History Lab: Disability and the Myth of the Independent Scientist

Saturday, August 17, 2019
1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Indy Hall
399 Market Street, Suite 360
Philadelphia, PA 19106
United States

Mobility impairments shape how some people perform their tasks of daily living. For those with physical disabilities, activities that able-bodied individuals can complete with little forethought often require collaboration with other humans, animals, or machines. But are the able-bodied really doing things “independently”?


Unidentified Beckman Instruments employees

Completion of first Beckman LS 9800 liquid scintillation instrument, 1981.

Science History Institute

This program looks at the ways the life stories of scientists with mobility disabilities can prompt us to ask questions about how networks of hidden labor and privilege enable the production of modern scientific knowledge and why the myth of the “independent scientist” is indeed just that, a myth.

About the Series

Join us each summer for History Lab, a series of free monthly seminars taking place from June through August. We’ll explore big questions from science and history that have immediate, real-world implications.

We’re Working to Make Our Programming Accessible

Indy Hall is wheelchair accessible through the building’s front entrance on Market Street. In addition each session of History Lab will have ASL interpretation and closed-caption technology for presentations.

If you require wheelchair-accessible parking or other accommodations, please contact Zack Biro at 215.873.8203 or zbiro@sciencehistory.org.