History Lab: Moving beyond Scientific Genius

History Lab
Saturday, July 27, 2019
1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Science History Institute
315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
United States

Psychologists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries began developing standardized methods for testing and measuring human intelligence. Since then STEM fields have grown especially enamored with the idea of intelligence and the appearance of a purely merit-based reward system in science.


Laboratory staff working with radioactive material

Laboratory staff working with radioactive material, 1959.

Science History Institute

But what about people who learn in ways that are not well-supported by our modern educational or scientific institutions? What about those who require more time, additional support, or altogether different teaching approaches to learn?

By examining the participation and experiences of individuals with learning differences and cognitive disabilities, this program examines how harmful narratives about genius affect who pursues scientific careers as much as it shapes what we count as “real science.”

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

Each session of History Lab will have ASL interpretation, braille copies of signage and handouts, and closed-caption technology for presentations.

Please contact Zack Biro at 215.873.8203 or zbiro@sciencehistory.org if you need other accommodations.

Wheelchair Access

A wheelchair-accessible pedestrian gate is available at our parking-lot entrance on 3rd Street, between Chestnut and Market Streets. A greeter will be waiting before the start of the event to welcome and help direct attendees. The pedestrian gate is unlocked during regular business hours and for events. If you’re traveling by car, drive up to the parking-lot gate, which will open automatically during regular business hours and events. You may park in any open spot marked “Visitor” or in one of two spots reserved for those with disabilities. To enter the building call our receptionist via the intercom at the East Entrance for visitors and staff.