University of Minnesota


Program Newsletter

Issue No. 10, September 2011

In this issue:


HST Director

History of Science and Technology

This past academic year has been highly productive with multiple successes for the program. Our undergraduate enrollments continue to climb and we may have reached our maximum as most of our courses close to registration. Faculty productivity has been high with Susan, Mark and Tom publishing new books; Susan, Tom, Michel, Mark, and I (with HMed colleagues Jole and Jennifer) winning NSF grants; Michel becoming a fellow of the American Physical Society; and multiple other achievements and publications that are evident in the individual reports below. Graduate students too have been high achieving with travel grants from on and beyond campus, national fellowships (including Joe with a PACHS, Barbara with the German Historical Institute and Maggie with a FLAS), plus many student and faculty presentations at regional and national meetings. Do read through the newsletter and check the website itself for even more information about students and faculty, the colloquium, and the always evolving program. If you know of anyone who would like to join us for our conference scheduled for May, 2012, and tentatively titled “Fascinating Rhythms” relating to all aspects of biological rhythms (sometimes known as chronobiology) in plants, animals, and humans, please do let us know.

Seidel dinner

In May we had a farewell dinner with Bob Seidel, who has retired but promises to remain engaged with the program – indeed, our Friday colloquia would be less informed without his questions and comments. This coming year Rebecca Slayton will teach history of technology and Ivano will be back in the spring to teach the first half of the history of science survey; both will also teach a graduate seminar. We enjoy such visitors but are very much engaged in a tenure track search for a historian of the early modern physical sciences and encourage suggestions from all of you.

We have made plans for the UMN reception in the Blossom Room of the Renaissance Hotel at the History of Science Society meeting in Cleveland and look forward to seeing many of you there on Saturday night.

Best wishes,
Sally Gregory Kohlstedt

Photo of Director by Nancy A.Johnson

PHOTO: Bob and Chris Seidel at Bob's retirement dinner.

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HMed Director

History of Medicine

It's hard to pick a highlight from a year full of activities and accomplishments, but for bringing our colleagues from the far[ther]north to the Twin Cities, we'll nominate the Manitoba-Ontario-Minnesota-Saskatchewan History of Medicine conference (MOMS Day) we hosted in October. Among the other journeys we celebrated this year were Neal Holtan and Jacob Steere-Williams' Ph.D.s, medical student Vanessa Raabe's Osler Prize, Richard Parks' new job at the University of New Hampshire, Jacob Steere-Williams' and Cara Kinzelman's University dissertation fellowships, Matt McGeachy's Jacob Javits Fellowship and his dramaturgy internship at the Guthrie Theatre, John Eyler's presidency of the AAHM, and numerous other invited lectures, conference presentations, and awards.

Jole Shackelford's NSF grant on the history of chronobiology (with Sally Kohlstedt and myself) is producing a hive of activity across the HSTM program and has brought us Tulley Long from Johns Hopkins University as a post-doc. Tulley will be co-teaching a grad seminar on chronobiology with Sally and Jole, and working on a spring conference in addition to her own research. We're very glad to have her.

New courses are a theme in the program these days. Dominique Tobbell taught a new graduate seminar on "Disease and the Culture and Politics of Health" last spring and is preparing now for the faculty and graduate seminar she and Susan Craddock will teach next spring on "Pharmaceutical Geographies, Pharmaceutical Economies" in the Institute for Advanced Study. Jole pioneered an undergraduate research course for students writing senior theses (preferably on chronobiology). Alum Peter Kernahan has been working with the Nursing school to make some HMED courses available to nursing students on the Rochester campus via ITV. This fall I am reviving a graduate seminar on historical issues in public health and, as part of the NSF grant, collaborating with HST alum Karen Ross and colleagues at Troy University in Alabama to develop an interdisciplinary undergraduate course to teach history of science and medicine through the lens of biological clocks and rhythm studies. What undergrad could fail to be attracted by a course description that includes astronauts, vampires, and studies of why high school and college students should sleep late?

As the newsletter goes to press, Dominique has just received the cover art for her forthcoming book and notice that she won the Stanley Jackson Prize for the best article published in the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences in the last four years. Book manuscripts, fellowship and grant proposals are being generated in every HMED office on the 5th floor of Diehl. It promises to be a busy year.

Jennifer Gunn

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Brett Steele (1994)

Alexandria, VA

I got to spend this past year as an Associate Professor at the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University here in Washington, D.C. It was a very intense experience, given how the full-time students largely comprise senior military officers and security officials from all over the world. During the first semester, I taught two political science/international relations-oriented courses: Geostrategy and Origins of Conflict and War. As challenging as it was to get up to speed on some basic IR theories, I at least had fun using historical and economic insights to bring the issues down-to-earth for the students. And yes, we certainly enjoyed bouncing between using business and military reasoning. Perhaps my biggest surprise was the high professional and intellectual caliber of the students. A lot of them struggled with English language issues, but their willingness to grapple with complex issues, stay as objective as possible, and interact with a great deal of personal warmth and charm is something I will never forget. I also taught courses during the evening to part-time US students from Capitol Hill and the Department of Defense. They were a real pleasure to teach, as well, given the wealth of political and professional perspectives they shared. During the second semester, I taught the Strategic Thought class, where we marched through the classic strategy writings of Clausewitz, Mao, Lawrence, and Galula. Needless to say, the shear intellectual rigor of Mao's works, like "On Protracted War" was a real surprise, not to mention the business-like reasoning of Lawrence and Galula. I concluded this academic year with an evening course on cyber security strategy, where we got to bounce between business, engineering, and military perspectives. And yes, we got a lot of mileage out of the concept of technological determinism. Now that my formal teaching duties have ended for this year, I'm trying to finish writing my article on high-tech business economics for the journal Management Science. You can blame Arthur Norberg for pushing me down that track.


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John P. Jackson, Jr. (1997)

Boulder, CO

I see that in last year's entry to the HTSM Newsletter I promised to get a "significant chunk" of the book done during last year's sabbatical. Well, let's say I got a "chunk" done and not get too picky about the "significant" part. Given the slow progress on this book I think my hopes of catching up with Conway are fading.

That aside, the book is indeed progressing. Today, I'm sorting out a famous dispute between anthropologist Franz Boas and National Museum Curator Otis T. Mason on the proper arrangement of ethnological exhibits. It turns out that such a dispute is fraught with metaphysical, methodological, political, and financial consequences. Indeed, I've so confused myself that I'm thinking I may have to contact Professor Sally Kohlstedt. We never stop learning from our teachers.

On the family front our daughter Maggie is now a senior in high school (!) and is working toward her International Baccalaureate diploma. She was the only student in her high school to get 5/5 on her American History AP exam. Our son, Jack, is a high school freshman (!!). He has had the lead in two plays this summer: the title role in Hans Christian Anderson and Roger, the HIV positive rock star in Rent. Yes, he has that kind of range. He is also the funniest one in the family.

My wife, Michele founded and directs ASSETT ( which does all that stuff you wish the technology people at your university did but don't. Seriously, I describe what ASSETT does to people and they get this wistful look in their eyes and say, "I wish we had something like that!"

The whole family is still playing Zimbabwean marimba. The kids have each cut a CD and if you want to hear them play, let me know and I can sell you a copy of each. They are amazing players.

Hope to see people at the conferences. It amazes me to see what a force the "Minnesota Mafia" has become in the HSTM community. I am proud to be associated with you all.

