Panamanian postage stamp commemorating Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Prize

Panamanian postage stamp commemorating Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Prize.

What We’re Talking About

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

Science History Institute staffers are a diverse bunch: we’re historians, museum 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. Each month Distillations asks a few of these varied experts to share the articles and content from around the web that have them the most excited. Here are some of their responses to make your must-read (or listen) list just a little bit longer.

Mellon/ACLS public fellow and digital engagement manager Ashley Bowen is thinking a lot about this article connecting today’s facial-recognition technology with the discredited practice of physiognomy, the 19th-century “art” of discerning a person’s character by examining their facial features.

Fascinated by the deepest parts of the ocean, development data processor Kelly Smith recommends this piece on Marie Tharp, who by mapping the seafloor forever changed our understanding of geology and the earth’s crust.

For anyone looking to learn more about how climate change is affecting people living in the Arctic, Cain postdoctoral fellow Rebecca Kaplan recommends season two of the Threshold Podcast. These stories explore humans as part of the natural world.

The Ocean Liners exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum has a wonderful digital component, which is good news for public history fellow Amanda Mahoney. She doesn’t have to travel to London to take in the technological, cultural, and social history covered by the exhibition. It also features an interactive tour of the RMS Aquitania.

Earlier this month Donna Strickland became just the third woman ever to win the Nobel Prize in Physics, which was finally enough to land her a page on Wikipedia. Social media editor Rebecca Ortenberg recommends this Atlantic article, which covers the controversy over systemic bias on Wikipedia and the larger issues of how we talk about women in science.

This feature from the New York Review of Books speaks to Haas postdoctoral fellow Ingrid Ockert as both a historian and a podcast enthusiast. Ingrid is interested in how storytellers directly influence each other, and this article explores how avant-garde journalists from the 1970s used radio programs as a medium for telling human-centric, personal stories.

Zackary Biro

is a program associate in the Institute’s Center for Applied History.