HPS Colloquia 2019 - 2020

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.


Please visit the Green library exhibit entitled, Leonardo's library: The World of a Renaissance Reader which celebrated the 500th anniversary on May 2, 1519 of the death of Leonardo Da Vinci with a opening reception of over 300 guest in the library rotunda, complete with dance, music and book art and art performance. The exhibit will be on display in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda - held over - until December 13, 2019. See the article on the exhibit in the Palo Alto newspaper online, May 29, 2019.


  • Laura Ruetsche, University of Michigan

    At the Philosophy Department Colloquium

    3:30-4:30pm, January 10, 2020

    Building 90, Room 92Q


  • Mary X. Mitchell, Purdue University with Helen Kang

    The Dilemma of Nuclear Insecurity and Limits of Law"

    3:30-5PM, Thurs Jan. 30, 2020

    Encina Hall, C231


  • Workshop on SCIENCE, POLITICS, AND FAITH IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY: THE WORLD OF THE GALILEANS, with Antonio Clericuzio, Giulia Giannini, Maria Conforti, organized by Federica Favino, Marie Curie Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar

    Friday 9am-5pm, February 7, 2020

    History Building 200, Room 307

    Program coming soon


  • Porter Williams, University of Southern California

    "Julian Schwinger, Renormalization, and Ineffective Field Theory"

    Thursday, February 27th, 2020

    History Building, room 202 tentative

    Abstract: In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Julian Schwinger developed renormalization methods for extracting finite results from quantum electrodynamics and laid the initial foundation for postwar quantum field theory (QFT) itself. He continued to work within the framework of QFT through the mid-1960s, long after most particle theorists had shifted their hopes for modeling the strong interactions to S-matrix Theory or the methods of current algebra. During this period Schwinger developed a unique, and remarkably prescient, understanding of the physical significance of renormalization. He also adhered to methodological scruples remarkably similar to those that, in the 1970s, led particle theorists to develop the now-dominant understanding of QFTs as effective field theories. In Schwinger's case, however, these methodological scruples led him to abandon QFT entirely in 1966 to devote himself to the development and elaboration of an alternative, largely fruitless theoretical framework for particle physics called Source Theory. In this talk, I argue that the reasons why Schwinger's methodological scruples and understanding of renormalization led him to Source Theory, rather than effective field theory, offer important insight into Schwinger's approach to physics, the state of particle theory in the 1960s, and the philosophical foundations of effective field theory itself.


  • Marie Ghis Malfilatre, EHESS, Paris - organized by Gabrielle Hecht

    Thursday, March 5, 2020

    Room TBA


  • Silvia Sebastiani from EHESS, Paris

    Tuesday, May 5, 2020

  • Room TBA

    Co-sponsored with the British Studies


  • Climate Roundtable

    5:30-7:30pm, May 7th, 2020

    History Building 200, room 02

    organized by Mikael Wolfe (Stanford) with Deborah Coen, (Yale University), Lydia Barnett (Northwestern University) and Paul Edwards (Stanford)


  • May 15 & 16th, 2020 Early Modern Mobilities Workshop, 2 day event at Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center, organized by Paula Findlen

    List of participants and program coming soon


Previous events of the 2019 - 2020 year
  • Matthew Edney, Osher Professor in the History of Cartography
    University of Southern Maine

    "Enlightenment, Modernity, and Science: The Perspective from Mapping and “Cartography""

    Wednesday, October 9, 2019

    with the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies

    Building 260, room 252

  • Eileen Reeves, Princeton University

    To visit Paula Findlen's seminar on Trial of Galileo

    Wednesday, October 30, 2019


  • Gordon Belot, University of Michiganline drawing of old bucket

    November 5th, 2019, 4:30pm

    History Bldg 200, Room 202

    "The Mach-Einstein Principle of 1917-1918"

    Abstract: In 1917 and 1918 Einstein was working on relativistic cosmology and on promoting and explaining general relativity in correspondence. During this period, the thesis that the spacetime metric should be determined by the distribution of matter played an important role in his thought. I will be concerned with interpreting this thesis and with investigating its status in general relativity.


  • Molly Warsh, University of Pittsburgh, and Surekha Davies, Utrecht University, and Cecile Fromont, Yale University

    "Early Modern Things: New Research and Approaches"

    Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019, 12-2pm

    Building 260 Room 252

    with the CMEMS workshop, lunch will be provided


  • Mario Biagioli, UC Davis, visiting at Stanford CASBS, this year

    November 19, 2019, 5:30-7:30pm

    "Between Machine & Text: Galileo’s Compass as a Techno-Legal Hybrid"

    Please RSVP to rrogers@stanford and then I will send you the pre-circlulated paper


  • Cynthia Radding, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with the Latin American Environmental /History of Science workshop

    in an informal conversation with Dr. Matt Vitz (UCSD) about her life and career devoted to colonial Latin American environmental, borderlands and indigenous history November 20, 2019

    with the Center for Latin American Studies


  • Yogi Hale Hendlin, in the HistSciTech Workshop

    Noon, December 3, 2019

    History Building room 302

    "Industrial Epidemics: A new public health frame for an old problem"

Previous Year's HPST Colloquia


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