News from the Department of History and Philosophy of Science.

Illuminating art’s history

19 Feb 2015

Scientific imaging techniques are uncovering secrets locked in medieval illuminated manuscripts – including those of a thrifty duke.

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R100 at mast in Canada

The ‘flying scientist’ who chased spores

11 Feb 2015

A passion for fungi led Cambridge mycologist Dr Dillon Weston to ever-more inventive means of trapping fungal spores, even from the open window of an airship on its maiden flight in the first half of the 20th century.

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The lady of the longitude

30 Nov 2014

In 1714, the British Parliament offered large rewards for finding longitude at sea. Men around the world submitted schemes but only one woman, Jane Squire, published a proposal under her own name. Dr Alexi Baker has been investigating the life story of this remarkable trailblazer. 

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Tricks of the trade: magic and mischief in the making

19 Nov 2014

Victorian magicians Rhys Morgan and Robert West will be at Sidney Sussex College tonight (19 November 2014) where their show will provoke discussions about the nature of truth, the skills of deception, and the blurred lines between what's real and what's imagined. All welcome. 

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Tiny sperm, big stories

10 Sep 2014

Sperm will take centre stage at a conference in Cambridge later this week as researchers from a wide range of disciplines gather to consider the narratives that surround the male gametes necessary for human reproduction. 

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Heavens above

27 May 2014

A 600-year-old astronomical document is now moving into the modern era, with a symposium at the Whipple Museum tomorrow (Wednesday 28 May) to mark its digitisation.

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Driving a harpoon deep into the floating carcass of Humbug

17 Apr 2014

In his latest book, Professor Jim Secord explores seven scientific books that made a lasting historical impact. Visions of Science concentrates on the 1830s, an era that witnessed an often passionate clash of viewpoints.  Secord will be talking about his book in Heffers bookshop tonight (17 April 2014).

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Skeletons in the cupboard of medical science

13 Feb 2014

In a talk on 17 February, Margaret Carlyle, a researcher in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, will explore the fascinating (often gruesome) development in 18th-century Paris of anatomical models and introduce her audience to a remarkable woman who made her name in a field dominated by men.

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Never too young to talk about death?

07 Nov 2013

Talking to children about death is a difficult and delicate task, but it is sometimes also necessary. While many adults shy away from discussing the loss of a friend or relative with children, some health professionals argue that we should be more proactive. Here, Hannah Newton, a social historian and research associate at St John's College, Cambridge, explains why this is one area where the past may offer valuable lessons for our own time.

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