;

history of science



  • When Black Humanity is Denied

    by Edna Bonhomme

    Enlightenment institutions – the prison, science, and asylums – are organized through binaries that draw boundaries between people who are and are not able to exercise freedom. Black artistic work supports Black freedom by challenging those boundaries. 



  • What Attacks on Science Get Wrong

    by Andrew Jewett

    Reductive diagnoses of a "war on science" ignore the specific political and cultural stakes of controversies around vaccination, climate, or creationism. 



  • How Americans Came to Distrust Science

    by Andrew Jewett

    Scientists and their supporters cannot overcome the current moment of hostility toward their profession and rejection of their expertise unless they confront the cultural history of skepticism toward science, in both conservative and liberal forms. 



  • Reckoning with Our Mistakes

    "If Scientific American is to help shape a more just and hopeful future, we must learn from the arrogance and exclusions of our past. Not just because it is right, but because the power of scientific knowledge is stronger for it."



  • How Racism Is Shaping the Coronavirus Pandemic

    An interview with historian Evelynn Hammonds on the relationship between African-Americans and epidemics in American history, from the eighteenth century to the present day.



  • The Pandemic Is Not a Natural Disaster

    by Kate Brown

    Zoonotic diseases can seem like earthquakes; they appear to be random acts of nature. In fact, they are more like hurricanes—they can occur more frequently, and become more powerful, if human beings alter the environment in the wrong ways.



  • What the Plague Can Teach Us about the Coronavirus

    by Hannah Marcus

    The distant past is not our best source of advice for pathogen containment. But it does offer clear lessons about human responses to outbreaks of infectious disease.


  • The Real Alexander von Humboldt: A Scientist of the Romantic Age

    by Maren Meinhardt

    Putting people on pedestals, beyond the reach and understanding of lesser mortals, does not help us understand them better. If, perhaps, we lose a hero, we may gain, in Humboldt, an extraordinary scientist who was affected by the extraordinary times he lived in. 



  • Bob Filner, San Diego mayor facing sexual harrassment scandal, formerly a history prof.

    Bob Filner, the embattled mayor of San Diego who faces allegations of sexual harassment and abuse, taught in the history department at San Diego State University for over twenty years before running for Congress in 1993. Filner, who was born in Pittsburgh, received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. His Ph.D. dissertation, entitled “Science and Politics in England, 1930-1945: The Social Relations of Science Movement,” was completed under the supervision of L. Pearce Williams in 1973. He was employed as a historian of science by San Diego State from 1970 until his election to Congress in 1993. HNN filed a public records request at SDSU for Filner's employment records, but we were informed that all employment files at that university are purged after ten years.