposed to be the pinnacle of my academic career, but it was actually an anticlimax, and has thrown me into a bit of an existential crisis (who am I? why am I here? what am I doing?). Seriously, though--has anyone else had the same experience? Otherwise, things have been good. I had a chance to hang out with Mark Borrello not once but twice down in Tallahassee at events thrown by Michael Ruse. Both times we were accommodated together chez Ruse, involving much nonsense and hilarity. I'm finally just about finished with my big book on paleobiology--which has in fact become a much bigger book than I'd anticipated--and am looking forward to sending it off into the world. This next academic year I'll be on leave in Chicago, so do let me know if you pass through. Look forward to seeing a big group of Minnesota folks in Montreal.

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Jay Aronson (2003)

Pittsburgh, PA

All is well here in Pittsburgh, where I am in my sixth year at Carnegie Mellon. After a whirlwind year of traveling with the kids in tow (three transatlantic trips that combined work and vacation--Bosnia/Italy, South Africa, and Israel), Tamara and I decided to take it easy this summer. We've been enjoying all of the wonderful activities that our fair city has to offer. Workwise things are going incredibly well. My research continues to evolve in interesting and unexpected ways. With colleagues from Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh, I recently co-organized an international conference on civilian casualty recording and estimation in times of armed conflict. This meeting brought experts from around the world together to discuss the central methodological and political challenges of this emerging field as well as how to begin to resolve them. As a direct result of the meeting, we created the website and are producing an edited volume for a major academic press. My project on identification of the missing and disappeared in post-conflict and post-disaster contexts is also progressing quite nicely. Assuming our government doesn't go bankrupt, I should be receiving additional funding to expand the scope of this work in the near future. Finally, I plan to start a Human Rights Initiative at Carnegie Mellon within the next year. The goal of this effort is to promote scientific and technical innovation for humanitarian and human rights applications to balance the tremendous R&D efforts that already take place every day in corporate and military contexts.

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John Gustafson (2004)

Madison, WI

Not much "history of science" news from me here in Madison, WI, as I have needed to focus on other activities again this past year. On the bright side, I have started to meet other science historians in Madison. We are getting together regularly to ponder the really big questions in life…brats and beer? ...or should it be cheese and beer? I continue to teach math and physics courses now and then at the Madison Vo-Tech, and I am poking around the UW archives in preparation for a future article on Arnold Sommerfeld’s visit to Madison in 1922-23, which may be out by its hundredth anniversary. One more tidbit: with help from Michel Janssen, I was finally able to post my dissertation onto the website…check it out at

In continuing good news, Karen is doing well in her job, which allows me to focus on those really big questions. We travel back to Minnesota now and then to work on our "retirement?" home near Knife River, MN, and to stay in touch with friends and family, especially the grandkids…now three in number. Please drop by when you are near Madison!

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Don Opitz (2004)

Chicago, IL

This past year was pretty productive in the areas of teaching and research. Still at DePaul, I proposed and taught a new upper-division undergraduate seminar, "The Search for the Gay Gene." This was a fun course that enabled me to learn, along with a group of nine enthusiastic students, about recent scientific advances in studies of sexual orientation. My course planning inspired an interesting series of discussions with the eminent contributors to this burgeoning field (with a few of the figures being resident in Chicago) and attendance at a workshop at the University of Lethbridge on "The Puzzle of Sexual Orientation." Meanwhile, I revised the talk I delivered at last summer's International Congress in Budapest for publication in a forthcoming volume on Collaborative Couples in the Sciences. Encouraged by the editors' objective to include same-sex collaborators, I contributed a second chapter focusing on the British socialist writer, Edward Carpenter, and the domestic production of his late-nineteenth/early-twentieth century sexology writings. Also, my chapter on Mendelian genetics at Cambridge has just survived copy-editing and will soon be published by University of Chicago Press in the volume, Geographies of Nineteenth Century Science.

Finally, stimulated by grant support from the Dibner Foundation, DePaul's Research Council, and DePaul's Humanities Center, I have made some progress in conducting new research for my book-in-progress on the British scientific aristocracy of the late nineteenth century. A research leave last fall and a month fellowship at the Huntington Library provided wonderful boosts to this project. In 2010-2011, I look forward to being a Faculty Fellow at DePaul's Humanities Center, which will provide research assistance, releases from teaching, and an opportunity to discuss my work with the other Fellows.

On the homefront, my partner Cliff McReynolds finished his second year teaching high-school choir for an inner-city Chicago Public School, but thanks to the massive budget shortfall in Illinois, which has now impacted the public schools, he was recently laid-off. The Chicago Chamber Choir (for which I am a board director) debuted his original arrangement to "A Bit of Earth" (from the Secret Garden), which was very well received. As an adjunct instructor he will teach a couple of courses at DePaul, including one that examines the culture of adolescent music. Like me, he looks forward to the Minnesota gathering at the upcoming HSS meeting in Montreal!

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Collecting fossils in Argentina Paul Brinkman (2005)

Raleigh, NC

I did a few more Darwin talks last year, including two at an excellent Darwin conference in Argentina in October. I also gave a public talk at the N. C. Museum of Natural Sciences on the anniversary of the Origin, where I think I finally nailed it. Mark Largent asked me to review David Sepkoski's new book for the Journal of the History of Biology, which I was happy to do. The big news is that my book, The Second Jurassic Dinosaur Rush, which was based on my dissertation, has been published by the University of Chicago Press. With that project finally behind me, I am looking forward to starting something new.

