Skip to content ↓

Dibner Institute names 18 fellows

The Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology has announced the appointments of 18 resident, seven visiting and seven postdoctoral Dibner Institute Fellows for 1997-98. While at MIT, the Fellows will pursue many aspects of the history of science and technology. Their names and scholarly projects follow.

Kirsti Andersen, associate professor at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, is the author of a book on Brook Taylor and linear perspective. She hopes to publish her papers on the history of mathematical theory of perspective and begin a study on the history of logarithms.

Henk J.M. Bos, Extraordinary Professor in the History of Mathematics at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, recently completed a monograph entitled "Descartes and the Early Modern Traditions of Geometrical Problem Solving." He will continue work on a sequel concerning the new mathematics of the period.

John K. Brown, assistant professor at the University of Virginia, has written a book on locomotives and American industrial practice. He plans a project entitled "The Forges of Industry: Capital Equipment Builders in 19th-Century America."

Alan Chalmers, associate professor, University of Sydney, Australia, will continue work on "An Epistemological History of Atomism."

Anne Fausto-Sterling, professor of medical science and Women Studies at Brown University, is the author of Myths of Gender: Biological Theories about Women and Men. The working title of her next project is "Edwin Grant Conklin: Embryologist and Eugenicist."

W. Alan Gabbey, professor and chair, Department of Philosophy, Barnard College, has written works on Descarte and Spinoza. He will continue work on a book tentatively titled Machines and the Spirits Within: Problems of the Mechanical Philosophy in the Early Modern Period.

Yung Sik Kim, professor in the Program in History and Philosophy of Science at Seoul National University, Korea, is the author of a forthcoming book on Chu Hsi (1130-1200). He will continue his research on neo-Confucian natural philosophy and natural knowledge.

Ursula Klein, a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University and at the Max-Planck Institute fur Wissenschafts-geschichte in Germany, plans to explore the introduction of chemical formulas into chemistry.

Larry Laudan, visiting researcher, Instituto de las Investigaciones Filosoficas, National University of Mexico, will continue working on a book that will explore the differences, if any, between observational and experimental evidence.

Rachel Laudan has co-authored From Mineralogy to Geology: The Foundations of a Science 1650-1830 . She will continue research for a work entitled "Chemistry Applied: Physiology and Dietetics, 1650-1800."

Jesper Lutzen, professor of mathematics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, has written works on 19th-century mathematician Joseph Liouville and physicist Heinrich Hertz. He plans to continue study of Hertz's mechanics.

Bruce Pourciau, professor of mathematics at Lawrence University, is the author of works on Isaac Newton. He will pursue projects on "The Early Mathematical Lemmas of the Principia" and "Intuitionism: A Kuhnian Perspective on a Failed Revolution."

Miklos Redei, associate professor in the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at Lorand Eotvos University, Hungary, writes on relativistic quantum field theory. He will continue his studies for a biography and collection of essays pertaining to von Neumann.

Silvan Schweber, professor of physics and the history of ideas, Brandeis University, is the author of "QED and the Men who Made It: Dyson, Feynman, Schwinger and Tomonaga." He will continue his work on a biography of Hans Bethe.

Hourya Sinaceur, directeur de recherche de 1ere classe at CNRS dinParis, is the author of Jean Cavailles. Philosophie mathematique. She will continue her research on Emmy Noether's influence and contributions in mathematics at Gottingen.

Roger Smith, reader in history of science, Lancaster University, England, is the author of the forthcoming "The Fontana History of the Human Sciences." His Dibner project is titled "The Ethos of Pure Science and the Conceptual Framework of Anglo-American Brain Science in the Interwar Decades."

Mark Steiner, associate professor, Department of Philosophy, Hebrew University, Israel, has written the forthcoming The Applicability of Mathematics as a Philosophical Problem. He will continue his study of purely formal analogies in the history of recent scientific discoveries.

David Wilson, professor of history, Iowa State University, is the author of Kelvin and Stokes: A Comparative Study in Victorian Physics. He will continue work on a book tentatively titled Natural Philosophy in the Scottish Enlightenment.

The following seven people have been appointed as Dibner Institute Visiting Fellows, with appointments for less than a full academic term:

Martin Campbell-Kelly, reader in computer science, University of Warwick, England, has co-authored Computer: A History of the Information Machine. He will continue his writing on L.J. Comrie and the early development of volume production of mathematical tables.

Noah Efron, research scholar at Harvard University, is the author of the forthcoming article, "Jewish Thought and Scientific Discovery in Early Modern Europe: A Review Essay." He will continue work on "Jews, Christians and Natural Philosophy in Early Modern Europe."

Jean Eisenstaedt, Charge de Recherches at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France, is the author of a work on Jupiter's moons. His work at the Dibner Institute will be on "Arago and the Prehistory of Relativity."

Craig Fraser, associate professor at the University of Toronto, has written Calculus and Analytical Mechanics in the Age of Enlightenment. His project at the Dibner Institute concerns "The Theory of Elasticity in 19th-Century Exact Science."

Donald C. Jackson, associate professor of history at Lafayette College, has published work on dams and bridges. He will continue his research on non-federal dam construction and on the promotion of gravity dams by John R. Freeman.

George Saliba, professor of Arabic and Islamic science, Columbia University, is the author of A History of Arabic Astronomy: Planetary Theories During the Golden Age of Islam. He will do research for "Arabic Science in Renaissance France: Guillaume Postel and Arabic Planetary Theories."

George Stocking, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Conceptual Foundations of Science at the University of Chicago, is founding editor of the annual History of Anthropology. He will explore the history of anthropology between World War II and the late 1960s in a project titled "Anthropology Yesterday."

The Dibner Institute has also made the following postdoctoral fellowship appointments.

Joseph Dumit, an NIMH Research Fellow in the Department of Social Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and lecturer in anthropology at MIT this year, co-edited the forthcoming book Cyborgs and Citadels: Anthropological Intervents in Emerging Sciences and Technologies. He will continue a historical study entitled "Drawing on Circuits: Diagramming Brains, Minds and Computers (1930-1990)."

Tal Golan, who recently received the PhD from the Department of History, University of California at Berkeley, studying "Science on the Witness Stand: Expert Testimony in US Courts, 1870-1923." He will continue his investigation of the relations between the expanding scientific and legal cultures in late 19th- and early 20th-century America.

Sungook Hong, assistant professor at the University of Toronto, has studied early radio engineering. The title of his project is "A Social History of Radio: From Marconi's Black-Box to the Triode Revolution, 1890-1920."

David McGee, a lecturer at Mount Allison University, Canada, is the author of articles including "Making up Mind: The Early Sociology of Invention." He will research "The Trouble with Science: Science, Design and Britain's First School of Naval Architecture."

Jessica Riskin, assistant professor, Iowa State University, wrote her dissertation on the relations of scientific and political thought and culture in the Enlightenment. Her work will be for a book titled "The Defecating Duck, or Scenes from the Early History of the Idea of Automation."

Dorit Tanay, a lecturer in the Department of Musicology, Tel Aviv University, is the author of articles including "Jehan de Meur's Rhythmic Theory and the Mathematics of the 14th Century." She will study "Music and the Transgression of Boundaries: A Re-evaluation of the Interrelationship between Music and Science in the 17th Century."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 14, 1997.

Related Topics

More MIT News