Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Animal Keyboard from 1657

Remember those toy keyboards that would play animal sounds instead of musical notes? I remember being particularly fond of the MOO key on mine. Turns out the animal-sound-keyboard was not an invention of the 1980s, but is much more ancient in origin. Perhaps, first invented by the Jesuit polymath Gaspar Schott in 1657:

Clearly that's what's going on here, right? :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

We exist!

I was recently at a party attended mainly by grad students in the Sociology department. One party-goer revealed that she had a secret crush on a student outside of Sociology and a mutual friend of ours quickly began listing off names of departments in an attempt to narrow down the identity of the crushee. But, when he exuberantly called out “History of Science,” the girl laughed and replied “No, name some real departments!”

We are, indeed, a real department (the oldest and in U.S., even), but as any grad student currently working on their PhD in the HoS knows, many people have never heard of the department or discipline. I often get asked if I do “more history or science” when I tell people what I'm getting my doctorate in. How to remedy this? Probably with a cool t-shirt:

I mean, did anyone know what NASA was before this came out:

Probably not.
Ok. I really just want to make a cool t-shirt to commemorate my time here. But, this might raise awareness of the department around campus... maybe. The question is: what to put on it? A graphic representing Galileo's velocity experiment will no longer do since the Sci Rev isn't as central to our discipline. I do think we could create a design that would appeal to everyone. I'm willing to look through Special Collections for cool images, but this might just generate a list of of quirky images that Meridith likes. So, I'm hoping we can collectively come-up with a list of ideas for designs. I'm reasonably good at illustration and volunteer to draw something up if you have an idea, but neither the time nor inclination to sketch it.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rides to Cleveland for HSS

Several of us are already making plans to be at the History of Science Society annual meeting in Cleveland, November 3-6. If you haven't been to HSS, it's a friendly, mostly non-intimidating conference, and you'll meet some really great scholars who will be only too happy to talk with you about their research. We're going to have at least one car-load, and perhaps more than one, driving there to save money, so save the dates and plan to join us in Cleveland!

For more information about History of Science Society and the annual meeting, go to the HSS homepage.


Welcome to Wisconsin HSMT's new graduate student blog. We hope that this forum can be an informal, fun, and respectful venue for us to share our brainstorms, announcements, updates, and resources. Please feel free to contact Scott Prinster if you have suggestions about how this page might be an even better resource.