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Chris Young (1997)

Milwaukee, WI

I spent the last year preparing for the ISHPSSB meeting in Salt Lake City, serving as program co-chair with Mark Largent. Thanks to the amazing local arrangements team for doing all the work we were unqualified and utterly incapable of doing, the meeting was a great success. We managed to chase rattlesnakes in the morning, drink coffee in the afternoon, and wander the streets at night without incident. Those of you who have collaborated with Mark in the past already know that my task was compounded by his input, but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I continue to teach introductory biology, evolution, and climate change courses at Alverno. The science education program has shifted fully to my shoulders with the retirement of a wonderful colleague who had single-handedly managed it for three decades or more. I can shrug only with considerable effort. I also spend a bit of time each week thinking about the history of ecology and the meaning of urban, suburban, and rural places as an alternative to wilderness. I'm always looking for good stories about unexpected wildlife encounters that transcend those boundaries.

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Mark Largent (1999)

East Lansing, MI

It's been a busy year for me. Last summer I was awarded tenure, and I've spent the better part of the year adjusting to being an associate professor. In the fall I ran the college's first year program, a very large lecture course in which we introduce our students to both the college and to the study of public policy. In the spring I had a complete release from teaching (it was, I realized, the first semester I had free of teaching (including summers) in eleven years ... and it was truly wonderful). I used the time to finish my book on the ongoing controversies over vaccinations and the concern by many parents that there is a link between vaccines and autism. The book will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press and will be out in early spring 2012. I hope to spend some time over the next couple of years giving talks on the book. So, if your department is looking for a speaker, please think of me. I also used spring semester to start on my next project, a history of Reye's Syndrome (Reye's is the reason why parents are today told that they should not every give their children medicines that contain aspirin). The Reye's project really has me excited, because it's a great story and because it raises several interesting issues.

This summer Chris Young and I organized the biannual meeting of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology in Salt Lake City. It was, by far, the biggest project Chris and I have undertaken thus far, and one of the most enjoyable.

This spring Brie and I (and Annabelle) got married in northern Michigan. It was a truly wonderful weekend, and Minnesota's faculty and alumni were well represented. We've spent the summer preparing for our next big adventure: a year in DC. I was awarded a AAAS fellowship to spend next year working at the NSF on a project to study and reform NSF's Living Stock Collections for Biological Research. It's an exciting project that will allow me to use my history training and my administrative experience at the same time. Annabelle and Brie are going with me to DC. We leave in mid-August, and we've found an apartment near the NSF so that while I'm working Brie and Annabelle can take advantage of all that DC has to offer. Annabelle is five now, and we think that this will be the perfect substitute for a traditional kindergarten experience.

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Michael Reidy (1999)

Bozeman, MT

This past year has been full of travel. I went to Indonesia for two weeks in May. What a crazy, crowded, beautiful country. We spent most of the time driving around central Java, getting lost, eating weird food (including a cobra) and experiencing the culture. Everyone smiles there, all the time. I also attempted to travel in the footsteps of Alfred Russel Wallace, with little success. No one seems to know who he is. I did at least see the Wallace Line between Lombok and Bali, though it turns out there is no actual line. I also traveled to Switzerland for three weeks in August, for my second attempt to climb the Weisshorn, first climbed by John Tyndall on 19 August 1861, exactly 150 years prior to our attempt. I participated in the Tyndall celebrations at the Weisshornhutte and even gave a short talk about his first ascent, which no one understood because I gave it in English. I also managed to travel out West to southern Utah, with my sister, brother and his family. We hiked as many slot canyons as we could find between Arches and Zion. Back at Montana State, I also hosted a group of fifteen students from twelve countries in the Middle East for the month of July, part of a State Department Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). Occurring as it did in the middle of the Arab Spring, it was quite an amazing experience. I was surprised that, irrespective of social class or denominations, Sunni or Shia, all the students were supportive of the revolutions in their countries. Many had been arrested, thrown out of university, or otherwise experienced firsthand the call to reform. The MEPI program will take me to Jordan next March, so I will once again be able to hear the call to prayer.

Work stuff is going on as usual. I am still running the John Tyndall Correspondence Project, the third year of a three-year NSF grant. We have a final workshop and conference this coming June in Bozeman, where all the editors of the volumes will come to Montana to fly-fish, ride horses, raft the Gallatin River, and hopefully do a little work. The first volume of Tyndall’s correspondence should appear in 2013. I will have a chapter published about Tyndall’s agnosticism in a forthcoming edited volume about evolutionary naturalism, and I published two articles on J. D. Hooker and his mountaineering experiences in the Himalaya, one in Knowing Global Environments: New Historical Perspectives on the Field Sciences, edited by Jeremy Vetter, and the other, a more popular account, published in the Alpinist Magazine. I am slowly but surely amassing enough material to finish my book project on mountaineering and science.

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Tania Munz (2000)

Chicago, IL

Greetings from Chicago! It's been exactly a year since I moved back from Berlin, and I'm about to start my second year as the Science in Human Culture/History Department post-doc at Northwestern University. I'm enjoying being back in the US and have once again fallen in love with Chicago (although I miss walking along the Spree River every day!).

Last year, I offered courses in "History of the Environment" and the "Modern Science and Medicine" quarter of the History of Science survey. This fall I will for the first time co-teach a course with a biologist called "Biological Thought and Action" as part of a larger NU Howard Hughes initiative to support undergraduate interest in biology. In the spring, I'll be offering the early modern quarter of the history of science survey (which means I'll have to dig out my notes from my days as Alan Shapiro's TA!). I have an article on Konrad Lorenz's geese coming out in the November issue of Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences and plan to finish the book manuscript by the end of the year. In the spring I’m also helping to organize the first Midwest regional STS conference at Northwestern, for which I hope to see some Minnesotans as well! In the meantime, I look forward to seeing everyone at HSS in November.

In other news, we are enjoying life in the Bucktown neighborhood and have recently added a big sweet greyhound Leo to the mix.

See you in Cleveland!

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Al Martinez (2001)

Austin, TX


Hi everyone, all's pretty well in Austin, despite some record-breaking heat-- I'm looking forward to visiting the U of M soon, to give a talk on September 23. Great news: my new book came out at the beginning of the summer: Science Secrets: The Truth About Darwin's Finches, Einstein's Wife, and Other Myths: It's about the evolution of myths in history of science. Now of course, these days it's ridiculously difficult and unlikely to get a university press to publish a new book at a good price, but luckily some factors came together so that Science Secrets is now at the incredibly low price of $14.67 on Amazon, despite being jacketed hardcover, 344 pages and illustrated, so do give it a look! It analyzes classic stories about Galileo, Darwin, Einstein, Ben Franklin and others. Here's an interview about it: Also, the University of Pittsburgh Press, chose Science Secrets as its lead book so I was very happy to see it on page one of their spring catalog. Unfortunately, Oprah ended her show so there will be no daytime TV interview. In the meantime, I also posted online one of the chapters of my book on Einstein's relativity, and I added a great collection of images, photographs, and links to primary sources: That's it for now, keep up the good fight, I hope to see you when I visit and do look me up if you happen to be in Austin.

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Kevin Francis (2002)

Olympia, WA

I'm writing on my way back from Ishkebibble conference in Salt Lake City, where I had a chance to reconnect with lots of Minnesota folks, attended some great sessions, and presented a talk on late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions.

My work at Evergreen State College continues to be a good fit. I'm wrapping up my third and final year as coordinator for the Scientific Inquiry planning unit, which is like being the head of the quasi-department that houses most of the natural scientists at Evergreen. In the course of this work, I got to know Evergreen's faculty better and learned a lot about what it takes to help faculty develop an organic curriculum during a time of shrinking budgets. Phew.

Last year I was part of a team-taught course, Foundations of Health Science, with two of my favorite colleagues. Our theme was "top ten killers." They taught biology and chemistry pertinent to each disease while I taught bioethics, history of medicine, and writing. In the winter we had a required 10 hour/week internship, which meant helping some 60 students find volunteer spots with health care practitioners or organizations related to their academic or professional interests. It's a headache, especially at the beginning of the quarter, but it's very rewarding to hear about their experiences at the end of the quarter.

