Looking Outward

In case you missed it, HSS president Lynn Nyhart used her column in the last newsletter to ask the history of science community of scholars to think expansively about the profession:

Here’s a thought: we could become “them.” Instead of noticing (and complaining about) science writers who take our best material and get it not-quite right, we could sometimes choose–and then learn–to write the way they do. Instead of sighing over science textbooks that compress history into brief sidebars, we could work with their writers to show why history of science deserves not only more space but integration into the overall presentation of science. We could further encourage history of science students to become K–12 teachers, museum professionals, and film-makers, and seek out active means to funnel people headed for these futures into history of science courses. Instead of bemoaning the lack of science-cultural literacy among our politicians and government bureaucrats, we could prepare our students for non-academic jobs that engage with science-related public policy.

I would add that we can and should push for integration of history of science into other branches of history. For us, that means making HOS a part of standard US history narratives.

Nyhart also mentions our little experiment here and that HSS has opened up an on-line forum that—err, um—has not exactly caught on yet. I like this spirit of experimentation. I think the question for Google Group is: what does an HSS Forum do that H-Net can’t? Any ideas?

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