EWP 2011 January 3, 2011Posted by Will Thomas in Uncategorized.
Happy New Year everyone! In retrospect, it has been very convenient for me that I started this blog on January 1, 2008, because that way the new year provides a good occasion for reflection on blogging past, present and future. At three years into this project, things have slowed down a little. Once upon a time, I managed a few posts each week. Now I try to get in one. However, they tend to be longer, and, I think the ideas are better developed than they once were, which really was the whole point of the exercise. What was once a scattershot series of observations and complaints has become a more fully worked out critical viewpoint, which I can draw upon in day-to-day conversations and writing.
However, one year ago, this viewpoint was already reasonably well worked out. My new year’s blogging resolution is once again to stop leaning so hard on the crutch of methodological introspection.
When in doubt, it is always easy to refine a little more one’s take on the ideas informing past and present historiography. If I address this topic in the future, it will be because I have something specific to say about the craft of some of the moderate voices of the methodological-revolution era (I’ve been meaning to read more Charles Rosenberg), or maybe to keep an old promise to dig deeper into older historiography and methodology. (I’m using Andy Warwick’s office here at the Imperial College Centre for the History of Scicnce, Technology, and Medicine, since he now works out of the Dept. of Humanities main office, and he has this really stellar book collection just sitting there….)
Once again, I resolve to try and focus journalistically on some local historiographies. I get the sense different readers have dramatically different tastes in posts, so I’ll also try and keep things eclectic. Notably, I enjoyed this blog’s limited forays into the chymistry literature to try and draw more professional attention to what seems to be an unusually focused sub-literature, and so I will try and make that a pattern to follow in the future. It is possible that having moved from my history-writing outpost at AIP to London, which can make a strong claim to being the centre of the history of science universe, will help in this respect.
And, of course, I hope to do plenty of new reporting of preliminary results from my new project on expertise in the British state. A post on agricultural science in Britain is currently first in the queue of upcoming new posts — unless Chris D. beats me to it with his latest in his series on the eclectic history of the human sciences. His posts, for the record, have become proportionally the top draw on this blog. His post on the historical reality of environmental determinism set a new record for fastest to 1,000 views. Thony C’s perennially-popular-with-the-search-engines guest post on Newton’s prism experiments, and Chris’s post on Malinowski’s functionalism are the only other posts on this blog ever to accomplish this feat.