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Dibner awards 10 dissertation fellowships

The Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology has announced 10 fellowship awards to PhD candidates in programs at Dibner Institute consortium-member institutions.

Awards are made to students in MIT's Program in Science, Technology and Society; the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University; the Department of History at Brandeis University, and the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. Fellowship recipients are students writing their dissertations who have been nominated by their departments. Selection is based on excellence and scholarly promise without regard for need. Recipients are:

Greg Clancey (MIT), a Bates College graduate with an MA degree in historic preservation studies from Boston University. He is conducting a comparative study of technological change in the carpentry trades in the United States and Japan, 1900-1950, focusing on the development of American prefabricated housing methods and efforts to transfer them to Japan.

Mary Alexandra Cooper (Harvard), who received the BA degree from Harvard and was a research fellow at the Universitat Gottingen, 1994-1995. She has been investigating early modern studies of natural history for a dissertation entitled "Inventing the Indigenous: Local Knowledge and Natural History in the Early Modern German Territories."

Anne Ashley Davenport (Harvard), a graduate of Radcliffe College and teaching fellow at Harvard since 1993. Her studies have focused on medieval theories of the infinite. In her dissertation, she plans to demonstrate that late medieval theology provided the theoretical backbone for a distinctive devotional metaphysics.

Karin Ellison (MIT), a graduate of the University of Illinois in chemistry and the history of science. Her dissertation will examine the changes in engineering practices and education during the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state in the 1930s and the dam's impact on industrial development in the American West.

Slava Gerovitch (MIT), an applied mathematics graduate of the Institute of Oil and Gas Industry in Moscow with a PhD from the Institute of the History and Philosophy of Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1992. The subject of his dissertation is the early history of Soviet cybernetics, 1952-1964.

Rebecca Herzig (MIT), who received the BA degree from Oakes College at the University of California at Santa Cruz. For her dissertation, she plans to investigate the emergence of the word and the concept "technology," and its usage as an indicator of cultural and institutional change in America.

Robert Martello (MIT) ,who received the SB in earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences and the SM in civil and environmental engineering from MIT. In his doctoral studies he will investigate the relationship between technological change and industrialization, ecological awareness and deforestation in 18th- and 19th-century America.

Jennifer L. Mnookin (MIT) received the AB degree from Harvard College and the JD from Yale Law School. She plans to use her legal training to explore changes in the use of visual technologies in the American courtroom for a dissertation entitled "The Image of Truth: Evidence and Expertise in the American Courtroom 1839-1914."

John Ongley (Boston University), who received the BA degree in philosophy from Kent State University. In his dissertation, "Logics of Discovery," he will study the origin of the claim that a logic of discovery is impossible, and the intellectual and cultural reaction to the rise of statistical inference in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Thomas D. Wilson (Brandeis University), who received the BSEd and MA degrees from Central Missouri State University. His dissertation is entitled "Early Modern Conceptions of Scientific Fraud: Allegations of Fabrication at the Royal Society and the Academie des Sciences, 1662-1793."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 15, 1996.

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