I just finished another set of readings for my orals list on “History of American Post-War Science and Feminism” with Susan Lindee. Read my summaries below and make sure to check out Etienne Benson’s site with many more resources on “wilderness” and STS. Continue reading
Do you remember my post about the all-too-easy concept of attending to sex and gender in biomedical research (“What Kind of Sex Do We Need in the Lab?”)? Sarah Richardson and her colleagues just published a very insightful, informative, and important piece that is much more scientifically sophisticated than my short statement. “Focus on Preclinical Sex Differences Will Not Address Women’s and Men’s Health Disparities,” so the title. Check it out!
Here comes another contribution to my summaries for my list with Susan Lindee. Topic of the day: “History, Tools, and Practices of Genetics and Hereditary Science.” My original notes are much longer than what I provide in this essay, but I have a maximum of six pages to deliver. So I had to cut some of my observations. Have fun! Continue reading
Yesterday was the ultimate software day for me. Confined to bed with a serious cold (I should have insisted on a warm beer at our History of Medicine class end-of-term dinner the night before), I finished my paper on statistical software for fMRI data analysis. Because this led only to a severe headache, and not to the feeling my head would explode every second, I decided to go on working and did my first digital humanities project ever. Here it is: Continue reading
I want to share some more thoughts which occurred to me while reading John Tresch’s The Romantic Machine recently. I wish to elaborate more on what I missed in the book: intent(ion(ality)) on the machine users’ part. Tresch asserted that he didn’t aim at writing “a story about good intentions gone wrong, or about the sinister underpinnings of seemingly liberatory projects” (25). This is certainly legitimate, but I was wondering: Why not? Doing so would be perfectly in line with my concern for researchers’ hidden agendas, how far these fertilize or corrupt science, and to what extent they make it more or less easy for politics to adapt scientific results for their own purposes—as I pointed out in my paper on “Making Normal Sexuality” and tried to explain with a little more detail in a recent post. Continue reading
A little bit earlier than the year 2013, my first term at grad school ended. In only a few days from now, I will be showing prospective grad students around, having lunch with them, and telling them that there is no need to be overly nervous on their interview day. Wow. I remember mine like it was a few weeks ago, not 50.5. The time since I arrived at Penn seems to have been flying in particular. It feels like we were swallowed in one piece in August and spit out the end of December. The increasing number of grey hair on my head and marked up books on my shelf seem to be sole solid evidences that I have really existed during these four months.
One more proof seems to be the hard copy of my “Seminar in the History and Sociology of Science” paper (or isn’t it? I don’t remember anybody touching it—apart from myself). It was due some December day at midnight, and I emailed it at 11.47 pm. Obviously, I did not have the time to let it sit for a day or two, and then to revise it thoroughly. In rereading it after handing it in, I discovered that it would most likely not be comprehensible for anyone who doesn’t have my brain in their head. Continue reading
As I promised before I got almost entirely caught up in working hard on my final assignments, I asked Kevin Gotkin to pass along the Latour analogy sheet he compiled for our class. Download it here, and enjoy!
Besides, I wanted to share the abstract of the Tukey/Kinsey paper I am currently working on. I shared my research proposal with you earlier. I will not post the whole thing, because I intend to make this a publishable article. Thus, this is only meant to stimulate your thoughts, and maybe you would like to share them (comment or email!). Continue reading
I do not read horoscopes, but I love personality tests. I admit that this is weird, because one makes promises (nearly?) as false as the other, but I find the attempt of measuring human character and abilities in numbers marvelously interesting. Finally, with my project on the methodological review of the Kinsey Report, I have a respectable reason for taking some of these tests during my work time—and learn about my sexual orientation. Continue reading
We just had an amazing class today, referred to as the “mega-week” by our instructor. Since he decided to cancel class last week in favor of a mid-term break, we had to cram many, many great and thought-provoking readings1 in a three-hour discussion. As our weekly ritual requires, I had to hand in a response paper by 10 am this morning, dealing with thoughts, questions and reactions to the readings. Usually, I love putting the paper together the night before class, after reviewing the readings and my annotations.2 Last night, however, I could not come up with any idea to formulate a response paper as I ordinarily would. Thus, I decided to frame my experiences in grad school so far using some of the concepts reiterated in the readings. It would probably be to your advantage to be familiar with the readings, and this piece might be a little messy since I wrote it late at night, but I hope it can give you an idea of my life and work anyhow. Continue reading