Sunday, April 29, 2018

Talk - The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh

Kathryn Aalto

Tuesday 01 May 2018, 17:00 - 18:30
Mary Allan Building room 104, Homerton College, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8PQ

A. A. Milne's classic tales Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner have delighted readers for nearly a century. The stories' characters — Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and the rest of the gang — are famous, but how much do we know about the setting, the Hundred Acre Wood? Join Kathryn Aalto, author of the New York Times best-seller, The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh, for a look at what we can learn from studying the intersection of nature and culture in Winnie-the-Pooh. Kathryn has taken thousands of people on nostalgic and vivid journeys into one of the most iconic settings in children's literature. Learn about Milne's extraordinary childhood in the natural world, conflicts he experienced as a father and author, and how his creative partnership with illustrator E. H. Shepard continues to enchant countless readers. Discover places that inspired the stories along with the forest's rare flora and fauna. Part travelogue and natural history, this talk weaves history with humor and birdsong with booklore as we learn how these masterpieces of children's literature were created. Leave with a new understanding of how the Winnie-the-Pooh books are field guides for 21st-century Christopher Robins — hymns to those days of doing Nothing yet learning Everything.

Children's Literature Research Centre

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

2018 History of Physics Essay Contest

The Forum for History of Physics (FHP) of the American Physical Society is proud to announce the 2018 History of Physics Essay Contest.

The contest is designed to promote interest in the history of physics among those not, or not yet, professionally engaged in the subject. Entries can address the work of individual physicists, teams of physicists, physics discoveries, or other appropriate topics. Entries can range from about 1500-2000 words, and while scholarly should be accessible to a general scientific audience.

The contest is intended for undergraduate and graduate students, but open to anyone without a PhD in either physics or history. Entries with multiple authors will not be accepted. Entries will be judged on originality, clarity, and potential to contribute to the field. Previously published work, or excerpts thereof, will not be accepted. The winning essay will be published as a Back Page in APS News, and its author will receive a cash award of $1000, plus support for travel to an APS annual meeting to deliver a talk based on the essay. The judges may also designate one or more runners-up, with a cash award of $500 each.

Entries will be judged by members of the FHP Executive Committee and are due by September 1, 2018. They should be submitted to, with "Essay Contest" in the subject line. Entrants should supply their names, institutional affiliations (if any), mail and email addresses, and phone numbers. Winners will be announced by December 1, 2018.

For more information and past winners, see:

Monday, April 23, 2018

Workshop: Artisans of the Surface in Early Modern Europe, 1450-1750

King's College London, 20-21 September 2018
Deadline: 8 Jun 2018

This workshop focuses on the practices of a range of artisans (tailors, barbers, cooks, cheesemakers, gardeners, and agronomists) and their relationships with the fields of meteorology, botany, natural history, medicine, earth sciences, and veterinary medicine. These artisans andtheir practices shared a set of skills related to the observation and manipulation of human and non-human surfaces. We will explore how, and if, practical knowledge about the surface of things and bodies (and their storage and preservation in relation to specific environmental conditions) led to the concept of nature and matter as composed of layers, and how such a framework contributed to the demise of traditional Galenic and Aristotelian views on nature.

This workshop also aims at getting past the dichotomies between quantitative and qualitative knowledge and between natural philosophy and the arts, and so we intend to broaden the focus to include a set of artisans who have traditionally remained invisible from accounts of this 'age of the new'. We will explore the many different ways in which 'modern science' emerged, the relationships between social and cognitive practices, and the contribution that non-mathematical sciences gave to the mental habits of observing, collecting, experimenting with, and manipulating natural matter.

We welcome proposals, in particular, that address the relationships between gardening, natural history, and medicine; cooking and knowledge; work on animal skin; leatherwork; or veterinary medicine. Proposals (up to 250 words) for 20-minute papers should be sent to PaoloSavoia by 8 June 2018.

For further details, visit our website.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Andrea Wulf - 'The Invention of Nature', Science Museum, 30 May

Every two years, the British Society for the History of Science (BSHS) awards its Dingle prize for the best popular book on scientific history. This year's winner is Andrea Wulf, who has written a wonderful book about Alexander von Humboldt, The Invention of Nature. Although she rarely accepts speaking invitations, she has generously agreed to lecture at the Science Museum for one of their Lates evenings on Wednesday 30 May from 7.30 to 8.30. Book here.

Song Seminar Wednesday 25 April, 12.30-2.00: Ewan Jones on Entrainment and Aesthetics

The first of two Interdisciplinary Song seminars this term will be held on Weds 25 April, in the Harrods Room of Emmanuel College, from 12.30 to 2.00.

Ewan Jones will present a paper entitled 'What entrainment can teach aesthetics'. Description: This paper will explore the ethnomusicological and biological concept of entrainment, which explores the tendency for organisms to synchronise their endogenous rhythms to external periods or phases. Under its aspect, I will consider eighteenth- and nineteenth-century texts ranging that include Adam Smith, Charles Dickens and George Eliot. Some of these texts feature songs. 

As usual, tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided, and participants are encouraged to bring their own lunch should they wish. All are warmly welcome

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Easter Term 2018 - Aether (take 2)

The Science and Literature Reading Group will hold two sessions which were postponed from last term due to industrial action. We first complete our explorations of the aether by looking at the theme of communication, across and beyond the globe. We will then celebrate the end of our elements series with a found poetry workshop using all of the texts we have read and discussed over the previous two academic years.

All are welcome to join in our wide-ranging and friendly conversations, which take place in the Newnham Grange Seminar Room at Darwin College on selected Monday evenings from 7.30–9pm. The group is organised by Melanie Keene and Charissa Varma.

For recaps, further readings, news, and other updates, please follow us on Twitter @scilitreadgrp or check this blog.

14th May – Communication


4th June – End of year party and Elementary Poetry workshop