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HISTORY OF SCIENCE DEPARTMENT

In 1995-1996 the department continued to enjoy a busy and productive year, and added a new course to the curriculum, "The History of Medicine." In July 1995, Professor Donald deB. Beaver finished editing Science at Williams: the First 200 Years, A Bicentennial Overview. The book, printed in fall 1995 by Williams College, was developed from students' papers written in spring 1992 in History of Science 240, "Science and Technology in American Life," and first put together by editorial assistants Aaron D. Jorgenson `97 and Alexia L. Rosoff `96.

In August, Prof. Beaver enjoyed being an invited participant at a 3 day IEEE conference on the history of computing, held at Williams, and organized by William Aspray, formerly an assistant professor of mathematics at Williams.

On October 24, Prof. Beaver gave a bag lunch talk, "Scientific Anniversaries," that reviewed significant events in the history of science and technology occurring 100, 200, 300, . . etc. years ago, beginning in 595 A.D. with the first authentic record of decimal calculation, and ending in 1895, centennial of the discovery of X-rays.

At Tyler House in November, Prof. Beaver continued with the informal presentation of the history of science, when he gave a brief talk on the 16th, "Medieval Unity: Science, Technology, and World View," followed by a discussion.

Early in 1996, Prof. Beaver published, with Prof. Eri Yagi of Toyo University and Prof. Lawrence Badash, University of California, Santa Barbara, "Derek J. deS. Price (1922-83): Historian of Science and Herald of Scientometrics," in Interdisciplinary Science Reviews. The article recounts early events in the development of scientometrics as a social scientific discipline.

Just after spring vacation, Prof. Beaver traveled to Oxford University to participate in the Society for the History of Natural History conference, "Empires of Nature," April 11-13, where he gave a paper, "Writing Natural History for Survival, 1820-1856: the career of Sarah Bowdich Lee." Mrs. Robert Lee (1791-1856) [nee Sarah Wallis, formerly Mrs. T. E. Bowdich], was the first European woman ever to discover new genera of plants, a skilled naturalist, African traveler, author, and painter.

As usual, Professor Beaver continued to review and referee scholarly work during the year for the American Journal of Physics and Spectrum , a journal of the IEEE.


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