Sometimes life just doesn’t pan out the way it should. Having decided to host this edition of Giants’ Shoulders I thought nothing more of it having hosted several editions in the past; it just a routine exercise I thought to my self. Famous last words! Firstly I have been hit by various bits of work to earn money, a necessary evil, which have stolen my time to work on the blog. Then just to complicate matters I have blocked vertebrae in my neck, which have been supplying me with daily visual distortions, extreme headaches and migraines making working on the computer for longer than five minutes impossible. Having postponed the appearance of Giants’ Shoulders until I could look at the monitor screen for longer periods without my brain dissolving into a painful psychedelic nightmare I discovered that the links that I had collected for the first ten days of this carnival period had, through no vault of mine, gone missing without leave! If you posted something interesting on the history of science, technology or medicine between the 16th and 27th of April and it’s not included here all I can say is sorry!
So having cried my eyes out and blamed god and the world for all my short comings let us proceed with this edition of Giants’ Shoulders the history of science blog carnival.
As always the history of medicine Internet division have been busy little bees this month producing their usual fascinating array of medicinal bloggage. Samantha Sandassie tells all about Drinking Bath Water, and it’s not what you think! The wizard of Welsh medical history, Alan Withey, tells all about the problems of doing historical research when there is a distinct lack of sources. Madame Gilflurt takes us into the eighteenth-century where Edward Jenner first experimented with inoculation. For those with a strong stomach Joanna Bourke discusses medical pain before anaesthetics. On the same topic Daniel Goldberg thinks about medicines that ‘worked’ in the history of pain. Adam Richter introduces us to Early Modern Danish physician Ole Worm. Guesting at the H-Word Dora Vargha discusses Polio’s history with conflict. When he does manage to find a source Dr Alun produces such intriguing stories as The Case of the Severed Finger. The historians on Twitter having had a collective moan about their respective bouts of hay fever, Lisa Smith produced this little gem Spring: when thoughts of fancy turn to itchy, watery eyes. Atlas Obscura shows that medicine can have an aesthetic side with The Most Beautiful Anatomical Theaters. Matt Simon takes on the history of that female malady hysteria. Benjamin Ehrlich introduces us to Santiago Ramón y Cajals early neuroscientist. Lindsay Keiter waxes lyrical about The Familiar and Foreign Eighteenth-Century Body.
The Embryo Project introduces us to an opponent of Darwin’s St George Jackson Mivart.
Our man for the esoteric Andreas Sommer takes for a stroll through the history of Enchanted Cambridge. You can’t get much more esoteric that Athanasius Kircher as this post on Combinatorial Music, Augmented Face-Substitution & Projection Systems Illustrated in the 17th-Century amply demonstrates. Paul Engle has started a fascinating blog on the Early Modern glassmaker Antonio Neri called Conciatore. I have linked to his first post Book of Secrets but read them all I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. An esoteric section without John Dee would be somehow incomplete so here’s a podcast on the Elizabethan magus.
Yovisto introduces us to Igor Sikorsky and his helicopter.
In amongst the physicists and astronomers, Classicist Llewelyn Morgan holds a passionate speech in defence of Lucretius the Roman poet who introduced atomism to medieval Europe. Physics blogger Cad Orzel, who is becoming more and more of a historian of physics, tells why you can’t have Millikin without Einstein and Planck. Joe Hanson tells us all about Galileo and the sunspots (a blog post that I might be forced to criticise when I can find the time!). Glen van Brummelen celebrates the 400th anniversary of the logarithm, which might appear to be about the history of maths but is really part of the history of astronomy. Alok Jha explains Newton’s second law of motion. Brain Pickings reviews a biography of France’s most famous female physicist, Voltaire’s lover, Émilie du Châtelet. Giants’ Shoulders founder Dr SkySkull threatens us all with Death by ball lightning. Moving into the era of modern physics Natalie Walters looks at Radiation Science in the Atomic Age. Adam Richter is back again this time amongst the physicist looking at invisible light: prism experiments through the centuries. Physics blogger turned historian Chad Orzel has been delivering a series of running commentaries on the rebooted Cosmos and we have Cosmos, Just-So Stories, and Hindsight and Cosmos and Women. Thom McLeish clears up some misunderstandings created by press reports on the University of Durham Grosseteste Project. For all fans of Early Modern science Cultures of Knowledge announce the launching of the Kasper Schotts Netzwerk an important seventeenth-century natural philosopher, doesn’t ring any bells then go and educate yourself! Moving from the seventeenth into the eighteenth century we have Joseph Priestly on experimental philosophy and empiricism. The other side of scientific genius, Newton the man.
On the chemistry front the Google Doodle celebrated the birthday of Dorothy Hodgkin, which led to articles in the L A Times and The Washington Post.
For cartography fans like myself Julia Bourke takes a look at Medieval Mappaemundi. In my curiosity cabinet cartography and geology belong together and Sauropod Vertebra deliver some Poetry for palaeontologists. Historian of geology David Bressan who likes to combine geology and cartography takes a look at Vitruvian Geology – Leonardo da Vinci and the Realistic Depiction of the Earth’s Surface.
In the odds and sods department, where all the really good stuff lurks, Philip Ball declares his love for scientific instruments of a bygone age. This is part of an interesting discussion with Stephen Curry so follow the links to get the full story. An episode that played a role in the history of science was The Dust Veil AD 536. Recent Giants’ Shoulders host Rohit Gupta takes a look at the history of the microscope in India. Caroline Crampton introduces us to Caroline of Ansbach: the Georgian queen who brought the Enlightenment to Britain; good article with a bad title about the woman who initiate the Clerke-Leibniz correspondence amongst other things. A Beautiful, Complex Mess Illustrating, the Entire Development of Human Society (1926) discovered by John Ptak. A fascinating history of fictional inventions from Rebecca Onion. Philip Ball unlocks James Lovelock. Melinda Baldwin asks if Isaac Newton needed peer review. The people who saw evolution are Peter and Rosemary Grant who studied Darwin’s Finches for 40 years. We have attribute to John Houbolt the man behind the lunar module. Georgian Gent, Mike Rendell, introduces us to the inventor of the sewing machine. Cornelis J Schilt brings us some photos from Scientiae 2014. On his voyages through the South Atlantic Edmond Halley is now amongst the hoggs!
Something very special, a PDF and not a blog but too good to miss, Francis Crick’s letter to James Watson criticising The Double Helix, a real history of science gem.
This months book reviews include Science: A Four Thousand Year History, Hermaphrodites and The medical Invention of Sex, Dorothy Hodgkin a Life, When science stopped being literature, 400 Years of Beautiful, Historical and Powerful Globes,
That’s all for this edition the host of Giants’ Shoulders #72 will be announced in another post about the future of the history of science blog carnival that will be posted here in a couple of days.