On a more personal note, I met a woman named Sarah last September. We bought a house together in Raleigh. All are welcome to visit!.

PHOTO: Collecting fossils at Darwin's Monte Hermoso locality in Argentina with conference participants Rodrigo Tomassini, Niles Eldredge, and Teresa Manera."

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Montgomery Georgina Montgomery (2005)

East Lansing, MI

2009-2010 was a busy academic year. Back in April 2009, I hosted the conference Animals: Past, Present and Future which attracted over 50 presenters from eight countries. I am co-editor of a volume entitled Making Animal Meaning which includes essays based on 10 of the presentations. I spent a good amount of 09-10 working with Linda Kalof on the volume, which is scheduled to be published by Michigan State University Press in the winter of 2010.

In the spring of 2010 I had the pleasure of returning to U of MN to give a talk as part of the colloquia. It was wonderful to see friends and colleagues again and also see how the campus has grown with the new stadium and new and improved coffee shops etc.

This summer has been spent finishing a number of research projects and other loose ends. In the fall I will be on family leave as Bob and I are expecting our first child, a daughter, in late September. When I return to work in the spring, I will be teaching two new classes, one of which is a course on gender and evolution based on an essay I just finished for an encyclopedia on Darwin being edited by Michael Ruse for the University of Cambridge Press.

PHOTO: With Angel and Levi

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Ron and Jacque

Ronald Frazzini (2006)

Plymouth, MN

The past year presented challenges, great experiences and exciting potential projects. Following my participation in research for the book on the History of the Institute of Technology, Jacque and I enjoyed a wonderful extended trip to Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii, places we had never visited.

I followed that with a reunion in Italy of the language study group started almost 15 years ago, and found excellent new wine and olive oil locations in the Umbrian mountain towns. The new work will be again co-teaching a class in 2011 that broadly discusses issues of technology and society for the Metropolitan State University's Graduate Liberal Studies program. I have also generated some interest in the same program for a course dealing with technology and democracy, now in its proposal stage. We both continue to enjoy retirement from our respective careers of about forty years, and embarking on new adventures.

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Susan Rensing (2006)

Oshkosh, WI

My first year at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has been a good one. I developed and taught a new course for the Women's Studies program, Feminist Bioethics, which explored how new and emerging reproductive technologies complicate feminist principles. I also served as the faculty advisor for the Women's Advocacy Council, which, among other things, brought back "Suffragette City," a campus radio program on women and gender issues. Looking forward to catching up with everyone at HSS in Montreal, if not before!

PHOTO: WAC students and Susan at the Take Back the Night rally/march.

WAC Students

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Karen Ross (2006)

Troy, AL

I have just started my third year at Troy University in Alabama and am still enjoying the sunny South (although the 100 degree weather can't end soon enough). This year I am looking forward to participating in the chronobiology project with Minnesota colleagues and finishing an article ("Winning Women's Votes: The Antivivisection Movement and the Rockefeller Institute"), while continuing to rework my dissertation into a manuscript.

In my spare time I am trying to civilize my new dog, Mack, bring peace in our lifetimes to my house (the cat, Georgie, is not amused) and work on my house.


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Betty van Meer (2006)

Charleston, SC

Hi! I am still enjoying my time visiting at the College of Charleston, where I teach a variety of survey courses as well as special topics courses. The topics courses also give me the chance to build enthusiasm for questions of technology and culture among a wide variety of students. I did one on "Technology and Culture in World History" and last year we explored "Visions of 'America' in Europe."

For the more personal news, this has been a great summer of travelling. John and I were able to spend some time with family and friends in Japan for the first time. One of the most colorful complexes of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples we visited was the mountain site of Nikkō (favored by Tokugawa Ieyasu).

I wish everybody a great year coming up! Nikko

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Margot Iverson (2007)

Washington, D.C.

I am now living in Washington, DC, and working as a research associate at the Institute of Medicine (part of the National Academy of Sciences). This past year I have been working on two IOM studies having to do with veterans' health issues, including a study on Agent Orange which has involved some interesting historical research. I love my job, and I am enjoying being near my extended family in the area.

Hyung Wook Park (2008)

Ulsan, Korea

After finishing one year of teaching at Durham University (U.K.), I finally returned to South Korea to begin my new work as an assistant professor at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology. It is a pretty dramatic move from a country which is quite cool even during summer, to the other which is extremely hot and humid now. While enjoying Korean foods, I am thinking about how to teach Korean students effectively and how to continue my research in a totally new environment. It is an excitement as well as a challenge.

Suzanne Fischer (2009)

Detroit, MI

I continue to live in Detroit and work as the Curator of Technology at The Henry Ford. I enjoyed myself this past year acquiring a large ham radio collection, helping make Maker Faire, a big DIY festival, happen at the museum and working on a redo of our automobile exhibit. I also helped organize Great Lakes THATcamp, a regional "unconference" on the digital humanities, which we held at MSU in April. I'm (slowly) pursuing some writing projects, including preparing a piece for an edited volume about public history, carving an article out of my dissertation and starting up a new project about parapsychology research.


