Category Archives: contributions welcome

Pleasant surprises from Phoenix?

Were you at the History of Science Society’s Annual Meeting in Phoenix? Why not share a highlight?

I’ll get us started, but I’m relying on the rest of you to help me out. We don’t need essays here. Feel free to submit half-digested thoughts. Based on your contributions, I’ll ask paper authors to put together mini-entries for our general edification.

Watch while I set the bar low with my own short shout-out:
Sadiah Qureshi of the University of Cambridge got me thinking in her Friday morning (20 Nov. 2009) paper about the benefits of talking about nineteenth century nature conservation alongside efforts to create reservations for Native Americans. Often the same people pushing for reservations were also advocating national park lands. Those people spoke in both cases about a vanishing past that would not be preserved without intervention. Why not consider these two apparently separate activities together? I—I think rightly—shy away from any formulation that would appear to equate Native Americans and nature. Yet that’s no reason not to pay attention to a way of thinking and talking about Native Americans and nature that many prominent thinkers employed in the nineteenth century.