J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Colonial Science and Its Instruments

The History of Science Department at Harvard and the M.I.T. Museum will be two co-hosts of the XXVI Symposium of the Scientific Instrument Commission. [Apparently such symposia come with Roman numerals only, like Super Bowls.] This gathering will take place 6 to 11 September 2007 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Organizers state:

The primary theme for the conference will be “Scientific Instrumentation on the Frontier.” We encourage papers on related topics, such as:
  • colonial science and its instruments
  • provincial versus metropolitan instrument makers
  • instrumentation taken on voyages of exploration or on scientific expeditions (e.g., apparatus used on ships sailing to the New World, on Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery, or on quests into outer space or within the brain)
  • “Science, the Endless Frontier,” Vannevar Bush’s report, 1945, and affects [sic] of science policy on instrumentation.
As a secondary theme, we encourage debate on the question, “Are Historical Scientific Instruments Relevant to Modern Scientific Researchers?”
Registration cost now stands at $400. Still interested? See here.

Today’s picture shows physician and aeronaut Dr. John Jeffries with his barometer, which is now part of the Smithsonian’s collection of scientific instruments.

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