Entries in "History of Science" ( for this category only)

Stupid Engineering Mistakes

Wired Magazine (Issue 14.06, June 2006) listed the The Worst: Stupid Engineering Mistakes. It includes various failures such as a dam collapse, transportation disasters, and poorly designed tires.

Isaac Newton's "Alchemical Notebooks" Available Online

The Chymistry of Isaac Newton is producing a scholarly online edition of Newton's alchemical manuscripts integrated with new research on Newton's chymistry. To date, about seven hundred pages have been transcribed and encoded in TEI/XML. Of these, roughly six hundred have been edited and are available online, including Newton's Most Complete Laboratory Notebook.

Isaac Newton, like Albert Einstein, is a quintessential symbol of the human intellect and its ability to decode the secrets of nature. Newton's fundamental contributions to science include the quantification of gravitational attraction, the discovery that white light is actually a mixture of immutable spectral colors, and the formulation of the calculus. Yet there is another, more mysterious side to Newton that is imperfectly known, a realm of activity that spanned some thirty years of his life, although he kept it largely hidden from his contemporaries and colleagues. We refer to Newton's involvement in the discipline of alchemy, or as it was often called in seventeenth-century England, "chymistry."
(VIA: Librarian In Black, April 14, 2006)

The Library of Congress: Webcasts

The Library of Congress has made over 300 webcasts available in a variety of topics. The site includes talks, discussions, and conferences, plus webcasts from the National Book Festival. Subject categories include biography & history, culture & performing arts, education, government, poetry & literature, religion, and science & technology.

Examples of science & technology webcasts include:

  • Got Game
  • Chemical Warfare from WWI to Al-Qaeda
  • Dawn of the Space Age
  • Science, Ethics and the Law
  • Cutting Edge Research

(Originally highlighted by The Scout Report, January 27, 2006 - Volume 12, Number 4)

Fifty Years of X-ray Diffraction

On March 24, 2006, it was shared on the CHMINF-L listserv that Fifty Years of X-ray Diffraction (Dedicated to the International Union of Crystallography on the occasion of the commemoration meeting in Munich, July 1962, by P. P. Ewald, editor, and numerous crystallographers) was digitzed and freely available for use.

Explore Polymers - Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) has put together a historical perspective on polymers. Explore the historical timeline of polymers, the "faces" of polymers, and a directory of various resources.

[About CHF]

The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) serves the community of the chemical and molecular sciences, and the wider public, by treasuring the past, educating the present, and inspiring the future. CHF maintains a world-class collection of materials that document the history and heritage of the chemical and molecular sciences, technologies, and industries; encourages research in CHF collections; and carries out a program of outreach and interpretation in order to advance an understanding of the role of the chemical and molecular sciences, technologies, and industries in shaping society.

Los Alamos Technical Reports on the Federation of American Scientists Web Site

Thousands of unclassified technical reports that were published on the Los Alamos National Laboratory web site and then removed from public access have now been reposted on the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) web site.

The Los Alamos reports were archived by researchers Carey Sublette and Gregory Walker. Over the past year FAS has added more and more of the collection, which comprises an enormous 8.5 gigabytes of data, to the website.

Many of the documents have enduring if narrow scientific value, judging from the requests we regularly receive for various titles. Others are principally of historical value. Still others hold both scientific and historical interest.

For example, the 1947 study entitled "Blast Wave" (LA-2000, a 19 MB PDF file) includes original scientific papers by Hans Bethe, John von Neuman and Rudolph Peierls -- but also by Klaus Fuchs, who would be convicted in 1950 of spying for the Soviet Union.

[About Federation of American Scientists]

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) was formed in 1945 by atomic scientists from the Manhattan Project. Endorsed by nearly 60 Nobel Laureates in biology, chemistry, economics, medicine and physics as sponsors, the Federation has addressed a broad spectrum of national security issues of the nuclear age in carrying out its mission to promote humanitarian uses of science and technology.

The Albert Szent-Gyorgi Papers

The Scout Report in the December 2, 2005 edition shared a summary of the Albert Szent-Gyorgi Papers.

The Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Papers
are hosted by the National Library of Medicine as part of its Profiles in Science series.

Albert Imre Szent-Gyorgyi (1893-1986), a Hungarian-born biochemist, was the first to isolate vitamin C, and his research on biological oxidation provided the basis for Krebs' citric acid cycle. His discoveries about the biochemical nature of muscular contraction revolutionized the field of muscle research. His later career was devoted to research in "submolecular" biology, applying quantum physics to biological processes. He was especially interested in cancer, and was one of the first to explore the connections between free radicals and cancer. Szent-Gyorgyi won the 1937 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work in biological oxidation and vitamin C, and the Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research in 1954, for contributions to understanding cardiovascular disease through basic muscle research.
[About Profiles in Science]
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is making the archival collections of leaders in biomedical research and public health available on its Profiles in ScienceĀ® web site. The site, launched in September 1998, promotes the use of the Internet for research and teaching in the history of biomedical science. Many of the collections have been donated to NLM and contain published and unpublished items, including books, journal volumes, pamphlets, diaries, letters, manuscripts, photographs, audiotapes, video clips, and other materials.

Paleo Art Digitized

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has provided online access to a selection of historical art in paleobiology.