History & Philosophy of Science Certificate Program
History and Philosophy of Science Certificate Program

Weekly Talks on History and Philosophy of Science

Except as noted, all meetings are held in WAG 316 (the Philosophy conference room) and start at 12:00 noon.

April 14, 2017

Audra Wolfe (The Outside Reader) — “The Fight for Science and Freedom: Recovering the Role of Science in Cold War-Era Cultural Diplomacy”

April 7, 2017

Lone Star Historians of Science meeting at Texas A&M

March 31, 2017

Rodolfo John Alaniz (UC-Berkeley) — “Darwinian Sensualities: Havelock Ellis, Sexual Inversion, and Late Nineteenth-Century Evolutionary Theory” (joint event with the Gender Symposium — 12:00 noon in GAR 1.102)

March 24, 2017

Chitra Ramalingam (Yale) — “The Laboratory as Camera: Experiment and the Photographic Archive of Victorian Science”

March 22, 2017

Paul Josephson (Colby College) — “Transforming Nature in Russia and the West: From the Tsars and the Roosevelts to Trump and Putin” (joint event with the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies and the Office of Sustainability — 4:00 pm in the Avaya Auditorium, ACES Building 2.302)

March 3, 2017

Daniel Jean-Jacques (UT) — “Scientific Networks and Legal Truths: Authenticating Knowledge through Forensic Authorities in Late Colonial Southwestern Nigeria”

Feb. 24, 2017

Michael Barany (Dartmouth) — “Wordplay, Abuses of Language, and Making Sense in Modern Intercontinental Mathematics”

Feb. 17, 2017

Tracie Matysik (UT) — “Spinoza and Science: A Matter of Historical Debate”

Feb. 10, 2017

Jonathan Coopersmith (Texas A&M) — “Forging the Fax: How Fax Machines Helped Create ‘Alternative Facts'”

Feb. 6 2017

Alberto Martinez (UT) — “Roasted and Broiled Alive: Bruno, Galileo, and the Inquisition” (joint event with the IHS — 12:00 noon in GAR 4.100)

Feb. 4, 2017

Gustavo Garza (St. Andrew’s School) — “Thomas Edison, the Phonograph, and the Sacred: Phonographic Musings on Life and Death”

Jan. 20, 2017

Scottie Buehler (UCLA) — “A Simulacrum of Birth: The Pedagogical Instruments and Obstetrical Course of Madame du Coudray” (joint event with the Gender Symposium — 12:00 noon in GAR 1.102)

Nov. 18, 2016

Jethro Hernandez Berrones (Southwestern University) "Medicine in Revolution: Mapping Homeopathy into the Landscape of Mexican Medical Science, 1861-1934"

Nov. 11, 2016

Erika Bsumek (UT) — “Navajo Sandstone: Herbert Gregory and Geological Naming Practices on the Colorado Plateau”

Nov. 9, 2016

Lydia Pyne (UT) — Discussion of her new book Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World’s Most Famous Human Fossils (Institute for Historical Studies event — meets in GAR 4.100)

Nov. 7, 2016

Neel Baumgardner (UT–San Antonio), Erika Bsumek (UT), and Karl Jacoby (Columbia Univ.) — “Roundtable on the Centennial of the National Parks Service” (Institute for Historical Studies event — meets in GAR 4.100)

Oct. 31, 2016

Xaq Frohlich (IHS visiting fellow) — “New Diet Foods in Post-War America: Even Better Than the Real Thing?” (Institute for Historical Studies event — meets in GAR 4.100)

Oct. 21, 2016

Lina Del Castillo (UT) — “New Granada Elites in the Making of Republican Vanguard Science, 1840s-1850s”

Oct. 14, 2016

Elizabeth O’Brien (UT) — “Rebellion in the General Hospital: Medical Experimentation, Forced Sterilization, and Revolutionary Doctors in Mexico City, 1932" (joint event with the Gender Symposium — meets in GAR 1.102)

Oct. 7, 2016

Mark Metzler (UT) — “Systems Visions of Japan's Postwar Social Metabolic Crisis”

Sept. 30, 2016

Maurice Finocchiaro (Univ. of Nevada–Las Vegas) — “Galileo’s First Confrontation with the Inquisition (1616): Historical Documents, Philosophical Distinctions, Legal Issues”

Sept. 23, 2016

Bruce Hunt (UT) — “Themes and Problems in the History of Science: Thoughts on Organizing a Graduate Seminar”

April 15, 2016

Conevery Bolton Valencius (Univ. of Mass.–Boston) — “Earthquakes, Fracking, and Public Perception of Science” — 4:00 pm, Lone Star History of Science Group Meetin

April 8, 2016

Larry Laudan (UT) — “The early days of HPS”

April 1, 2016

Lydia Pyne (UT) — “Piltdown: A Name Without a Fossil”

March 25, 2016

Jack Loveridge (UT) — "Between Hunger and Growth: Agricultural Science and Humanitarian Intervention in North India, 1947-1964"

March 4, 2016

Brent Crosson (UT) — "Burdens of Proof: The Evidence of Science, Supernatural Power, and Oil in Trinidad"

Feb. 26, 2016

Michael Shank (Univ. of Wisconsin) — "Astrology and Politics in the Background of the Galileo Affair"

Feb. 19, 2016

Seth Garfield (UT) — "João Martins da Silva Coutinho’s Plant: Guarana and Louis Agassiz's Amazon Expedition of 1865"

Feb. 8, 2016

Megan Raby (UT) — “Biological Diversity: From a ‘Tropical Problem’ to a ‘Global Crisis’” — 12:00 noon, at the Institute for Historical Research, GAR 4.100

Jan. 29, 2016

David Collins (UT) — “‘I dare not lean to my conceit’: Reflections on Contemplative Deconstruction in the West’s via negativa and Soto Zen”

April 24, 2015

Andrea Woody “Setting the Agenda: Recognizing Diverse Goals for Scientific Activity”   Dr. Woody is Associate Professor of Philosophy and faculty in Dance, History, and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. She co-edited Philosophy of Chemistry (2011).

