HPS Colloquia 2016 - 2017

image of doorway with skeleton

The colloquium meets generally three times per quarter on Thursdays at 4:30
in the Lane History Building, Room 307, unless noted below.


  • Pietro_Longhi The Apothecary Valentia Pugliano, Cambridge University

    LOCAL SCIENCE, ARTISAN SCIENCE: STUDYING NATURE IN THE RENAISSANCE PHARMACY SHOP

    Abstract: n this talk I will introduce an important site of scientific discussion and experimentation of the European Renaissance that has received little attention so far: the pharmacy shop. Apothecaries were among the most numerous enthusiasts of natural history in early modern Europe. Yet, their involvement, like that of many artisans in science, has traditionally been considered tangential to the development of natural history’s polity and intellectual concerns. Taking the case of Italy, I will argue otherwise: apothecaries not only provided crucial practical knowledge and brokering services for the running of natural history, but also contributed to spread its vogue and inflected the interests of its practitioners. Central to this dynamic was the pharmacy shop, at once a repository of naturalia, a testing room with useful equipment, and a meeting place for like-minded individuals interested in conversing about nature. I will show how the average pharmacy could become a reference point for aspiring naturalists at the local level of the town; and, in turn, how this ‘shop natural history’ brings to light an urban science which, pursued in person and off paper, was the daily, informal counterpoint to the epistolary study of nature on which most scholarship has concentrated so far.


    4:30pm Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

    History Room 307


  • Ben Breen, University of California, Santa Cruz

    with the CMEMS workshop

    location TBA

    noon, November 2, 2016


  • Catherine Jammi, Centre national de la recherche scientifique and the Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

    Location TBA

    4:30pm, January 17, 2017
    Co-sponsored by CEAS

  • Tools of Reason: The Practice of Scientific Diagramming from Antiquity to the Present

    February 10 - 11th, 2017 9am-5pm
    Stanford Humanities Center, Levinthal Hall

    organized by Greg Priest and Silvia De Toffoli, with Professor Paula Findlen. Speakers include:

    *Jessica Carter (Universoty of Southern Denmark)

    *Jim Griesemer (UC Davis)

    *Greg Priest (Stanford University)

    *Silvia De Toffoli (Stanford University)

    *Kenneth Manders (University of Pittsburgh)

    *Melissa Lo (The Huntington Library)

    *Jenny Pegg (Stanford University)

    *Karine Chemla (CNRS Paris)

    *Norton Wise (UCLA)

    *Valeria Giardino (CNRS Nancy)

    *Eunsoo Lee (Stanford University)

    with a roundtable by John Bender (Stanford), Michael Marrinan (Stanford), Marco Panza (CNRS Paris), Rasmus Winther (UC Santa Cruz), Jessica Riskin (Stanford), Michael Friedman (Stanford) and others

    Diagrams are pervasive features of the communication, explanation, and discovery of scientific and mathematical ideas. Too often, however, we tend to see diagrams primarily as static visual summaries of the propositional contents of theories. But diagrams are also tools for thought: they make visible features of phenomena that would otherwise be invisible or opaque, and they concretize and externalize specific reasoning processes. Moreover, diagramming is an activity that consists in creating and modifying diagrams with epistemic aims. Understanding diagrams therefore requires an investigation of how they are used in practice.

    This interdisciplinary workshop will interrogate the practice of diagramming in the sciences and in mathematics by focusing on specific case studies. We seek to explore questions such as: What exactly does any particular diagram make visible? To whom is it directed? What kind of reasoning does it concretize and externalize? How is it affected by, and how does it in turn affect, the scientific, cultural, social and institutional contexts in which it is created? What is its epistemological status? Can the diagram be meaningfully described as “true” or “false,” and if so, on what basis can such judgments be made? How do we distinguish between more useful, less useful, and even pernicious diagrams? What features of a diagram, or its use, are responsible for its effectiveness or ineffectiveness as a reasoning tool?

    Co-sponsored by the Humanities Center, the Department of History, the Suppes Center for History and Philosophy of Science.



  • Daniela Bleichmar, U. of Southern California

    with the CMEMS workshop

    title TBA

    location TBA

    4:30pm, February 23, 2017


  • Lissa Roberts, Univeristy of Twente, Editor of History of Science, Kratter Visiting Professor to Stanford

    title TBA

    location TBA

    4:30pm, April 11 or 12, 2017

  • ‘Ilm-u-‘Amal: Knowledge, Nature and Technology in the Late Medieval & Early Modern Muslim World, 1250-1850

    April 14 - 15th, 2017 9am-5pm
    History Building 200, Room 307

    organized by Duygu Yildirim, and Professors Ali Yaycioglu and Paula Findlen. Speakers include:

    *Lissa Roberts (University of Twente)

    *Tuna Artun (Rutgers)

    *Harun Kucuk (University of Pennsylvania)

    *Robert Morrison (Bowdoin)

    *Matthew Melvin-Koushki (USC)

    *Nahyan Fancy (DePauw)

    *Ahmed Ragab (Harvard Divinity)

    *Himmet Taskomur (Harvard University)

    Co-sponsored by the Abassi Program, the Department of History, the Suppes Center for History and Philosophy of Science.


  • Robin Barnes, Davidson College, on his recently published book, Astrology and Reformation

    Co-sponsored with the CMEMS workshop and co-sponsored by Religious Studies

    location TBA

    4:30pm, April 26, 2017

  • "Digital Humanities Asia: 2017 Workshop events" organized by Professor Tom Mullaney

    various dates in Jan, Feb, April and May, 2017

    Registration required, all events at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, Wallenberg Hall (bldg 160), 4th floor



Previous events of the year


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