CfP: Global Knowledge, Global Legitimacy? Transatlantic Biomedicine since 1970

Washington, DC, Sept. 6-7, 2019
Application deadine: Dec. 15, 2018

When the French pharmaceutical company Roussell Uclaff, a subsidiary of the German chemical giant Hoechst AG, was ready to introduce an abortion pill in 1988, American activists flooded the company’s headquarters near Frankfurt with protest letters. In response, the company’s German CEO mandated to stop the project. But the French state, a Hoechst minority shareholder, took the idea across the border, patented it, and embarked on medical trials for the new product in France. Ten years later, scientists in the United States successfully isolated human embryonic stem cells. The country’s regulatory framework had left them free to let the cells proliferate indefinitely. But researchers adopted concepts implemented in Britain to limit the cells’ growth to 13 days after gestation. Continue reading...

Knowledge Notes

Knowledge and Copyright

The Fall 2018 issue of the GHI Bulletin contains a forum entitled Knowledge and Copyright in Historical Perspective, edited by Sarah Beringer and Atiba Pertilla. The forum in this free access publication comprises an introduction and three articles:

  • "Mondrian’s Dress: Copying (and) the Couture Copy by Nancy J. Troy;
  • "Japanese Industrial Espionage, Foreign Direct Investment, and the Decline of the U.S. Industrial Base in the 1980s," by Mario Daniels;
  • "Why Are Universities Open-Access Laggards?" by Peter Baldwin.

Knowledge Notes

Fellowship in Migration and Knowledge

The German Historical Institute (GHI) is seeking applications for a Binational Visiting Fellow Tandem Program in the History of Migration. The fellowship program contributes to the creation of the new research network “Knowledge in Transit—Migrants’ Knowledge in Comparative Perspective” at GHI West, the Pacific regional office of the GHI in Berkeley. Details...

Deadline: December 10, 2018
Image credit: Berkley Lab

More than a Manual: Early-Modern Mathematical Instrument Books

In Elizabethan London, one of the more surprising things a wealthy owner of a beautifully illustrated folio volume could do was to take a sharp knife and cut it to pieces. John Blagrave’s 1585 Mathematical Jewel, in fact, demands nothing less.[1] This work, which introduced an elaborate instrument of Blagrave’s design for performing astronomical calculations, … Continue reading More than a Manual: Early-Modern Mathematical Instrument Books

Calculation

Being a human activity, calculation has a history, even if its operations yield "facts" apparently true in any context. One plus one might always be two, but the methods to arrive at such results, not to mention what they might mean, are another matter. Recent histories involving calculation on this blog include Staffan Müller-Wille and … Continue reading Calculation