I'm gearing up for a new team-taught program in the coming year. I'll be teaching Animal Morphology, Motion, and Mind with a fish biologist and an animator. For me that means history of evolutionary biology and animal behavior, and working on some animation assignments alongside the students. My partner, Tom, has already plotted several animation projects starring our chihuahua that are, I'm sure, far more ambitious than either skill or time will allow.

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Karin Matchett (2002)

Minneapolis, MN

I've been working as a science editor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the U of M for six years, and 2010-11 has been a series of steps toward leaving that job—great as it was—and expanding into a freelance life. I'll be there by the time you read this. In a way, I'm returning to my pre-HST traveling days, only with more skills and a broader mind (and rusty Spanish). I've been taking on new projects of a few different types. I'm continuing to do biomedical editing (grants and manuscripts); I'm designing web sites, in particular, portfolio sites for (thus far) a writer, editor, translator, woodworker, and therapist. (What's after therapists?) I'm doing book editing—proofreading (the final stage), substantive editing (a deep read of a draft), and developmental editing (structuring the book). And—this was the main point of quitting my job—I'm focusing more on writing on renewable energy and energy efficiency, because life's too short not to take a direct stab at this foundational problem around us. I find that being a historian of science/technology among people discussing peak oil and the other "peaks" to be fascinating. It turns out that some people don't grasp the concept of contingency, while, conversely, others don't understand momentum in history and technology. I am looking for the next research project, and I've brought up the "traveling road show" concept to a friend of mine who's a specialist in the economic and social aspects of energy efficiency… I'm splitting my time between Minnesota and SE Iowa these days, but I'm around Minneapolis much of the time and I'd love to see you if you're passing through town!

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David Sepkoski (2002)

Wilmington, NC

I was on leave for the entire academic year 2010-11, which I spent in Chicago as a visiting scholar at the U of C. Mostly, it was a great chance to spend time with my daughter, Ella (who just turned 8), and to remember what living in a real city feels like. I also found time, though, to hang out with folks in history and philosophy of science, and I even made it to the library once or twice. The main scholarly accomplishment was to finally finish my book on the history of paleobiology, which will be out this coming spring. Look for proofs at the U of Chicago Press table at HSS!

I was glad to see many current and former Minnesota people at various meetings, the highlight of which was the ISHPSSB meeting in Salt Lake City, where Mark Largent and Chris Young organized a great program. Nice job, guys (although I look forward to meeting in a place where it's easier to get full-strength beer)! I'm spending this fall semester at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, so let me know if you're passing through. Otherwise, hope to see everyone at HSS in Cleveland.

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Jay Aronson (2003)

Pittsburgh, PA

The past year has been an extremely exciting one for me. The biggest news is that Tamara and I welcomed our third child into the world on March 10, 2011. Big brother Ezra (6) and big sister Talia (almost 4) greeted Maayan Orli with more love and enthusiasm than I could ever have imagined. We can't wait to see their relationship develop over time. Career-wise things have exceeded expectations as well. In January 2011, I was awarded a $1.2 million grant from NIH to undertake a comprehensive 3-year examination of the ethical and political dimensions of the identification of missing people in post-conflict and post-disaster contexts. Case studies include: Argentina, Bosnia, Cambodia, Chile, Guatemala, post-Hurricane Katrina Louisiana, Iraq, Rwanda, and the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, among others. This project has been tremendously rewarding so far. In addition, I also recently founded the Center for Human Rights Science here at Carnegie Mellon, which aims to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration in order to promote the development and application of scientific methods for collecting, analyzing, and communicating human rights information. I'm up for tenure this fall, so hopefully I'll have good news to report on that front in the 2012 newsletter. In the meantime, best wishes to all of my Minnesota friends and colleagues for a happy, healthy, and productive year.

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Ioanna Semendeferi (2003)

Houston, TX

I hope all of you are doing fine. I am okay as well. I continue teaching at the University of Houston "Ethics in Science" during fall and "Science and Society in 20th Century America" during spring. Recently, in collaboration with some other colleagues here at UH, we got an NSF grant to develop new teaching methods for science ethics.

During the summer, I spent some time in France and some time in Greece. I attach a picture of me at my favorite spot in Paris -- I am in love with this city. I also stayed for a while in the islands of Paxos and Antipaxos at the Ionian Sea. I highly recommend a visit there when you get the chance -- literally, a paradise. Sorry for the sunglasses in the picture -- but I think they do a pretty good job in covering the "aging process of my beauty" :-). See you all in Cleveland! My UMN email still works fine.

PHOTO: Paris!

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John Gustafson (2004)

Madison, WI

Greetings from Fitzwalkerstan! Events this past winter in Madison have been most historic, and for me at times both energizing and ominous. Semi-retired as I am, I was able to attend the rallies in and around the Capitol Building several times this past winter and spring. In addition, I continue part-time teaching of a few basic math courses at the local tech college.

When not protesting or teaching, I continue to pursue history of physics research projects, and am making progress on two future articles related to Arnold Sommerfeld. Regular chats with other historians of science here in Madison have improved my focus, but I still suffer under the attention span of a gnat. My current focus and writing project is not history of science, but still an immensely attractive and stimulating one. I am intent on producing a brief biography of my Finnish immigrant grandfather who came to this country in 1902, hopefully to be completed in time for my mother’s 100th birthday celebration in late August…yes, only a few weeks away at the time of this update for the HSci Newsletter. Mom has led an amazing life these past 100 years, which may someday become the subject of another writing project. Here she is with her parents Gust and Hilda in far northern Wisconsin, age about six months during the winter of 1912.


PHOTO: John's mother and grandparents winter of 1912

Karen and I continue to enjoy Madison while simultaneously missing Knife River, Minnesota, where we still plan to retire in about three years. In the meantime, Karen is too busy with the work she loves, and I am still trying to figure out how to retire from a profession I never had.

Drop in whenever your travels take you to Madison!

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Don Opitz (2004)

Chicago, IL

I’m pleased to report the volume on scientific couples, now co-edited by yours truly, is under contract with Birkhäuser. In addition to the heavy demands of the editorial work, I’ve continued on my project concerning British women in 19th-century horticultural science, with an installment forthcoming in Isis (in…2013!). Moreover, my year as a Humanities Center Fellow at DePaul provided a wonderful context within which to think about and discuss my book project on Victorian aristocratic science. Funded by the fellowship, in spring I traveled to British archives and gave a talk on the "Victoria" lily naming controversy to Cambridge’s Cabinet of Natural History; I am still absorbing the insightful feedback from the Cabinet participants. Topping off what seemed like a blur of a year, in late July I had a wonderful time catching up with various Minnesota alums at ISHPSSB in Salt Lake City. There I participated in a well-received roundtable, organized by Georgina Montgomery and Marsha Richmond, on teaching gender and biology.

The best news, of course, is that my partner Cliff McReynolds was accepted into Loyola University’s Ph.D. program in Research Methodology in the School of Education…fully funded! He begins this fall. To celebrate, we reorganized our tiny condo to upgrade our study space. At the same time, we expanded our sleeping accommodations for would-be guests. All are welcome.

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Paul Brinkman (2005)

Raleigh, NC


I attended a great conference on history of dinosaur paleontology in Paris, in May, hosted by the Société Géologique de France (see photo). There I was pleased to meet a number of European colleagues whose work I have been reading and citing for years. I also gave a well-received talk on vertebrate paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope that never would have played with another, less-specialized audience. This was my first visit to continental Europe and it exceeded my very high expectations. I only wish I had worked a little longer and harder on that reading French class I took at UMN!