Rachel Mason Dentinger (2009)

Eugene, OR

This last year has marked a lot of turning points for Bryn and me. Over the course of a few winter months I successfully defended my dissertation and gave birth to our son Oban at our home in Eugene, OR, while Bryn accepted a job offer at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. I can hardly believe it, but Oban is now 6 months old and he sits on his own, babbles conversationally at us, and already has 2 teeth! Little does he know that he is about to move across the pond and will likely grow up with an English accent.

I am very excited about traveling back to Canada in November, with Oban, to present in the session that Nathan Crowe and I organized for the HSS meeting. I am also working on the Graduate and Early Career Council's mentorship program and I encourage everyone to consider participating. I have been contacted by a lot of young scholars hoping to connect with mentors at the HSS meeting. Faculty and alumni: we need more mentors!

PHOTO: Oban is pictured here with a couple of choice edibles collected in the Cascades in June.

Gina Rumore (2009)

St. Louis Park, MN

After defending my dissertation, "A Natural Laboratory, a National Monument: Carving out a Place for Science in Glacier Bay, Alaska, 1879-1959," in May of 2009, I had big plans for relaxing. It was not to be. I immediately jumped into teaching a summer version of "Revolutions in Science: Lavoisier, Darwin, and Einstein, 1700 – present"; received an offer for a post-doc position in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota; and found out I was pregnant. In September I started my post-doctoral work on a history of the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network, travelling all over the U.S. to conduct oral histories for my research. February brought an end to my travels, but not to the excitement. On March 11 I received the Rachel Carson Prize for Best Dissertation in Environmental History from the American Society for Environmental History, and, two days later, Sean and I celebrated the birth of our second daughter, Marlo Maria McQuillen (her older sister, Anneke, turned three in June). I am now back at work on my LTER project, with a peaceful baby strapped to my chest. I am also working on publishing two papers derived from my dissertation. In addition, this fall I will be teaching the "History of Ecology and Environmentalism" class in the HST program at the U of MN. And I am still hoping to relax, someday.

Adrian Fischer (2010)

Minneapolis, MN

I am delighted to announce that I finished my Masters in early 2010. It has been a great and rewarding time for me in the program and I am very thankful for all your support. I have been working at the Bakken Museum in Minneapolis as Assistant Curator for a year now and I enjoy my time here. Various projects give me a deep insight into museum work, for example putting together an exhibit on the history of the house, setting up a new database for artifacts, and collaborating with researchers.

I am looking forward to the new HSTM colloquium series. The only question is whether I am still eligible for cookies. I guess I will find out.

Pete Schmidt (2010)

San Diego, CA

I am happy to be able to say 2010 has been a great year for many reasons. First, I earned tenure in the Arts and Humanities Department at Grossmont College. Second, my wife and I were able to buy our first home here in San Diego. Third, and most important, thanks to the help and dedication of my advisor and committee, I completed my dissertation and earned my doctoral degree in May. Subsequently, Kimberly and I were actually able to have our first “real” vacation in years (without dissertation worries) and we spent time traveling the Sierras, communing with the sequoias, and fishing for trout. Though education budgets are tight right now, I am putting the final touches on a new class to be offered in the humanities program on technology and American culture that should go on the books once our state financial situation improves.

Michael Ziomko (2010)

Minneapolis, MN

This past January I defended my master's. So I'm an alum now, and Barbara thinks that that's an increased status. Not sure of that, but it was an examination full of delight and intellectual delicacy. Alan, Jole, and Michel were the responsible parties in that success. I brought lunch, which I thought was usual but which I wanted to do anyway. I mean we have to eat, right? Michel told me that he and Suzy had discussed whether he should tell me that that custom had long since died. It was his subtle way of telling me that I'd been in the program so long I'd lost touch with how things were done. He is right, of course -- I was in the program before he was, though he seems to have progressed more, having gained tenure. But still everyone seemed to enjoy the lunch -- from Emily's.

In the end, that noon hour was one of the best experiences of my years at the U. Jole asked me whether Descartes believed in an infinite universe, and that led to an insight into Descartes' idea of the absolute point of reference for rest (related to my topic of solidity) and later, in my own mind, to his material argument for God. I haven't seen much published on that, but I'm on it.

For the moment I'm taking a break. Have been doing a lot of reading, pushing from the early modern period back to the medieval. But we were warned that would happen. You just keep looking for where an idea began. Atomism and the agency of matter are very slippery. That's all I have to say about it now.

I'm still raising money for Children's Hospital here, and this summer I took a vacation. I recommend it. Thanks to all who helped me in this adventure, which isn't over. Now I am officially a "Research Specialist." Cool, no? And I look forward to getting together with my HST colleagues at the colloquia this coming school year.

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Mark Borrello (HST)

2010, the end of the first decade of the new millennium. My new appointment as associate professor with tenure was approved by the board of regents in May and my book, Evolutionary Restraints: the contentious history of group selection, is out and available at a fine book store near you (or at least on Amazon). Nico, Gia and Alba are back in school after a pretty relaxing summer including a visit to their grandparents (my folks) in Hawaii. The fall brings a new set of students and courses, as well as a fantastically interesting project on the evolution of multicellularity with my colleagues Will Ratcliff, Mike Travisano and Ford Denison in EEB.

