Seminar on History and Philosophy of Science

Wednesday, November 9, 2016
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Dabney Hall 110 (Treasure Room)
Historians in the Laboratory: The Making and Knowing Project
Pamela Smith, Seth Low Professor of History, Director of the Center for Science and Society, Columbia University, New York,

The empirical techniques of experiment and observation employed in the natural sciences since the Scientific Revolution have important origins in the accurate description and eyewitness practiced by Renaissance historians and in the creative labors of Renaissance artists' workshops. But since the seventeenth century, these shared origins have been obscured, and the divisions between the natural sciences and the arts and humanities have become ever wider: Scientists work in the lab; historians work in libraries and archives.  Studying the pre-modern artist's workshop provides an opportunity for the historian to enter the contemporary laboratory.  Drawing on techniques from both laboratory and archival research, this lecture crosses the science/humanities divide and explores the intersection of historical and scientific research.

For more information, please contact Fran Tise by phone at 626-395-3609 or by email at ftise@hss.caltech.edu.