April 17, 2015

Adam Shapiro “Darwin’s foil: The evolving uses of William Paley’s Natural Theology“  Dr. Shapiro is Lecturer in Intellectual and Cultural History at Birkbeck – University of London and author of Trying Biology: The Scopes Trial, Textbooks, and the Antievolution Movement in American Schools (2013).

April 10, 2015

Richard Fitzpatrick “Ptolemy’s Almagest: Fact and Fiction”  UT Professor of Physics Fitzpatrick is author of several books, including Plasma Physics: An Introduction (2014) and a translation of Euclid’s Elements of Geometry (2007).

March 27, 2015

Blake Scott “The Nature of Tourism: Smithsonian scientists as guides to the Caribbean, 1912 to 1964”  Scott is a PhD Candidate in History at UT Austin, writing a dissertation on the emergence of mass tourism in the Caribbean during the early twentieth century.

March 25, 2015 

Alberto Martinez “The Cult of Pythagoras: Math and Myths”  UT History Professor Martinez is the author of several books including The Cult of Pythagoras (2012) and Science Secrets: The Truth About Darwin's Finches, Einstein's Wife, and Other Myths (2011).  *(Wednesday, 3:30, GAR 4.100) Sponsored by the Institute for Historical Studies

March 6, 2015

Reem Elghonimi “Seeing Small: Mathematical Optics and the Dissection of Nature in Interregnum and Republican England, 1640-1657”  Elghonimi is a graduate student in History at UT Austin researching Arabic science in 17th-century England.

Feb. 27, 2015

Eugene Garver “Spinoza on the Infinite”  Dr. Garver is Regents Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Saint John's University. Most recently, he is author of Aristotle's Politics: Living Well and Living Together (2012).

Feb. 18 2015

Matthew Stanley “The Pointsman or the Steam Whistle: Maxwell’s Demon, T. H. Huxley, and the Nature of Consciousness”   Dr. Stanley is Associate Professor at the New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Study. His newest book is Huxley’s Church and Maxwell’s Demon: From Theistic Science to Naturalistic Science (2014). *(Wednesday, 4:15, RLM 4.102) Co-sponsored by the Physics Colloquium

Feb. 16, 2015

Bruce Hunt “The Bottom Line: Cables, Commerce, and Electrical Physics in the Victorian British Empire”  UT History Professor Hunt is author of The Maxwellians (1991), and Pursuing Power and Light: Technology and Physics from James Watt to Albert Einstein (2010).  *(Monday, 12:00, GAR 4.100) Sponsored by the Institute for Historical Studies

Feb. 13, 2015

Felipe Cruz “Parachute Colonization: Aviation and Frontier Settlement in Brazil”  A PhD Candidate in History at UT Austin, Cruz was awarded a Kranzberg Dissertation Fellowship by the Society for the History of Technology.

Feb. 6 2015

Abena Osseo-Asare “Atomic Junction: Bringing a Nuclear Reactor to an African Suburb”  UT History Professor Osseo-Asare is the author of Bitter Roots: The Search For Healing Plants in Africa (2014).

Jan. 30 2015

David Crews “Nature, Nurture and Epigenetics”  Dr. Crews is Ashbel Smith Professor of Integrative Biology and Psychology and Director of the Institute of Behavioral Neuroendocrinology at UT Austin.

Nov. 21, 2014

Open Meeting BYO Discussion Topics.

Nov. 14, 2014

Katherine Dunlop “Kant and Poincare on the Structure of Space and Perception”

Oct. 31, 2014

Helen Hattab “Aristotelianism in Service of Atomism? Gorlaeus on Knowledge of Universals”

Oct. 24, 2014

Lenny Moss “On a Comprehensive Theory of 'Detachment' as the Basis of a New Naturalism”

Oct. 17, 2014

Maria José “Knowledge and War during the Independence of Colombia”

Oct. 8, 2014

Philippa Levine “Darwin, the ‘Savage’ and Human Nature”

Note: This is a Wednesday event.

Oct. 3, 2014

John Zammito “History, Philosophy, Science: Some Lessons for Philosophy of History”

Sept. 26 2014

George Smith “An Alternative Agenda for Philosophy of Science”

Sept. 19 2014

Linda Henderson “The Vibratory Cultures of Modern Art”

Sept. 12 2014

Megan Raby “The Tropics and the Idea of Biodiversity”

Sept. 5 2014

Open Meeting Join us to discuss your ideas & future HPS events.


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  • History and Philosophy of Science

    Director: Alberto Martinez
    University of Texas at Austin
    128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000
    Austin, TX 78712
    512-475-9426