Tag Archives: science

Happy 535th Nick!

heliocentric model of universeFebruary 19, 1473 was the date of Nicolaus Copernicus’ birth. The Polish astronomer is best known for the posthumously published book, De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium, in which he outlined a heliocentric model of the universe.

So what has all this to do with the history of psychology? According to the “Today in the History of Psychology” website, “a scientific psychology rests on the assumptions generated by the Copernican revolution,” namely, the “promoting [of] objectivity in the study of human affairs.” Continue reading Happy 535th Nick!

Articles on Accident-Proneness, Ludwig Binswanger

Science in Context The first 2008 issue of the journal Science in Context contains two articles on topics in the history of psychology. The first, by Ohio State U. historian John Burnham is “Accident Proneness (Unfallneigung): A Classic Case of Simultaneous Discovery/Construction in Psychology.” Burnham, a former editor of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, traces the independent development of the same idea in both Germany and Britain during World War I. The second article, by Naamah Akavia of UCLA, is “Writing ‘The Case of Ellen West’: Clinical Knowledge and Historical Representation.” West was one of the paradigm cases of Ludwig Binswanger’s Daseinsanalyse, an attempt to develop Martin Heidegger’s existential phenomenology into a therapeutic practice.

Abstracts of both articles are below: Continue reading Articles on Accident-Proneness, Ludwig Binswanger

New Science Studies Research Network Established

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada has awarded a $2.1 million Strategic Knowledge Cluster grant to “Situating Science: Cluster for the Humanist and Social Studies of Science.” The seven year “Situating Science” project will bring together philosophers, historians, sociologists and anthropologists along with scientists, journalists, museologists, and others, to study the influences that have shaped the field of science, and the influence that science has on our lives.

Continue reading New Science Studies Research Network Established

History of Science Society: Day 2

John BurnhamThe second full day of sessions at the History of Science Society (HSS) conference in Arlington VA saw a number of talks connected with the history of psychology. Top of the bill was John Burnham’s (Ohio St. U.) presentation on “accident-proneness” in Germany and America. This talk was the distinguished lecture of the Forum for the History of Human Science (FHHS), a special interest group of HSS. The FHHS also announced its 2007 award winners. For best article, Jefferson Pooley (Muhlenberg Coll., PA) won for “Fifteen Pages that Shook the Field: Personal Influence, Edward Shils and the Remembered History of Mass Communication Research,” published in Annals of the American Academy Political and Social Sciences (2006, 608, 130-156). The John C. Burnham Early Career Award went to Howard Hsueh-Hao Chiang (Princetion U.) for “Effecting Science, Affecting Medicine: Homosexuality, the Kinsey Reports, and the Contested Boundaries of Psychopathology in the United States, 1948-1965.” Continue reading History of Science Society: Day 2

History of Science Society Conference Underway

Jefferson MemorialThe annual conference of the History of Science Society (HSS) got underway Thursday night in Arlington, VA, and held its first full day of sessions on Friday. Of interest to historians of psychology were presentations by Michael Sokal (Worcester Polytechnic Inst.) and James Capshew (Indiana U.) on the writing of scientific biography, and its relation to more contextual kinds of history. Sokal discussed his work on James McKeen Cattell, and Capshew outlined the history of biographies of sex researcher Alfred Kinsey. Sokal was the founding editor of the journal History of Psychology. Capshew is the current editor. Another presentation relevant the history of psychology was Susan Groppi’s (U. California, Berkeley) paper on the rise of comparative psychology courses in the American west between 1880 and 1910. According to Groppi, animal work caught on in the state universities of the mid- and far west — California, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and the like — earlier than they did in the elite school of the eastern seaboard.

The complete set of conference abstracts can be found here.

Job: History of Science at Harvard

Annenberg HallThis also relates only tangentially to the history of psychology, but seemed worth noting in light of the committee’s interest in allied areas.

Pending budgetary approval, the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University is conducting an open-rank search in the 20th-century (and especially post-WWII) history of molecular biology, biotechnology, and/or the biomedical sciences. Candidates who work at the interface of history of science and related fields such as sociology and anthropology are also welcome to apply. Continue reading Job: History of Science at Harvard