I have recently started working on a new book tentatively called: Gone to Patagonia: A History of the Captain Marshall Field Paleontological Expeditions to Argentina and Bolivia, 1922-1927, a project which remains in the grant-raising stage for now. In early 2012, however, I’m taking an American Philosophical Society-funded trip to visit some field sites in Argentina and Bolivia. I also made a research trip to Chicago in May-June, which was my first extended archival visit since my dissertation research ended in 2004. While in Chicago I spent a half-day book shopping and catching-up with David Sepkoski.

Sales of my previous book, The Second Jurassic Dinosaur Rush, have been sluggish. If there’s a person in your life who already has everything, it is very likely that he or she does not have this title, which makes an excellent gift. Think about it.

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Georgina Montgomery (2005)

East Lansing, MI


2010-2011 was a life changing year for me. My daughter Olivia (Olly for short) was born in October 2010. After spending the fall on family leave, I returned to teach two new classes, including a gender and evolution course. This summer I gave two presentations at ISHPSSB including one for a session on teaching gender and science that I co-organized with Marsha Richmond. This fall Making Animal Meaning, the book I co-edited with Linda Kalof based on 10 papers presented at my 2009 Animals conference, will be published with MSU press. The fall also holds two international trips to give papers, one at Paris and one at Toronto. With such a start in life, Olly is destined to be a globetrotter!

PHOTO: Daughter Olivia

I send all my UMN colleagues my best wishes and look forward to seeing you at HSS in Cleveland.

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James Satter (2005)

Minneapolis, MN

Since January 2007 I've worked as a website content strategist--still at Augsburg Fortress but with an emphasis on XHTML/XML tagging, metadata, and website functionality testing. It's a good fit for me. The field is interdisciplinary, and my coursework in the history of science and technology has been very helpful (if indirectly).

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Olivia Walling (2005)

Santa Barbara, CA

I am a lecturer with a joint appointment in the Writing Program and the School of Engineering at the University of California in Santa Barbara. I teach scientific and legal writing and engineering ethics, and my research interests include the development and use of written feedback on student work and topics in ethics and technology. I have been at UCSB since 2005.

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Ronald Frazzini (2006)

Plymouth, MN

I'll teach a class in January for the Graduate Liberal Studies program at Metropolitan State focusing broadly on society and technology. I've also proposed two other courses on technology and democracy, and society and technology design from a business perspective. I'll present a paper on mentoring at an October conference at the University of New Mexico, and have been hired to formulate a nationwide program on mentoring for the Phi Kappa Psi social fraternity. We've traveled to Italy with the family, and spent some time in the mountains of Colorado this summer.

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Susan Rensing (2006)

Oshkosh, WI

Last year, I presented at HSS Montreal on "Falling in Love Intelligently: Eugenic Love in the Progressive Era" and also gave a brown bag research talk at UW Oshkosh on eugenic marriage laws in Wisconsin. I'm excited to teach the history senior seminar on marriage and reproduction in the Spring. The highlight of my summer was getting out on the lakes in my new kayak and camping on Rock Island.

PHOTO: Camping on Rock Island

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Karen Ross (2006)

Troy, AL

I am looking forward to my fourth year here at Troy University in southeast Alabama. The department is undergoing some changes, including a new chair and several new faculty members, and we are especially busy as we begin the long process of establishing a new master's program in history. Working as the Phi Alpha Theta faculty advisor has kept me busy this summer as our students launch a new history journal, The Alexandrian, to debut in January of 2012. This will be a combined student/faculty run journal that will highlight student research from Troy's many campuses.

I am also working on a new course for next spring, when two Troy colleagues and I will teach an interdisciplinary course on chronobiology as part of the larger NSF project headed by Jole Shackelford, Sally Kohlstedt, and Jennifer Gunn. We are looking forward to collaborating on this project!

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Betty van Meer (2006)

Charleston, SC

I am in an additional year at the College of Charleston, where I enjoy teaching special topics courses and surveys. Since our last newsletter, I published "'The Nation is Technological:' Technical Expertise and National Competition in the Bohemian Lands, 1800-1914" in Expert Cultures in Central Eastern Europe: The Internationalization of Knowledge and the Transformation of Nation States since World War I, edited by Kohlraush, Wiederkehr, and Steffen. Also, this Spring I travelled to Prague and London to present on a new project, together with American and European colleagues, concerning the international history of one of the first European global consumer goods manufacturers (The Bat'a Shoe Company).

Best wishes and let me know if you are in the area!

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Margot Iverson (2007)

Washington, DC/Boston, MA

During my second year working at the Institute of Medicine (part of the National Academy of Sciences), I have been working as a program officer for a study on the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder in active-duty service members and veterans. I have been travelling to military bases and VA medical centers and I have been learning a lot about contemporary mental health research and the American military. This study was requested by Congress in 2010, and the preliminary report will be released in July 2012. I am enjoying the work and I hope the report will have a positive impact in the lives of veterans. And this year Josh and I became engaged and we are enjoying planning our January wedding in Washington, DC. About a year ago Josh moved to Boston for a job, and so we have spent the past year commuting back and forth, but starting in a few weeks we will be living together in Boston and I will be telecommuting to my job and travelling to DC twice a month.

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Hyung Wook Park (2008)

Ulsan, Korea

I am spending my summer filled with administrative duties, stuff to write, and preparation for the upcoming workshop on the history of bigerontology at Arizona State University. I have been quite productive this year. One paper has been published in the Korean Journal of Medical History, and the other is going to be published soon in the website for the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences before it is actually published in print (perhaps next year?). I also am organizing a "history of science undergraduate student group" here at UNIST. Since they seem to be quite interested in the history of science, perhaps some of them may choose to study it further in a graduate school. I hope to meet with everybody again at Cleveland where the 4S, HSS, PSA joint meeting will be held in November.

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Suzanne Fischer (2009)

Detroit, MI

I've spent much of the past two years working on an enormous 80,000 sq ft exhibit on automotive history at the Henry Ford Museum, which will, God willing, open in early 2012. In the course of curating my sections of the exhibit, I've learned more about gas pumps, early driving clothes, turbine engines and cyclecars than I ever anticipated. I'll certainly be relieved when it opens and I have a chance not only to work on my own collections, but also to breathe and sleep and make pickles and so on. I'm also excited to speak at a conference on the public history of science and technology at the University of South Carolina this fall.

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Rachel Mason Dentinger (2009)

Richmond, Surrey U.K.

It's been almost a year since Oban, Bryn, and I moved to London. We enjoy living near Kew Gardens, where Bryn works and where I can often be found chasing around our toddler, in hopes of keeping him out of the many flowerbeds and ponds. At one and half, Oban is very mobile and very verbal, if not always intelligible. However, he does say "chip" quite clearly, since that is the snack he always gets when mummy and daddy take him to the pub for a pint. He also uses quite a bit of sign language, and he has perfected the signs for "train" and for "mushroom," which is all he really needs, since those signs cover both his own and his father's obsessions (respectively).

Working at Kew has provided new field research opportunities for Bryn, and sometimes Oban and I are lucky enough to travel along with him. Earlier this year, we spent a month in Borneo, exploring Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak. You can read about some of our adventures in Borneo on my blog, I have included a photo here of Oban and me on a rainforest canopy walkway at Gunung Mulu.

I enjoyed seeing everyone at HSS in Montreal last November. I was lucky enough to present in the company of a great group of scholars in the session, "Controlling Life," which Nathan Crowe and I organized as a tribute to the ideas of Phil Pauly. I am preparing that paper, as well as other parts of my dissertation, for publication, though the eventual goal of a book manuscript still seems distant. I continue to work for the Tyndall Correspondence Project in various capacities, including some recent trips to the Royal Society to collect more letters, which I enjoyed very much. In addition to these academic pursuits, I am working to make use of my scientific travels, in conjunction with my training in biology and the history of biology, to find opportunities to write about science in the popular sphere.

