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Housekeeping May 1, 2008

Posted by Will Thomas in History 174, Uncategorized.
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Only three lectures left to go! After History 174 comes to a close (today was “Science and the Computer: Computation, Automation, Simulation, Information”), I think it will be about time to rejigger the blog a little bit, maybe harp on some people again to sign on as contributors, so we can get a more diverse dialogue going here.

One thing I’d like to see happen is a wider community of commentary and speculation. I think people take the blogging thing altogether too seriously and get intimidated, like you have to have some profound insight to blog. But I think it’s more of a place for unserious thinking, since we have to do so much serious thinking for publications. The most interesting and vital thinking seems to go on behind the scenes, so it seems like a good idea to open those conversations up a little to the public.

Anyway, to try and create a sense of there being an active blog community (no slackers!), I’ve decided to weed out a few defunct sites on the blog roll to the left. Phil Mirowski seems to have come to the end of his book promo blog, so he’s gone; it’s too bad, because I think if he ever had a real blog it would be seriously, seriously entertaining. Paul Edwards has apparently bored of writing about Infrastructuration, too, with no immediate hopes of return. However, Robert Vienneau’s “Thoughts on Economics” is updated regularly, and is usually historical in character and is also really thought-provoking–I recommend looking at it even though (especially because?) it’s not within The Biz. Similarly, the Copenhagen Medical Museion blog, Biomedicine on Display, kept up primarily by Thomas Soderqvist, is also frequently updated, and often asks really good questions.

Advances in the History of Psychology (celebrating 340 days on the web) is a little bit more newsletter-like with only occasional scholarly commentary. It is very professionally done–a model for all who want to try and reach out in this direction. Similarly, Michael Barton’s “The Dispersal of Darwin” is also usually in the newsletter vein. He’s done a great job of keeping the blog up, and his ClustrMap shows he has a wide audience. I might try and figure out some criteria for figuring out which of the (many) other popular blogs should get links.

The institutional blogs (except the Medical Museion) seems to be growing in fits and starts. The Penn Logan Lounge seems to have become a semesterly-updated seminar list, so I’m going to axe it. The University of Minnesota department blog is not updated a lot, but looks like it could become a place for reviews and thoughts–plus it’s Minnesota, and Minnesota is awesome. I’m really interested to see what the University of Oklahoma gang does with their Hydra online grad student journal/website.

I’ll be on the lookout foor more sites to put up, and will see if any of the hibernating ones spring back to life. If any readers have suggestions, please leave a comment. We’re looking for blogs dealing with the history of science, or any particular science, in at least a somewhat probing way, but the audience doesn’t have to be academic.



1. Michael D. Barton, FCD - May 1, 2008

Thanks for the plug, Will, but my last name is Barton, not Bartram. But maybe this is a Bartram one should know about:

Hopefully one day, when I have more available time, I can provide more scholarly commentary on The Dispersal of Darwin.

2. Michael D. Barton, FCD - May 1, 2008

Oops, I just noticed that it was Bartman, not Bartram, so I don’t know anymore if it was a mistake or if you’re just trying to be funny:

3. Will Thomas - May 1, 2008

Ha! Actually, I think as a sometimes-Cubs fan, I actually had this in my head:


Anyway, it’s fixed now.

4. Will Thomas - May 1, 2008

Also, while scholarly commentary is always welcome (your review of Daston/Park was great), please feel no pressure from here. Every blog must do its own thing.

5. John - May 4, 2008

I also wanted to thank you for the plug for Hydra and note that we have a new “splash page” and new primary web address at http://ou.edu/hydra. We are hoping to get all of the sub-sections of our web project up and running over the summer. Hopefully then we will have an operational journal/web-community at the beginning of the fall semester and have the first journal articles out in the spring. Thanks, John Stewart

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