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Dibner Institute names fellows

The Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology has announced the appointments of 16 senior, nine postdoctoral and six graduate student fellows for 2001-02. Six other postdoctoral fellows have also been reappointed.

Senior fellows and their research topics are:

Garland Allen, professor of biology, Washington University -- eugenics in the context of US social history from 1880-1950, and revising his 1978 book, Life Science in the Twentieth Century.

William J. Ashworth, lecturer in history, University of Liverpool -- "Consuming the People: Trade, Production, and the English Customs and Excise 1643-1842."

Domenico Bertoloni Meli, professor of history and philosophy of science, Indiana University -- motion and mechanics in the 17th century.

Richard Creath, professor of philosophy, Arizona State University -- "Analyticity: Carnap, Quine and the Structure of Scientific Knowledge."

Snait Gissis, lecturer at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science, Tel Aviv University -- "The 'Migration' Between Sociology and Biology and the Emergence of Sociology as a Scientific Discipline."

Elaheh Kheirandish, research associate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University -- "The Optical Traditions of Ancient Alexandria and Their Transmission within Near Eastern and European Lands: 300 BC-1300 AD."

Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, professor of classical studies, Brandeis University -- '"Black Holes' in Ancient Space: Roman Water, Sewer and Latrine Technology."

Jane Maienschein, professor of philosophy, Arizona State University -- "Explorations of Organisms and Organization."

Professor Gordon McOuat, director of the History of Science and Technology Programme, University of King's College, Halifax, Canada -- "Species: The Life and Death of a Naturalist's Kind."

Robert Post, curator emeritus at the National Museum of American History -- "Representations of Science, Technology and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution."

Volker Remmert, professor at the University of Mainz -- "Picturing the Scientific Revolution: Frontispieces as Second Language of the 17th-Century Mathematical Sciences."

Martin Reuss, senior historian, Office of History, Army Corps of Engineers -- "The Development of Hydrology in the United States."

Leonard Rosenband, professor at Utah State University -- "The Practice of Enlightenment: Capital, the State and Technological Change in England and France."

Michael B. Schiffer, professor of anthropology and director of the Laboratory of Traditional Technology at the University of Arizona -- the process of technological differentiation or technology transfer as related to electrical technologies of the 18th century.

George E. Smith, professor of philosophy, Tufts University -- how Newton's Principia provided a new way for the development of high-quality evidence in science, and the history of chemistry from Lavoisier to the emergence of the periodic table and the development of organic chemistry in the second half of the 19th century.

Stephen Weininger, professor of chemistry, Worcester Polytechnic Institute -- the post-World War II growth of physical organic chemistry and the role of military funding in that growth.

The new postdoctoral fellows are:

Eric Ash -- "The Level Expert, Cornelius Vermuyden and the Drainage of the English Fens." Elizabeth Cavicchi -- the experimental practices and knowledge resulting from the experiments of Jonathan Hearder and other amateurs in making and using induction coils. Andrew Janiak -- the philosophical response to Newtonian physics in the writings of Kant, Leibniz and Berkeley. Abigail Lustig -- "Altruism, Biology and Society." Alberto Martinez -- the history of kinematics, the modern science of motion. Ohad Parnes -- "Experimenting Immunity, 1890-1900." Manolis Patiniotis -- natural philosophy written by Greek-speaking scholars of the 18th century that tried to synthesize elements of the new natural philosophy with the Aristotelian tradition. Alison Sandman -- a comparative study of navigation and cosmography of the major 16th-century European sea powers: Portugal, Spain and England. Yunli Shi -- "European Background of Jesuit Predictive Astronomy in 18th-Century China."

The following Dibner postdoctoral fellows have been appointed to a second year:

Tara Abraham -- mathematical and cybernetic methods in 20th-century biology, examining the work of mathematical biophysicist Nicolas Rashevsky. Orna Harari-Eshel -- the relationship between Greek logic and Greek mathematics. Annette Imhausen -- "Egyptian Mathematical Knowledge in Middle and New Kingdom Administrative Texts," analyzing the mathematical procedures used in the daily work of ancient Egyptian scribes. Paul Lucier -- "A History of Economic Geology, 1880-1940." Elizabeth Paris -- Italian high-energy physics instrumentation in the 1960s. Kim Plofker -- Indian and Islamic mathematical and astronomical traditions.

The following PhD candidates at the three Dibner Institute consortium-member institutions (MIT and Harvard University) have been awarded fellowships.

Tongdong Bai (Boston University), the EPR interpretation of quantum mechanics, focusing on Niels Bohr and also on Wolfgang Pauli and Richard Feynman. Brendan Foley (MIT's Program in Science, Technology and Society or STS), the increasingly professional role of the mechanical engineers who studied at the United States Naval Academy from the end of the Civil War until 1890. Kendall Hoyt (MIT STS), "The Role of the Military in the History of Vaccine Innovation."

A. Denise Phillips (Harvard), "Building a Natural Scientific Age: Science and Public Culture in Germany, 1815-1880." Deborah Weinstein, (Harvard), the "cybernetic family" and the rise of family therapies in post-World War II American culture. Timothy Wolters (MIT STS), "Carrier Aviation Policy and Procurement in the US Navy, 1936-1955."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 25, 2001.

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