PHOTO: With Oban on a rainforest canopy walkway at Gunung Mulu

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Gina Rumore (2009)

St. Louis Park, MN

This past year has been a hard one for our family. On June 4, my husband of nearly 10 years, Sean McQuillen, passed away after a very brief battle with cancer. He started feeling ill in mid-March; we got a diagnosis on May 2. I chronicled our story at I am now learning how to be a single mother of two very young and very energetic girls, Anneke (4) and Marlo (18 months). For the most part they are doing wonderfully, which makes my job a lot easier. To all of you who have brought food, sent kind cards and supported us in so many ways, thank you.

Professionally, the past year was fairly productive. In June I finished a two-year post-doc in the Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior Department at the University of Minnesota. My research from this project provided material for two talks I gave on the history of the Long-Term Ecology Research Network (LTER), one at the Columbia History of Science Group annual meeting and one at the American Society for Environmental History annual meeting. It is my goal in the next year to turn both of these talks into publishable papers. I am also hoping to continue working with a group from the LTER Network focusing on arts and humanities at the LTER sites. And, if I ever get the energy to review my proofs, I will have an article derived from my dissertation appearing in the Journal of the History of Biology in the near future (online first, of course).

As for my plans for the near future, I will be teaching "Science and American Culture" at the University of Minnesota this fall and taking as much time as I can to figure out a new direction for my life. It is not easy, but I have the very great fortune of having an amazing group of friends, colleagues and family to stand by my girls and me on this journey.

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Adrian Fischer (2010)

Minneapolis, MN

Another year has passed and I am still in Minnesota – who would have thought. I still enjoy my work at the Bakken Museum very much. Highlights of last year include the finishing up of a deaccession project, the development of an exhibition that shows illustrations from Athanasius Kircher’s Magnes, sive de arte magnetica, and the opening of an exhibition on the history of the house which is now the Bakken Museum. Working with visiting researchers lets me now experience the two-way aspect of research – making the collection available to scholars and, through their specific insights, learning about the collection at the same time. In this respect it will be of great help to get a new and improved searchable online catalog of the instrument collection up and running, which will be completed by the end of the year. It is also a lot of fun to collaborate with colleagues who teach classes in the HSTM Program at the UofM – for some strange reason students once in a while enjoy a break from the usual classroom atmosphere to learn about the history of technology by examining real artifacts.

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Amy Fisher (2010)

Boulder, CO

Greetings from Boulder, CO! Last fall, I successfully defended my dissertation, and my husband and I moved to Colorado. Since then, I have continued in a volunteer capacity at the Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics, co-organizing a conference in the history of the physical sciences. I have also been teaching at a local community college, and taking a few short research trips. This year, I will be taking a one-semester leave as a short-term Dibner Research Fellow at the Huntington Library. Having never been to California, I’m looking forward to it.

PHOTO: Amy and Sean

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Peter Kernahan (2010)

St. Paul, MN

My co-author and I are completing the manuscript for a centennial history of the American College of Surgeons, with an anticipated publication date of October 2012. I've recently become an assistant professor in Integrative Biology and Physiology at the University of Minnesota. I'll again be teaching in History of Medicine and the Honors Program this year.

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Joris Vandendriessche (2010)

Leuven, Belgium


It is hard to believe a year has passed since I finished my MA degree in August 2010, turning me into an HSTM Alumnus. At the time, however, there was little time to reflect as I returned rather chaotically back to Belgium. In Belgium, I started as a PhD student in the graduate program at the History Department of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), more precisely at the Research Unit Cultural History After 1750. A fellowship from the Scientific Fund Flanders (FWO) provided adequate funding for the previous year and will continue to do so for the next year, allowing me to fully commit to my doctoral research on the history of medical societies in Belgium during the nineteenth century.

With the support of my advisor Prof. Kaat Wils (University of Leuven) and co-advisor Prof. Frank Huisman (Utrecht University and Maastricht University) I was able to refine the scope of my research, focusing more closely on the urban and scientific character of these medical societies. In addition to visiting city archives in search of relevant materials, I also submitted an article on school hygiene and the Antwerp medical society in the late nineteenth century to Stadsgeschiedenis and presented papers outlining my research in Kerkrade and Nijmegen (both in the Netherlands). Currently I'm looking forward to attending a summer school on historicisation in medical history in Bergen, Norway, and giving a paper at the EAHMH Conference, hosted by the Descartes Center in Utrecht in early September.

PHOTO: Ghent, Belgium

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Neal Holtan (2011)

Golden Valley, MN

I defended my dissertation on May 6th, 2011, and was awarded the Ph.D. degree on May 31st, 2011. The title of my dissertation was "Eugenics to Public Health Genetics in Mid-Twentieth Century Minnesota." I am grateful to my advisor, Jennifer Gunn, and committee members David Klaassen, Sally Kohlstedt, Jennifer Alexander, and John Eyler for their support and encouragement.

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Jacob Steere-Williams (2011)

Minneapolis, MN

I am happy to say that I successfully defended my dissertation at the end of April. Highlighting the post-dissertation bliss was a fly-in trip to a remote fishing lodge in northern Ontario with family and friends. What next? Apart from the full-time job of looking for an academic post, I will be teaching the history of disease course- HMED 3040 in the fall. I also received a research grant from the Wellcome Institute in London to take three short trips in the next several months to South Africa, Australia, and India. My new research is taking an 'imperial' turn.

PHOTO: Fishing in northern Ontario

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HSTM Faculty

PHOTO: HSTM Faculty and Staff at Bob's retirement dinner
Front row: Jole Shackelford, Roger Stuewer, Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, Bob Seidel, Tom Misa
Middle row: Ivano dal Prete, Alan Shapiro, Michel Janssen, Barbara Eastwold
Back row: Dominique Tobbell, Susan Jones, Jennifer Gunn, Jennifer Alexander

Jennifer Alexander (HST)

I am at work on a book manuscript on the Technology and Social Justice Movement in Europe following World War II, which follows the efforts of a group of engineers, theologians, and social activists to reshape European society in the wake of technological and social disaster. This fall I am offering a seminar on Theories of Technological Change, and developing a seminar on Technology and Religion, to be offered next year or the year after. I spent the summer in the mountains of Wyoming, cooking on a wood stove and reading by lamplight.

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Mark Borrello (HST)

I spent most of the year glued to the Amazon rankings of Evolutionary Restraints and watching it swing wildly up and down (bad for your mental health). I also managed to get some work done and am really enjoying my collaboration with Mike Travisano, Ford Denison and Will Ratcliff on the Experimental Evolution of Multicellularity. We organized two sessions on the project at the ISHPSSB meeting in Salt Lake this summer and the response was terrific so we're planning an edited volume. I also just took over from Mark Largent as book review editor for The Journal of the History of Biology so you can all look forward to pleading and pestering emails from me about book reviews.

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John Eyler (HMed, Emeritus)

I continue to enjoy an active retirement advising my few remaining graduate students, doing research on the history of epidemiology, and serving my second and final year as President of the American Association for the History of Medicine. But all is not work. Music, travel, entertaining friends, and reading occasionally without taking notes continue to provide much joy. I have also found time to restore my Grandfather’s Model A Ford, and, on those lovely, sunny Northwest evenings, can sometimes be found puttering along back roads at 35 mph.

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Jennifer Gunn (HMed)

What's not to like about sabbatical? I had a wonderful time as a visiting professor at the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare at Glasgow Caledonian University and University of Strathclyde. February to April may not be the months that attract the most tourists to Glasgow and the Orkney Islands, but having colleagues who are working on rural health and medicine in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland more than compensates for gray skies and cold rain. The research I did at Michigan Tech, the Clendening Library at KUMC, the National Archives branch at Kansas City, and the National Library of Medicine, as well as the comparative work in Scotland, have broadened my rural medicine study in exciting ways and laid the groundwork for two more projects. Writing at my friend Lyn Schumaker’s house on Westray, Orkney (pop. 600) was an immersion in rural life and isolation (post-internet, however). Since I’ve been back, teaching is occupying a lot of my attention: working with Karen Ross and colleagues at Troy University on their undergraduate course focusing on the history of chronobiology, and teaching a new graduate seminar in the history of public health. New topics and new energy.