PHOTO: Alba, Gia and Nico eating shave ice in Haleiwa

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Jennifer Gunn (HMed)

Eight days away from sabbatical, it's hard to tear my eyes off the future and look back. The highlights of the last year were having John and Audrey Eyler here in the spring (although it wasn't long enough), learning new things from the graduate students, expanding my research on rural medicine to China with a trip in June, and giving papers on multiple interests: on graduate medical education at a Flexner Centennial symposium at Harvard and at AAHM; on rural public health nursing at AAHN; and on topics from county health departments to women coal miners for local groups. Mining is one part of my history of rural health and medicine book—examining health provision in rural areas dominated by extractive industries—which I will explore further with the help of a travel grant from the Michigan Tech University and Copper Country Archives. Sabbatical means getting to combine research and writing with visits to family and friends who have been foresighted enough to settle near the Clendening Library at KUMC and the National Archives and National Library of Medicine in D.C., all with sources on rural medicine. Occupational health history and graduate medical education will circle back in my research for the new NSF chronobiology history grant; I plan to look at chronobiological applications in industry, such as studies of fatigue in WWI women munitions shift workers and late 20th century medical residents.

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Michel Janssen (HST)

It's a cliché but sabbaticals do recharge the battery. Coming off one last year, I served up some of the better editions of my staple courses. I also enjoyed teaching my very first honors seminar (on Einstein), so much so that I'm doing it again this fall. In fact, that's my reward for taking on the daunting task of filling in as DGS while Susan takes her sabbatical. It was harder to find my way back into research. Back into? What about research while on sabbatical? I just told you: I was recharging the battery … I'm back on track now. Charles Midwinter and I are writing a paper on an example of a Kuhn loss in the work of Van Vleck. We're merging a talk I gave at the HSS meeting in Phoenix in a session on quantum textbooks and a paper Charles wrote in Sally's "methods class" this spring. After three papers together, Tony Duncan and I are gearing up for our magnum opus, "(Never) mind your p's and q's", on the transition in 1927 from Jordan's quantum formalism to the modern Hilbert space formalism of von Neumann. After a trial run for PIG(Physics Interest Group) this spring, I gave talks with that cutesy title at New Directions in DC and at HQ3 in Berlin. Tony played the role of "Rabi's chauffeur" on both occasions. (My friend Ryno told me the no doubt apocryphal story: Rabi is on a lecture tour to educate the American people about nuclear energy. Since nobody knows what he looks like anyway (Rabi's not Oppie), he has his chauffeur substitute for him one night while he sits in the audience. A physics teacher asks some wise-ass question. Undaunted, the chauffeur points to a gentleman in the front row: "that's a question so elementary that even my chauffeur can answer it …" In DC Jeremy Butterfield claimed that the story is about Urey rather than Rabi, but Tony knows Urey's daughter and she'd never heard it.) The HQ3 meeting in Berlin coincided with the World Cup soccer. I am convinced that we lost against Spain because Rich Bellon (back in Minnesota for a colloquium this fall) was rooting for the Dutch after the Brits were routed by the Krauts. No team Rich is rooting for ever wins anything (Seahawks). Make sure Rich is not rooting for your team (Steelers). Finally, I'm sure you're all wondering what's happening with the unfinished Einstein Companion that has been a fixture of this newsletter since its inauguration? Well, I'm happy to report it's almost done. Really? Really. No really? Yes really.

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Sally Gregory Kohlstedt (HST)

Finally, the lengthy process of completing my book on nature study is finished - and Teaching Children Science: Hands-On Nature Study, 1890-1930 (see illustration) has been published by University of Chicago Press. Jennifer Alexander, as colloquium committee chair for the coming year, graciously coordinated a discussion of the book in September, ensuring that at least a few people will have read it. Now I feel more free to work on other projects relating to museums and to the research accomplished while on Fulbright in New Zealand two years ago. The challenges of directing the program in a time of ongoing budget cuts persist, but with a generous and contributing cadre of faculty and students colleagues, HST is doing well. My son Kris is married (so I am now a "mother-in-law") to Courtney Mollan, a lovely young woman who teaches in the Chicago Pubic Schools. Kurt makes a surprisingly good living with design and urban related blogs (four sides linked via David is counting the days until he completes his very productive five-year term as head of Geology and Geophysics and plans a sabbatical next year. I, however, will carry on here, joining him for occasional trips while he visits laboratories in China, Germany, and perhaps elsewhere.

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Tom Misa (HST)

My office this summer was somewhat crowded with four book projects. The volume resulting from our May 2008 conference at CBI was published by Wiley/IEEE Computer Society Press with the title Gender Codes: Why Women Are Leaving Computing. I completed two chapters headed for a second edition of Leonardo to the Internet which Hopkins will soon publish. The Institute of Technology/College of Science and Engineering 75th history project comes to a conclusion with College of Science and Engineering: The Institute of Technology Years (1935–2010), soon to be available at finer bookstores everywhere as well as on And CBI is putting up a permanent museum-type exhibit in the EECS building, now Keller Hall, on the IBM Blue Gene supercomputer, which includes the artifact used at IBM-Rochester in its development and testing of the computer system first installed at Lawrence Livermore National Lab.

