What’s American about the History of Science in America? Restrospective and Prospective

The Forum is pleased to announce a new essay series on what it means to study science in an American context (broadly defined). Does awareness of the Americas as a place where science is practiced influence our understanding of that science? We are soliciting brief essays and comments (anywhere from 500-3,500 words) from scholars at all stages of their careers working any relevant discipline (not just history). Senior scholars might choose to reflect on how their understanding of science in America has changed over the years, if it has, while graduate students and recent Ph.D.s might discuss the relevance (or lack thereof) of the idea of American science to their research.

Thirty years ago, the field of history of science was oriented almost entirely toward Europe. At about that time, a number of scholars consciously identified themselves as historians of science in America. During the years between then and now, research that was once marginal to the discipline has become central, and many historians who were once on the periphery of the profession now stand among its leaders. The Forum hope to document what thirty years of change has meant to the theoretical construction of this field and related disciplines in order to gain a better understanding of where it is now and where it might be heading.

If you would like to write an essay for this series, please contact Daniel Goldstein, newsletter editor for the Forum for the History of Science in America(dgoldsteinATucdavis.edu).

We are delighted to present the inaugural essays in this series

Science Knows no Boundaries;” Alan I. Marcus;
Characteristics of the History of Science in America, with Some Programmatic Notes on Unity;” Clark A. Elliott;
The History of American Science: A Field Finds Itself,” Hamilton Cravens,

Each author reflects on his own relationship to the history of science, the overall character of the field, and suggests directions for its future development. Please join a discussion of these essays on the Forum’s blog.

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