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Michel Janssen (HST)

This past year was my first year as our program's DGS. It was definitely a challenge but I did well enough to continue for another three years. Although recruiting is done by the faculty as a whole, I take special pride as DGS in the incoming class that we recruited for this year. As historian of physics I am pleased that two of the five new students are interested in my area. The Department of Philosophy made a senior hire this year that will also help strengthen history of physics here at the U. My countryman Jos Uffink, who joins the Department of Philosophy this year, is interested both in philosophy and in history of physics. This summer I visited Tony Duncan, my collaborator in history of quantum mechanics, in Barcelona. Despite doing a fair amount of sightseeing, we made good progress on our paper on the early development of the statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics in papers published in 1927 by Pascual Jordan and John von Neumann. I also travelled to Washington DC this summer and gave a talk at a conference co-organized by Joe Martin and Amy Fisher on continuity and discontinuity in the development of the physical sciences. I introduced a metaphor I borrowed from research on origins of life to capture this dichotomy: arches and scaffoldings. I'm considering combining a few case studies seen from the point of view of that metaphor and make that into a book. But first I need to finally finish The Cambridge Companion to Einstein.

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Susan Jones (HST)

This past year, I was on my first sabbatical. In October 2010, I published my second book, Death in a Small Package: A Short History of Anthrax. This was a fascinating project, not least because I was finishing it as "Amerithrax" (the investigation of the 2001 anthrax letters) was continuing and, eventually, concluding. This put me in the position (unusual for a historian) of having to scramble to update the book manuscript as new information emerged. In April 2010, I was invited to join experts from the FBI and the microbial genomics communities who had worked on "Amerithrax" for a panel discussion at the American Society for Microbiology’s annual meeting. History is important: since the adoption of the Biological Weapons Convention in the 1970s, research on weaponized anthrax has been prohibited and historical information is very relevant today. I'm looking forward to more lectures to various audiences in the coming year on this topic.

I spent most of my sabbatical year getting my new research project off the ground, a history of disease ecology that uses the third pandemic of bubonic plague as its case study. I've been fortunate to win National Science Foundation funding to pursue this project over the next 3 years—I'll keep you posted on how it develops, I'm excited about it. Meanwhile, I will be coordinating the first-year graduate students' Historiography course and teaching history of ecology, environmentalism, and disease. I'm glad to welcome our first graduate student from the Descartes Centre at the University of Utrecht, Floor Haalboom, who will be taking courses with our students this fall and studying the history of zoonotic diseases with me. Finally, I continue to serve as the co-president of the World Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine—our most recent world congress was held in Antalya, Turkey, in September 2010.

PHOTO: Taken at the WAHVM congress

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Sally Gregory Kohlstedt (HST)

Now in my third year directing the program and teaching the usual array of courses, including a new seminar on chronobiology with Jole and our NSF post-doc, Tulley Long, I have been able to sandwich in some research as well. Teaching Children Science is now being reviewed but has a couple of spin-off articles, one on science in print culture (considering how print was used with hands-on materials) and the other on educational practices in museums in the early twentieth century, that are on their way to print. The latter is an outcome of a three-year workshop on women "Beyond the Academy" at the Max Planck in Berlin. An Isis reader, The American Century, edited with David Kaiser apparently will be out in 2012. In August I was co-convener of a lively and successful workshop on "Europe-Migration-Identity" with the German Historical Institute, held on campus in conjunction with our Immigration History Research Center. Some colleagues kindly nominated me and I have been named the UMN Ada Comstock Distinguished Women's Scholar for 2012; the prize is that I must give a public lecture in October, which gives me an opportunity to talk about past and current research on women and science.

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Tom Misa (HST)

This summer Johns Hopkins brought out the second edition of Leonardo to the Internet, with an entirely new chapter on technology and systemic risk -- a post-2001 treatment of unsustainable energy, insecure information, and vulnerable global shipping. At CBI, we are in the final year of our assessment of NSF's FastLane system, the topic of my SHOT/SIGCIS plenary lecture in Cleveland. This September we started a new three-year project on the history of computer security, developed in close cooperation with an advisory committee of experts in the field.

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Robert Seidel (HST, Emeritus)

I am not an active scholar, although I am revising a book for publication by Johns Hopkins University Press, plan to finish volume II of an LBL history, write up the history of computing in high-energy physics in book form, and finish my history of chemical industry while in my retirement.

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Jole Shackelford (HMed)

I attended two workshops at The Marine Biology Laboratory at Woods Hole in May, one on the history of cell biology and another on HPS Informatics (along with Frazier, Nathan, and Michel Jansen). This summer I spent three weeks doing research in Sweden on Sweden's early involvement in chronobiological research. And now Sally, our new postdoc Tulley Long, and I are gearing up for our seminar in the history of chronobiology this fall.

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Dominique Tobbell (HMed)

Last summer I finished my book manuscript, Pills, Power, and Policy: The Struggle for Drug Reform in Cold War America and its Consequences. It will be published by the University of California Press/Milbank Series on Health and the Public in spring 2012. With the book out of the way, I spent the fall semester developing a new graduate course on disease history titled, Disease and the Culture and Politics of Health, which I taught in the spring. I also continued to make good progress on the Academic Health Center Oral History Project, aided by my first ever research assistant, Eli Vitulli, a graduate student in American Studies. Undoubtedly, having Eli on the project increased my productivity significantly. Over the course of the year I interviewed faculty from the schools of Nursing, Medicine, and of Public Health, and the College of Veterinary Medicine, while Eli conducted interviews with some of the founder’s of the medical school’s Program in Human Sexuality. As of June 2011, we’ve completed 41 interviews! I also ramped up my competitive judo this year. In the spring I competed in an elite national tournament in Chicago, where I beat the number two ranked and number five ranked players in my division to take first place. I’m now ranked eight nationally in my weight division. This summer I begin work on my new book project, a comparative history of the development and administration of state-funded academic health centers, spending a week at UCLA’s archives. In this new project I’ll document the intersections of the education, training, clinical care, and research functions of state-funded AHCs like the University of Minnesota’s and UCLA’s with state health care policy. I’m also spending time preparing for an Institute of Advanced Study Faculty Seminar that I’ll co-teach in spring 2012 with Susan Craddock from Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. The seminar, which will be open to both graduate students and faculty, is titled Pharmaceutical Geographies, Pharmaceutical Economies and examines the emergence and persistence of global disparities in the manufacture, distribution, regulation, and consumption of pharmaceuticals.

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Frazier Benya (HST)

This year has been a busy one but I have made lots of progress toward my dissertation and completed my master’s degree in bioethics. Last fall I wrote my first chapter of my dissertation, received a Thesis Research Grant from the Graduate School and finished my work on the project. In January, I joined the History of Chronobiology project as the RA and began work on creating a website for the project team. Later in the spring I attended a conference on Stem Cell Ethics in Canada as part of my research on my master’s in bioethics. Toward the end of the spring I conducted my oral history project with early scholars in bioethics and completed the last of my dissertation research travel. I also had the opportunity to attend the first Informatics Seminar for History and Philosophy of Biology at Woods Hole in May. At the beginning of the summer I began work on another chapter of my dissertation and presented that work at the ISHPSSB conference in July in Salt Lake City. At the end of the summer I finished my master's thesis and got a JOB! I am now working at the National Academies of Engineering in Washington D.C., in their Center for Engineering, Ethics, and Society. I am a Program Officer there and will be working part-time till I finish my dissertation in June and then I will be full time!