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Bob Seidel (HST)


My historical journey has taken me from the present to the Parthenon this year, producing a history of the Institute of Technology written with Tom Misa, Maggie Hofius, Nathan Crowe and Ron Frazzini just in time for its rechristening as the College of Science and Technology, a soon-to-be completed history of technology transfer which I previewed at a Brookhaven workshop in June, and the usual assortment of book reviews, the last of which just appeared in Isis.
Watt steam engine Along the way, I revisited the Science Museum of London, where I renewed my acquaintance with Watt’s steam engines and other technical artifacts of the Industrial Revolution, the Franklin Exhibition at the Minnesota History Center, and the Antikythera device at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. While I had the pleasure of writing about this early computer for a conference at the Nixdorf Computer History Museum a number of years ago, it was good to see the original computer, which Ioanna Semendeferi visited on my behalf earlier. I have not lost my interest in museums, obviously, although Powerpoint® presentations offer my only opportunity to pair text and graphics these days.

Antikythera Device

This past year I was able to offer my course on the history of high-technology transfer weapons as well as courses on science and technology in American culture. I’m looking forward to reprising the historiography seminar and my course in ethics in science and technology in the coming year. Pete Schmidt completed his dissertation this year, which we celebrated at Jax’s with the usual dinner and personalized match books. It’s always good to be a doktorvatter!

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Jole Shackelford (HMed)

I was appointed 1 March 2010 to the tenure-track position in the History of Medicine that was vacated by the retirement of John Eyler. This summer Jennifer Gunn, Sally Kohlstedt, and I were granted a two-year NSF grant to begin exploring the history of biological rhythm studies (chronobiology). This is a new endeavor, and if it is something you are interested in, please contact us!

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Alan E. Shapiro, Emeritus (HST)

Life has been good since retirement -- not that it was bad before. There are the many small pleasures, like having wine at dinner without worrying about giving a lecture at 9:00 the next morning, or finishing the NY Times in the morning without having to run off to lecture. There are also greater pleasures, like travelling. We have taken a number of trips to visit family and friends and also some just to escape, like going to Hawaii in February. Perhaps our most memorable trip was to Dordogne (most famous for its prehistoric cave paintings) after a meeting in Paris. I am still keeping up my research and will be giving a talk in Berlin in September. I will be going into the lion's den, since I will be giving a talk on Newton at a conference on Goethe, who considered Newton’s optics a fraud perpetrated on science and is one of Germany's national heroes.

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Dominique Tobbell (HMed)

I have spent the past year ramping up the Academic Health Center Oral History Project and finishing my book manuscript, which, I'm happy to report, will be submitted to the University of California Press for review at the end of August. Work on the Oral History Project is proceeding apace, with 20 interviews now complete. Among these are interviews with physicians who were private practitioners or members of the Medical School faculty and Dean's office during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. And this spring I began interviewing former Nursing School faculty, who bring a quite different perspective to the AHC's history from that of the physicians. Among the stories they shared with me about the 1950s and 1960s were memories of having to stand every time a physician entered the room and being reprimanded for educating the patient on their condition because the physician had not written orders for her to do so. And in a page right out of Margaret Sandelowski's Devices and Desires, one retired nurse commented than when it came to using medical technologies to monitor patients' progress, nurses not technology "were the monitors." In the fall, I will continue to interview physicians and nurses but will also turn my attention to the School of Public Health. In addition to finishing my book manuscript, I've completed several other pieces of writing this year, contributing chapters to edited volumes on business and politics in post-World War II American history, and on the history of the prescription. I also completed a co-authored article with Daniel P. Carpenter on the science and politics of drug regulation. The highlight of the year for me, though, was beating a former Olympic judo player in a judo tournament last fall.

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Frazier Benya (HST)

I have now finished my fifth year, which I spent doing research and beginning to write my dissertation. I am examining the congressional discussions on overseeing biomedical research in the 1960s and 1970s, which resulted in the creation of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research and the beginning of federal bioethics commissions. I received a grant from the Consortium on Law and Values at the University to fund my dissertation research travel and to fund an oral history project for my dissertation. This fall I am preparing to do oral histories with Vice President Walter Mondale and some of the early scholars in bioethics. This past year I continued to work as an RA at the Center for Bioethics at the U, on a project called And on a personal note, this past July I got engaged!

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Kristína Černeková (HST)

I am starting my third year in the HSTM program and still working on my classes. My interests lie in the history of mathematics, particularly in the early modern period. I do not have a more specific research topic in mind yet, but I will have to figure it out soon, since I hope to take my oral exams by the end of this academic year.

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Maggie Charleroy (HMed)

I am currently working on my dissertation, which examines healthcare and medicine in American prisons between 1890 and 1920. I received an Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship to work with the Minnesota Population Center during the last academic year to develop a demographic framework and assessment of inmate health and disease in the same period. This summer I taught a course in the history of medicine at the University, Healthcare in History, 1750-1950. The highlight of my summer was giving a seminar series talk at the National Library of Medicine in August titled "Policing the Mind: Medical Science and the Era of the Curable Criminal, 1890-1920."

