Performers in The White Mountains, a part of the Institute's Reach Ambler project.

What We’re Talking About

Science History Institute staff recommends articles, videos, and blog posts from around the web to add to your summer binge lists.

We here at the Science History Institute are a diverse bunch: we’re historians, medical professionals, photographers, writers, rare books specialists, editors, librarians, podcasters, and archivists. We’re also parents, science fiction nerds, marathon runners, tea aficionados, foodies, and of course, readers. Distillations asked a few of these varied experts to share the articles, videos, and blog posts from around the web that have them the most excited. Here are some of their responses to make your must-read (and to-watch) list just a little bit longer.

In preparation for an upcoming “Distilled” video, registrar Gillian Maguire is reading Jill Lepore’s 2009 New Yorker article on early breast pumps.

Since it combines history, science, art, and mysteries, our awards program manager Sarah Reisert loves this Smithsonian article on how scientists use a particle accelerator to reveal the hidden images on damaged daguerreotypes.

Public history fellow Amanda Mahoney has been following reactions to the public closure of the Philadelphia History Museum, as many of us are. She recommends this article exploring the museum’s complex background and the place of a “city museum” in a city drenched in history.

In her work updating John Joseph Merlin’s Wikipedia page, Wikipedian in residence Mary Mark Ockerbloom encountered this incredible video of his automaton swan in action, and now none of us can stop watching.

The Silver Swan - Amazing 18th century clock-work creation

John Joseph Merlin's automaton swan.

Program assistant Zack Biro is familiar with using local theater to explore themes in oral histories from our REACH Ambler project, so he recommends this related blog post on how partnership between oral history and theater can benefit both fields.

Development data processor Kelly Smith endorses this BBC piece on the Bayeux Tapestry, which she uses to teach her history students about the Norman Conquest. Plan your visits to England for 2022, when the tapestry will be on view!

Chief curator of audiovisual and digital collections Hillary Kativa says this blog post from the Library of Congress perfectly encapsulates a “day in the life” of a collections professional, including hidden work and serendipitous discoveries.

This article on where history PhDs have ended up interested Center for Historical Research director Carin Berkowitz, from her perspective as both the head of our fellowship program and an advocate for a more relevant and permeable academy.

Social media editor Rebecca Ortenberg recommends this New York Times article about the challenges faced by women in science who post videos on YouTube (as documented in our previous post, this sexism is sadly nothing new).

Emilie Haertsch

is the Institute’s communications coordinator.