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Kristína Černeková (HST)

I am starting my fourth year in the HSTM program and currently preparing for my oral exams which I plan to take this fall. My interests lie in the history of mathematics and the popular and advanced opportunities for education in mathematics, particularly in the early modern period.

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Maggie Charleroy (HMed)

This past year I began a research assistant position at the Minnesota Population Center (MPC) with the IPUMS-USA/CPS project, continuing the affiliation I established with a 2009-2010 Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship at the MPC. I plan to continue in the position through the 2011-2012 academic year. While at the MPC I have been appointed to the seminar series committee and elected to the MPC Board and am looking forward to my new responsibilities.

I have also been an active member of the Twin Cities Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) chapter, where I was elected to a board position this summer. I have been busy planning a PBK event at the Wangensteen Historical Library for this coming fall.

Finally, of course, I continue work on my dissertation, which focuses on healthcare and medicine in late nineteenth century and early twentieth century American prisons.

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Jonathan Clemens (HST)

I've managed to survive another year of graduate school and seem to be doing alright (knock on wood). I attended two conferences, had an article accepted for publication, and broadened my understanding of the history of science by taking a couple of classes outside of my expertise. I TAed for the first time last year and really enjoyed the experience. I'm looking forward to doing it again in the future. For the time being, however, I've been lucky enough to be offered a research assistant position at the Charles Babbage Institute. The work is interesting and is funding me as I take (a daunting but rewarding) year's worth of Japanese language classes during the summer and (hopefully) proceed towards finishing my exams during the next school year.

On the personal front, I moved to Nordeast Minneapolis and it is awesome. I've also made a hesitant foray into fishing this summer and have had marginal success through the grace of my girlfriend Michele, who is kind enough to take fish off of the hook for me because I am afraid of their spiny fins.

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Nathan Crowe (HST)

Well, it looks like my time in Minneapolis has come to an end. Starting October 1st, I will begin a three-year NSF postdoc working on the Embryo Project at the Center for Biology and Society at Arizona State University. For those who don't know, the Embryo Project is a part of a larger digital HPS initiative sponsored by ASU in cooperation with the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole and the Max Planck Institute. It's really an exciting opportunity, and Stephanie and I are really looking forward to moving down to the Southwest. As it stands now, we will be leaving for Tempe in mid-September (shortly after I plan to turn in my dissertation), and I will be returning briefly in October for my defense...if all goes well, of course.

Of course, I was fairly MIA this past academic year. Besides organizing and presenting in a HSS session, I spent the majority of the fall traveling for research and since then have been furiously writing. It certainly has made my fifth year fly by. I'll, of course, be at HSS this year helping to run many of the GECC programs that we'll be offering, including a fully funded grad student and early career mixer on Friday night at a local bar. I hope to see a great many of you that weekend.

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Shawn Foster (HST)

It is almost a year now since my gaining a MA from the History of Medicine. It was an exciting year as well as a hard year for me academically. The best thing for me was to be kindly admitted into this program that opened up the path for me to work towards a higher intellectual goal. Everything else was small steps inching forward. I am now working on prelim papers.

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Xuan Geng (HST)

This is my fifth year here. I am interested in transnational scientific communication between China and the West as well as the history of 20th-century biology. My dissertation topic is on America-trained Chinese scientists and the modernization of agriculture in China.

I grew up in Beijing, China, and got a B.S. from the School of Life Sciences in Peking University before coming here. In addition to study, I like to do handcraft, painting, and travelling.

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Bonnie Gidzak (HST)

I am pleased to be a second year student in the Ph. D. program. This past year was exciting and challenging as I worked to re-adjust to life as a student (instead of a teacher). However, as exciting as I am finding courses, I look forward to finishing my coursework this year. I have started thinking of dissertation ideas and I hope to explore topics surrounding 1950s nuclear energy education, possibly focusing on educational films.

In non-academic news, I have been teaching crochet classes at a local yarn shop, traveling, and trying to find time to read fiction.

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Emily Hagens (HMed)

This year was an eventful one for me. I was officially accepted into the program and successfully finished my first year of classes. I spent the summer taking a German class and continuing my various research jobs. My work in the Cancer Center is moving along quickly with several oral history interviews scheduled for early fall. Outside of the University, I've been working on my photography and collecting items to eventually move into my new apartment in St. Paul. I recently spent a week hiking and exploring the state parks in South Dakota. I've included a photo of the colorful South Dakota Badlands.

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Cosima Herter (HST)

It's difficult to express how delighted I am to have been accepted into the HSTM Phd program at the University of Minnesota. I am very excited to begin courses in the fall, and very much look forward to meeting and building relationships with my fellow graduate students here. Having moved from Vancouver, British Columbia to the sunny mid-west has been an adventure, and I am happily settling into my new home in Minneapolis.

My research interests centre around 19th and early 20th century theories of evolution. I am particularly fascinated by the various ways views of contingency and indeterminacy have affected interpretations of evolutionary processes. My Master's thesis (University of British Columbia) explored the influences that the conjectural historians of the Scottish Enlightenment had on Charles Darwin's notion of history and his conception of evolutionary processes. Having an educational background primarily in Philosophy, I came to the discipline of History late, and am now quite eager to embrace the rigour and wonders of being a history graduate student.

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Maggie Hofius (HST)

Another year down. I was fortunate enough to split my time during the past academic year between improving my Russian and making progress on my dissertation project thanks to a Foreign Language Area Studies fellowship. I spent my summer in the fine city of Bloomington (IN), where (through the support of another FLAS fellowship) I was able to participate in the Summer Workshop in Slavic, East European and Central Asian Languages (SWSEEL). I stayed pretty busy between classes, homework, and the extra-curricular activities organized by SWSEEL. However, it wasn't all work and no play. I was able to try my hand (or to be more precise, feet) at some new dances with the help of the Indiana University International Folk Dancers and even managed to see a cyclotron for the first time in my life at the Indiana University Cyclotron Facility.

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Kate Jirik (HST)

I completed my exams this spring and am now ABD. My dissertation is tentatively titled, “Through the Eyes of Women: women engaged in the work of American institutions for the feeble-minded, 1875-1920.” My research is looking at women who were teachers, physicians, attendants and laborers in the institutions, as well as women who were benefactors and supporters of the institutions. I received a travel grant to go to New Jersey to work at the state archive and state library in Trenton. My mom retired in June and to celebrate my ABD status and her retirement, we are going to Italy for almost three weeks in October.

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Lauren Klaffke (HMed)

After teaching high school for the past two years, I've been eagerly awaiting my return to the classroom in a different capacity, and it's finally here! A native of San Antonio, Texas, I've finally settled in the Twin Cities, and I'm thoroughly enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery. I spent my summer packing, attending yoga classes, and painting the exterior of my parents' house (quite the undertaking in the 100+ degree Texas summer). As I enter into my first year, I hope to focus on the history of the pharmaceutical company in the 20th century with a special emphasis on psychiatric medicine. I'm very excited to begin this next stage of my academic career, and I look forward to the challenges that await.

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Cameron Lazaroff-Puck (HST)

Originally from Los Angeles, I received a B.A. in Philosophy from Tufts University. At Tufts I began as an engineer, but found myself enamored with the history of science while taking Professor George Smith's two-semester Newton course. During my senior year I completed a thesis on the history of speed of light determinations before Einstein (from Rømer to Newcomb) and their implications for physics.

I am interested in the history of physics and astronomy since the 17th century, although I have only recently begun looking into late 19th and 20th century science. Additionally, I maintain a fascination with flight and aircraft technology in general stretching from Langley and the Wright brothers to the most modern fighter aircraft.