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Jonathan Clemens (HST)

I survived my first year and came out of it a little wiser and only slightly scarred. After a fun (and even a little productive) summer jam-packed with travel, I'm hoping for similar results in my second year. Recently I've been doing some side reading in order to narrow in on a dissertation topic and am seriously considering working on a sociotechnical history of computer games. More on that next newsletter...

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Nathan Crowe (HST)

Hello everyone! My fourth year has flown by, just as all the others have since I've been here. This past year, I was busy finishing my work for Tom Misa and Bob Seidel on the IT 75th anniversary project, while applying for fellowships to continue my dissertation research and writing. Happily, both endeavors were successful. The IT 75th book will be published later this year, and I was awarded fellowships from the Rockefeller Archive and the U of M Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment, and the Life Sciences that I will use to complete my dissertation research. I was also awarded a university Dissertation Development Fellowship (DDF) which will allow me to actually do my research and writing while still paying the rent. This summer I was busy teaching my first class, and I'm looking forward to the focusing on the dissertation full time this fall.

PreRide MonumentLeaning

Stephanie also found great success this year. She was promoted from Assistant Archivist to Archivist at the Charles Babbage Institute (CBI). The promotion included not only a change in title but also a big, new office! She's always happy to have visitors, so please do stop in and say hi when you have the chance.

Activity wise, we took the plunge this year and bought cross-country skis before a trip to the North Shore in January after years of just renting. We hope they'll be useful for years to come. After I finished teaching in early August, we took a road trip to western Maryland for my family reunion and to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts with Stephanie's family. Below are two pictures from the trip. The first is of Stephanie and me before we biked up Mt. Greylock (the highest peak in Massachusetts). I can assure you that we did not look as fresh after the 9-mile climb to the summit. The second is of the two of us at the top of Monument Mountain, which is where Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne gained inspiration and hashed out what became their great American novels. We can only hope that the mountain has a similar effect on my writing.

For all of you whom I don't see on a regular basis here in Minnesota, I hope that we run into each other at various events and conferences this coming year. Good luck to you all!

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Amy Fisher (HST)

Best wishes from DC! It has been a busy, but productive year. In addition to finishing my dissertation, I've been working as an intern at the Center for History of Physics (CHP) at the American Institute of Physics in Maryland. I have been helping to organize a conference in the history of the physical sciences for graduate students and early-career scholars, to be held next summer in DC. It promises to bring together an international group of historians with a variety of approaches and interests, and I am proud to be part of the effort. Having just handed in my dissertation, I am also looking forward to tackling new projects while extending my current research. My husband, Sean O'Neill, also recently got a job in Colorado, so we'll be moving westwards this fall. While in Colorado, I will continue to work for the CHP on conference planning. Although we've appreciated our time in Maryland, we both enjoy winter, and so we're looking forward to the cooler climate!

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Shawn Foster (HST)

The 2009/2010 academic year was a productive one for me. I earned enough course credits to fulfill the requirement for the plan B master's degree. I worked with Sally closely to get my research paper revision done for the final exam in the summer. I took the exam in August and graduated in September from the master's program of the History of Medicine. After that, I am hoping I will have the privilege to further pursue a Ph. D. degree in our department. I need all the support I can get from every faculty member and my fellow students of our department.

In February, I learned that the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) awarded me a grant-in-aid. I am deeply indebted to Jennifer and Sally for their assistance when I was writing the grant application. I will have a research trip to the RAC in the fall. I am very excited about the trip, and I would be grateful for any advice or tips to make my trip more successful.

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Xuan Geng (HST)

During the past year, I continued with my classes and TA work, and finished the required courses. I have narrowed down my research interest to Chinese students in America during the 1930s and 1940s and would like to use this topic for my dissertation. For the coming academic year, I think the most critical event is my preliminary exam in December~~~

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Bonnie Gidzak (HST)

I did my undergraduate work in Physics and Astrophysics as well as a Masters of Education here at the University of Minnesota. I was a pubic school science teacher and have taught in various informal education settings. Through my teaching, I have become interested in the ways that science intersects with society. I am interested in studying the history of these intersections through institutions such as education, museums and perhaps even news media, in late-19th and 20th century North America.

My other interests include reading, crocheting, knitting, working in stained glass and travelling.

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Maggie Hofius (HST)

This year I'm writing my newsletter update from Moscow, where I'm in my last few days of a two-month research adventure. I'm here by way of the Student Project for Amity Among Nations, an independent research abroad program through the support of a summer research fellowship from the HST program as well as SPAN scholarships. I have been using this opportunity to conduct preliminary dissertation research on the intersection of Russian cosmism and Soviet science. It has been a memorable experience, and I am looking forward to returning for a longer period.

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Kate Jirik (HST)

I'm still a third year student. I had about six months of major technology glitches this year, which slowed me down. I finished my German and French exams this summer. I'm working on my prelim exams and hope to have them done by May 2011. My area of interest continues to be the intersection of science, politics and ethics/religion. My research right now is focusing on institutions for people with cognitive impairments at the turn of the twentieth century. I'm hoping to expand the historiography to include the contributions of women in professional capacities that have been neglected so far. I won a Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council this spring to help me plan out my dissertation. I’m in Sacramento for a week doing some preliminary research. I spent a week in Charleston, SC, on vacation in April.

