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Paige Madison
Fossils are crucial pieces of evidence that illuminate the past. In the case of paleoanthropology, the discipline that studies human evolution, fossils are tangible objects that shape the ways we understand ourselves and our history. But how, exactly, do fossils find their way into these narratives, and into scientific journals and museums? How do they become pieces of evidence? The Forbes skull reveals a fossil that struggled to become a noteworthy piece of evidence. It was twice lost, first in a library cabinet on the Rock of Gibraltar, and later, in a London museum storeroom...
October 15, 2016: Endeavour
Andrew J Hogan
The Asilomar conference on genetic engineering in 1975 has long been pointed to by scientists as a model for internal regulation and public engagement. In 2015, the organizers of the International Summit on Human Gene Editing in Washington, DC looked to Asilomar as they sought to address the implications of the new CRISPR gene editing technique. Like at Asilomar, the conveners chose to limit the discussion to a narrow set of potential CRISPR applications, involving inheritable human genome editing. The adoption by scientists in 2015 of an Asilomar-like script for discussing genetic engineering offers historians the opportunity to analyze the adjustments that have been made since 1975, and to identify the blind spots that remain in public engagement...
October 5, 2016: Endeavour
Richard Bellon, Joseph D Martin
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2016: Endeavour
Andrew S Lea
In 1966, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine became the first American medical institution to perform sex reassignment surgeries. This article interrogates the relationship between the emergence of this clinical therapy in the United States and the changing medical understandings of the contemporaneous condition it was intended to address - 'transsexualism.' I argue that, during the mid-to-late twentieth century, therapeutic practices and theories about the etiology of transsexualism were mutually constitutive...
September 2016: Endeavour
Margaret Charleroy, Hilary Marland
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2016: Endeavour
Gilbert Shama
Ernest Duchesne (1874-1912) completed his thesis on microbial antagonism in 1897 in Lyon. His work lay unknown for fifty years, but on being brought to light led to his being credited with having discovered penicillin prior to Alexander Fleming. The claims surrounding Duchesne are examined here both from the strictly microbiological perspective, and also for what they reveal about how the process of discovery is frequently misconstrued. The combined weight of evidence presented here militates strongly against the possibility that the species of Penicillium that Duchesne worked with produced penicillin...
September 2016: Endeavour
Andrew Lea
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2016: Endeavour
Chris Manias
In 1924, the model-making company Messmore & Damon, Inc. of New York unleashed their masterpiece: the Amphibious Dinosaurus Brontosaurus, a moving, breathing, roaring animatronic dinosaur, based on displays in the American Museum of Natural History. Over the 1920s and 1930s, this became the focus of an ever-increasing publicity campaign, as Messmore & Damon exhibited prehistoric automata in department stores, the media, and the Chicago World Fair of 1933-34. These displays were hugely popular and widely discussed, drawing from the increasing public appeal of paleontology...
September 2016: Endeavour
Thomas R Anderson, Ed Hawkins, Philip D Jones
Climate warming during the course of the twenty-first century is projected to be between 1.0 and 3.7°C depending on future greenhouse gas emissions, based on the ensemble-mean results of state-of-the-art Earth System Models (ESMs). Just how reliable are these projections, given the complexity of the climate system? The early history of climate research provides insight into the understanding and science needed to answer this question. We examine the mathematical quantifications of planetary energy budget developed by Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927) and Guy Stewart Callendar (1898-1964) and construct an empirical approximation of the latter, which we show to be successful at retrospectively predicting global warming over the course of the twentieth century...
September 2016: Endeavour
Emmy Bocaege
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 14, 2016: Endeavour
Rachel Emma Rothschild
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 2016: Endeavour
Roberto Cantoni
Between 2001 and 2009, the area of Naples, South Italy, repeatedly hit the headlines of national and international media due to the waste management crisis that on many occasions filled up the streets of the region with huge piles of waste. What soon emerged as the main bone of contention concerned the connections between the population's health and the presence of dumps on the territory. What the risks for health actually were, who was entitled to assess them, and whether pollution from proximity to dumps caused health problems were all topics that came to the fore during a debate that took place within the Italian epidemiological community, alongside the political and governance crisis...
June 2016: Endeavour
José Ramón Bertomeu-Sánchez
This paper reviews the cultural meanings, social uses and circulations of arsenic in different legal, medical and popular settings. The focus is on nineteenth-century France. In the first section, I review the advent of the Marsh test for arsenic, which is commonly regarded as a milestone in the history of toxicology. I claim that the high sensitivity of the Marsh test introduced puzzling problems for forensic doctors, the most disturbing one being the so-called 'normal arsenic.' I reconstruct early research on normal arsenic and the ensuing controversies in courts, academies and salons...
June 2016: Endeavour
Gerald Markowitz
A hidden epidemic is poisoning our planet and its people. The toxins are in the air we breathe and in the water we drink, in the walls of our homes and the furniture has it within them. We cannot escape as it is so indispensable in our cars. It is ubiquitous in cities and the countryside. It afflicts rich and poor, young and old. But this testing of chemicals on human beings is not new. For most of the twentieth century lead was tested on children and it produced one of the largest and longest running epidemics in the history of United States...
June 2016: Endeavour
Thomas Le Roux
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 2016: Endeavour
Ximo Guillem-Llobat, José Ramón Bertomeu Sánchez
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 2016: Endeavour
Claas Kirchhelle
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 2016: Endeavour
Henrik Kylin
What is science? Or, more pertinently, what is good science? This question is central for all practitioners of science and one of the most important to convey to our students. For those of us working in interdisciplinary settings - my own department covers everything from humanities to political and natural science - the question becomes even more complicated when traditions from different disciplines collide. For me personally, whenever I think too highly of my own research and risk deviating into bad scientific practices, I think of my paternal grandmother, Elsa...
June 2016: Endeavour
Gretchen Heefner
In the late 1940s and early 1950s engineers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed military facilities across newly independent Libya. This article examines how the local environment - namely the Sahara - shaped how these engineers planned for and carried out their assigned tasks. Though engineers initially hoped to apply experiences from the U.S. to things such as runway construction, they quickly learned that blowing sand, high temperatures and locust invasions could stymie their efforts. Engineers had to rethink what they thought they knew about things as mundane as concrete mixtures and wind-bearing loads...
March 2016: Endeavour
Alejandro Gordillo-García
In the Origin of Species (1859), Darwin argued that his revolutionary theory of evolution by natural selection represented a significant breakthrough in the understanding of instinctive behaviour. However, many aspects in the development of his thinking on behavioural phenomena indicate that the explanation of this particular organic feature was by no means an easy one, but that it posed an authentic challenge - something that Darwin himself always recognized. This paper explores Darwin's treatment of instincts within his theory of natural selection...
March 2016: Endeavour
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