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Christine Manganaro (HMed)

This past year was mostly focused on dissertation work, which will finally end this fall. In March, I was elected co-program chair for the upcoming meeting of the Columbia History of Science Group and hope alums of our program will consider submitting abstracts or attending the 30th anniversary meeting March 9-11, 2012. This summer I have been writing, of course, and working as a researcher for the Committee on the Achievement Gap, a group chaired by former Minneapolis mayor Don Fraser through the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs here at the UMN. This work has allowed me to put my historical knowledge about racism to good use doing analysis on educational inequity in the Twin Cities. In July, it was an incredible intellectual shot-in-the-arm and a blast to attend the meeting of ISHPSSB in Salt Lake City, to give a paper in an extremely cohesive and productive session (thanks to John Jackson), and to see our program make a great showing there in a variety of capacities. I look forward to my defense this winter.

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Joseph D. Martin (HST)

After four years in Minnesota, I'm off to Philadelphia this fall to begin a one-year dissertation writing fellowship at the Philadelphia Area Center for the History of Science (PACHS). I eagerly anticipate becoming part of the PACHS community and returning to the east coast, where I conducted my undergraduate degree in History and Philosophy of Science at Boston U. The move is still wistful, though, as I'm leaving behind a strong network of friends and colleagues.

Highlights of the past year include finishing a polished dissertation chapter on the evolution of the concept of "fundamentality" within the solid state physics community, which makes the next four or five chapters seem less daunting. I'll be presenting this work as part of a panel I organized on solid state in the twentieth century at this November's HSS meeting. Reviewers willing, an article version will also appear soon in the newly-launched journal HOPOS. I've also enjoyed my first experience on a conference organizing committee under the steady hand of lead organizer and recent HST Ph.D. Amy Fisher. The conference, "Continuity and Discontinuity in the Physical Sciences since the Enlightenment," targeted early-career scholars, and took place in late July at the Center for the History of Physics in College Park, MD. As of this writing it is still a few days away, but I'm optimistic that by the time the newsletter goes to press it will have accomplished its goal of galvanizing the next generation of scholars in the history of the physical sciences.

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Charles Midwinter (HST)

I hold a B.S. in Physics and an M.Ed. in Science Education, both from the University of Minnesota. Before entering the HSTM program as a PhD student in the fall of 2010, I taught high school math and science for several years. While pursuing my degree in education, I happened to take Professor Roger Stuewer's history of 19th century physics course. During my many excursions off the "royal road" in Roger's class I was introduced to the history of science and quickly grew to love it. I continued my studies with Professor Michel Janssen, my current advisor, taking his history of 20th century physics course. Having exhausted the history of physics courses, I studied with Michel independently for a while, and, in time, began collaborating with him.

I am currently working closely with Michel on two projects. The first is an analysis and reprinting of the Einstein-de-Sitter Debate. In March, I gave a talk at the Dallas meeting of the American Physical Society describing our research. The second is a paper discussing the life and early work of nobel laureate John Van Vleck, often called the father of modern magnetism. Our paper, "Kuhn Losses Regained," explores the treatment of a particular phenomenon, electric susceptibilities, in the old quantum theory and matrix mechanics. In the former treatment, the close agreement between theory and experiment that classical models had enjoyed was lost, and would not be restored until the advent of matrix mechanics. Van Vleck came to see this as one of the best arguments in the new theory's favor, and one of the most glaring defects of the old quantum theory. Our paper will appear this year in Massimiliano Badino and James Navarro's volume on quantum textbooks, a collection of essays that explores the role of textbooks in shaping pedagogy and research in quantum physics.

As for my own research, I recently identified a possible topic for my dissertation: the history of perturbation theory. More a suite of mathematical techniques than a "theory," perturbative approaches emerge in the celestial mechanics of the 19th century, are systematized by Poincaré, and later incorporated as a crucial component of the old quantum theory. After the emergence of matrix mechanics, perturbative techniques are imported into the new theory almost unchanged. In this way, the techniques of perturbation theory provide a thread of continuity that stretches from the astronomers of the 19th century to the quantum physicists of the 20th century. I spoke about my new line of inquiry this summer at the American Institute of Physics conference, "Continuity and Discontinuity in the Physical Sciences Since the Enlightenment."

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Richard Parks (HMed)

As of September 1, I am the new Director of Fellowships at the University of New Hampshire. I am juggling a cross-country move, a new job, and my dissertation defense this fall.

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Barbara Reiterer (HST)

This past year, I have passed preliminary exams, defended my prospectus, and started my dissertation research, which took me to several archives in Europe. In the fall, I moved to Washington, DC, to start my doctoral fellowship at the German Historical Institute (GHI). I am enjoying the vibrant intellectual community at the institute, as well as networking with the numerous scholars who stop by and present their work. My fellowship allows me to concentrate on my dissertation with almost no other obligations that distract me from my own work. My dissertation has become part of the larger GHI project Transatlantic Perspectives: Europe in the Eyes of European Immigrants to the United States, 1930-1980, for which we have been busy building and adding content to our project website which went online in July 2011. We are always happy about visitors and comments, so please feel free to stop by: I am looking forward to exploring more archival collections in the fall, to writing up first results, and of course to catching up with my Minnesota colleagues at HSS.

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Bryony Rogers (HST)

I've made it through the first year as a masters student, and I'm excited for this coming year! Last year I wrote a couple of papers that I might use as papers for the "B track" including one on armillary spheres and one on Tycho Brahe's alchemical work. I've also enjoyed being a TA for Jennifer and Ivano in HSCI 1714 and 1814 which has given me a lot of experience. I'm still very interested in alchemy and astronomy in the late medieval/early modern periods but I have not yet pinned down anything more specific (though I have been interested in Tycho Brahe lately…)

Off campus I've been training in kung-fu and kumdo (Korean sword fighting) and in the beginning of September I will hopefully get a first Dan black belt in kumdo! I've also been enjoying spending time with my husband as we recently moved to Eden Prairie and are excited about being in the suburbs.

PHOTO: Showing off a kumdo form for last year's forms tournament

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Elizabeth Semler(HMed)

This fall will be my first semester in the History of Medicine program, although I took several classes in the department throughout my undergrad years at the University of Minnesota. I have spent my time away from academia working for a web-based company - I look forward to soon being back in a classroom! Importantly, I can't wait to have an office space (no matter how small) that comes complete with a door; working in a cubicle has taught me never to take such a wonderful invention for granted!

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Aimee Slaughter (HST)

I'm delighted to report that I'm now ABD, having had my prospectus accepted at the end of last fall semester. My dissertation topic on American radium therapy is slowly taking shape, and I'm very glad to have the support of my two advisors, Dominique and Michel, on this project which involves physics and medicine (and other topics which are also sometimes difficult to knit together!). I'm working long-distance in Los Alamos, NM now, which thankfully did not catch on fire this summer. I'm actually in DC as I write this, just finishing up a nearly-month-long archives trip and looking forward to going home to lower humidity and a chance to sink my teeth into some really good sources I've found here.

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Baojie Song (HST)

Originally from China, I did a Bachelor degree in economics and management, but a strong fascination in physics and physicists like Einstein has driven me to history of science and opened a whole new world for me since then. Now I’m interested in the general problems of history and philosophy of science. Starting from fall 2011, I’m on a new journey where Chinese culture strikes with American culture, and the East meets the West. My other interests include cooking healthy and delicious food. One of my dreams is to travel and collect homemade recipes around the world.

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Joline Zepcevski (HST)

While I am still working on my dissertation, "Complexity & Verification: The History of Programming as Problem Solving", I also have several exciting opportunities this year. I am presenting at the SHOT Conference this year in Cleveland and I am writing a book review for Enterprise and Society. I am starting my second semester as adjunct faculty at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Teaching my own classes has been very rewarding and I am looking forward to this new year.

I have "retired" from the North Star Roller Girls and joined the board of a local, no- profit art gallery, SOO Visual Arts Center, which I hope will be equally rewarding.

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