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Cara Kinzelman (HMed)

It has been a busy summer for me and promises to be a busy academic year also. I am working hard on finishing my dissertation and will defend sometime this year. I am scheduled to present papers at several conferences this fall and am hoping to publish my first article soon.

My family and I moved to the Washington, D.C. area this summer. We were sad to say goodbye to our little house in St. Paul and all our friends, but we are loving the adventures associated with exploring a new city. So many museums, so much good food, and, unfortunately, so much heat and humidity!

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Christine Manganaro (HMed)

During the 2009-2010 academic year, I was a visiting assistant professor at Macalester College. I taught U.S. history, an American Studies course on Hawai'i, and two history of science courses on race and gender. It was an intense year in which I really transformed as a teacher. This is the year I defend my dissertation, currently titled "Assimilation Nation: Human Science and Racial Destiny in Hawai'i, 1919-1939." I plan on an early spring defense and plan to take another photography class as a reward when I finish. This summer I’ve taken two breaks from writing: one to visit Quetico Provincial Park for a week-long canoe trip and another to visit my boyfriend Ryan's family with him in the Thousand Islands in upstate NY, both of which were so much fun that I hope to take them again next summer.

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Joe Martin (HST)

The past year has been a busy one, but it is the year during which I feel I have learned and developed the most so far in my graduate career. I spent the summer of 2009 conducting research, primarily at the American Institute of Physics, and then spent the fall putting it to work in a series of grant applications—with no small amount of credit due to my advisors, Sally and Michel, for their tireless editing and commentary—while, also finishing prelims. I defended my prospectus in the spring, and have begun the process of developing my dissertation work in more detail. Particularly, I've enjoyed the opportunity to present at several conferences, one of which took me to beautiful Budapest this summer to deliver a talk at the HOPOS (International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science) meeting there. The photo shows Szent István Bazilika in Pest, around the corner from Central European University where HOPOS was held. Looking forward, I'm anticipating spending the bulk of August at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, and to presenting at this November's HSS meeting in Montreal.

In non-academic news, 2010 saw Maxwell's Demons, HSTM's Team in Tweed, notching its first victory at the US Pond Hockey Championships during an unseasonably rain-soaked January weekend on Lake Nokomis. Trudging through puddles replaced skating, and bandy balls replaced pucks, but the tournament went on. A video excerpt from one of our games can be seen here:

PHOTO: Szent István Bazilika in Pest

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Matt McGeachy (HMed)

This summer has gone by fast, but in all has been very satisfactory. I'm in the process of recalibrating my academic life, and have made the decision to pursue the M.A. in the program. I have also taken a very satisfying internship at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in their Literary/Dramaturgy Department, where the research skills I gained and honed in this past year in the program have been extremely useful. This internship continues through December, and I'm looking forward to dividing my time between dramaturgy and academic research at the U.

Additionally, I am serving 2010-2011 as one of two graduate student representatives to the Board of Regents. In this capacity, I have been attending summer Board meetings, as well as meeting of the GAPSA Executive Board, and have been meeting with the College Council presidents to try and establish an agenda to pursue at the Board-level this coming year. Working with the Board is frustrating, but in this time of leadership transition at the University, also very satisfying.

Other than that, my partner Susannah and I have traveled a bit - a short trip to visit friends in Chicago, a wedding in Cleveland, and visiting family in rural Manitoba. We have also hosted guests from Cleveland and Toronto. As the summer draws to a close, I hope to spend some time in the archives re-familiarizing myself with the collection that will make up the bulk of my M.A. work. I look forward to seeing all those who are returning to the U, and to meeting the new students!

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Charles Midwinter (HST)

My interest in the history of science began in Professor Roger Stuewer's 19th century physics course. Under his expert guidance, we made many fascinating excursions off the "royal road" and into the rich complexities of conceptual history. I continued these excursions in Professor Michel Janssen's history of 20th century physics course. My work for Prof. Janssen in that course developed into an independent study, and the independent study into an informal collaboration that has continued for the last three years. Recently, we have been looking at the early work of John H. Van Vleck on electric and magnetic susceptibilities and how, in the process of applying the new matrix mechanics, his perceptions of the old quantum theory changed. We trace these changes both through Van Vleck's written work, and through the lecture notes taken by students in his quantum mechanics course over the same period.

Although I have yet to decide on a dissertation topic, I have identified two lines of inquiry in which I am particularly interested: (1) the history of the Michigan summer school/symposium on theoretical physics from 1927 through 1940 and (2) the history of solid state physics (especially ferromagnetism and competing treatments of exchange interactions) in the pre-war period. I look forward to continuing these investigations as a full-time PhD student this fall.

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Jessica Nickrand (HMed)

I spent this past summer as a 6th grade summer school teacher at an elementary school in Southwest Detroit, which was both the most difficult and most amazing job that I have ever had. My conversational Spanish now consists of words more than "hola" and "si," and I can now even understand a couple of Arabic words, even though they are mostly curse words! The experience certainly helped to retool my research interests to include how public health campaigns and urban development affect each other, and how different health concepts have been taught in urban public schools. While it has been terrifying to realize that what I came to Minnesota planning to work on is no longer of primary importance for me, I'm also really excited to embark on a slightly new direction in my research.

Despite spending what turned out to be a really great summer in my favorite city in the world, I could not wait to get back to the Twin Cities to start my second year in HSTM.

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Christian Orlic (HST)

I am originally from Lima, Peru. I am interested in the development of modern biology (ranging from the late 19th century through the 20th century). I find heredity, genetics, molecular biology and evolutionary biology particularly interesting. I wish to explore the relationship between science and society; because I recognize both that scientists exist within society and thus are necessarily influenced by society and that scientific ideas and developments also affect societies. I am also fascinated by the ways in which states have been inspired by science and the ways in which they have employed, and sometimes exploited, scientific ideas in attempts to create a "perfect" regime, (either by changing a society's constituents or by modifying the environment).

Given my interest in evolutionary biology, I am concurrently working towards a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology at Michigan State University. I completed my undergraduate education at Michigan State where I received a B.A. in Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy, a B.A. in History, a B.Sc. in History, Philosophy, Sociology of Science, a B.Sc. in Zoology. I think, a better understanding of the history of science can help us make better scientists and that understanding modern science (from the scientific viewpoint) can aid our understanding of its history.

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Barbara Reiterer (HST)

This past year, I have been busy mostly with finishing up my course work, preparing for preliminary exams, and writing fellowship applications. I am very happy to report that the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. has awarded me a multi-year dissertation fellowship, which made me relocate to the East Coast to work on my dissertation as part of the GHI's larger project Transatlantic Perspectives: Europe in the Eyes of European Immigrants to the United States, 1940-1980.

Last fall I was invited to present my dissertation topic at the Annual Convention of the Centers for Austrian Studies in Jerusalem. Besides being introduced to the international community in Austrian studies and getting very useful feedback on my dissertation plans, I enjoyed fantastic city tours and field excursions in Israel, which made this trip an unforgettable experience.

In the spring, I participated in a dissertation workshop titled "Science and Scientists, Scholarship and Scholars in Central Europe, 1870-1960," organized by the Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota. This workshop brought together graduate students from Europe and the United States and senior scholars, also from both sides of the Atlantic, for lively discussions of our dissertation projects.

When I headed back to Austria for the summer, I spent a few days in Vienna at a history conference to present a paper on émigré women social scientists. It was there that I was interviewed by a science writer of the Austrian public media and, as a result, my work was featured in an online article in the public media science section. After this excitement transcending the academic boundaries, I headed to Graz where I taught a course in the sociology department.

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Bryony Rogers (HST)

This is my first year working to get a M.A. at the University of Minnesota. I’m originally from Austin, Texas and came up to the Twin Cities to get my B.A. in Medieval Studies and History from Augsburg College (literally across the street from the west bank campus) and I am excited to stay here for a few more years. I did my senior project on Rudolf II and his connections to John Dee, Edward Kelley and later Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler. I wish to continue looking at these people and focus on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when the line between science and magic began to really thicken. Outside of the academics, my hobbies include playing the cello, Korean sword fighting and playing with my cat and rabbit.

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Aimee Slaughter (HST)

I'm going into my third year this fall, and completed my prelims at the beginning of the semester. I gave a talk at Junto this year, and enjoyed the conference a lot. I also, thanks to my great undergraduate physics advisor, published a book review in the American Journal of Physics this past year. I'm trying to close in on a dissertation topic on radioactivity, the current idea is to look at the cooperation between physicians and scientists to bring radium into hospitals for radium therapy. I'm hoping to get some good groundwork done on that so that soon I can continue my research in Santa Fe and join my newly-graduated boyfriend who will have a postdoc at Los Alamos.

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Jacob Steere-Williams (HMed)

As I transition from my fifth to sixth years in the HSTM Program, I am more keenly sensing the end of the grad school road. I have been enjoying the writing stage of the dissertation- on epidemiological and chemical studies of milk-borne typhoid fever in Victorian Britain- and am now about ready to enter the job market (gasp). Nathan, Frazier and I had great fun leading a rambunctious HSTM crew down to Oklahoma for the Midwest Junto on a road trip in a fifteen passenger van. The summer is sliding by quickly, as I am again teaching the History of Disease course and thoroughly enjoying it. I am happy to report that I recently had an article published by the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (to be in the August 2010 edition) and got awarded the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for the 2010-2011 academic year. Per other local news, the new Twins stadium is fantastic, and Nathan and I have been busy playing in basketball and soccer leagues.

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Joline Zepcevski (HST)

This year has been quite a whirlwind. I am hoping to defend my dissertation, "Complexity & Verification: The History of Programming as Problem Solving", in December. I am arguing in my dissertation that changes in computer programming methods are in response to specific stimuli, and that (contrary to existing analyses) the development of programming methods does not fit an ideal of "progress". I focus on the rise of two fundamental computing problems: complexity, or the proliferation of people and methods; and verification, which is the (in)ability to verify that a program functions as intended.

In other news, I went to Italy to visit Sara Cammeresi in January and fell in love with Rome. I am still playing roller derby with the North Star Roller Girls under the pseudonym "gigglebyte". Currently, I am their Treasurer on the Board of Directors. I’m hoping that this coming year will be just as exciting as the past year has been!

North Star Roller Girls

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