Physical Sciences (inactive)

The Working Group on the History of the Physical Sciences meets monthly to discuss a colleague’s work in progress or to discuss readings that are of particular interest to participants.

Meetings are usually held at the Consortium offices in Philadelphia from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. on third Fridays. Scholars located anywhere can also participate online.

To join this working group, click "Request group membership" at right. You will receive instructions for participating online or in person.

Please set your timezone at

Consortium Respectful Behavior Policy

Participants at Consortium activities will treat each other with respect and consideration to create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment that is free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

Participants will avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual characteristics such as age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, educational background, or any other characteristic protected by law. Disruptive or harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is not limited to inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, photography without permission, and stalking.

Participants may send reports or concerns about violations of this policy to

Upcoming Meetings

There are no currently scheduled upcoming events.

Past Meetings

  • April 19, 2019

    Myles Jackson, Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, on "Radio Engineers, Scientists, Musicians, and the Trautonium."

  • March 15, 2019

    Gregory Good, American Institute of Physics, on space weather: "Between the Sun and the Earth, Between Science, Environment, Technology." This session will be a power point presentation and discussion. 

  • February 15, 2019

    Tiffany Nichols, Harvard University, "'From California to the New York Island, from the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream Waters': LIGO's Site Selection History." 

  • January 18, 2019

    Dagomar Degroot, Georgetown University, "Civilization and the Cosmos: Introducing the Environmental History of the Solar System."

  • November 16, 2018

    Theo Dryer, UCSD, "Statistical Indeterminacy and the Destruction Data Economy, 1900-1945."

  • October 19, 2018

    David Cahan, University of Nebraska, will discuss a chapter from his new book, Helmholtz: A Life in Science (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2018): "The Burdens of Building Physics" (chapter 18).

  • September 21, 2018

    Mary X. Mitchell, Purdue University, will discuss her article draft, "The Cosmology of Evidence: Citizenship, Law, and Biological Knowledge after Three Mile Island."

  • April 20, 2018

    Climerio Paula da Silva Neto, Universidade Federal do Oeste da Bahia, Brazil. "The Early Days of Soviet Quantum Electronics and Transnational Exchanges in the Cold War"

  • February 16, 2018

    Gabriel Henderson, Postdoctoral Research Associate, American Institute of Physics, College Park, MD.  "Resurrecting Maunder's Ghost: John 'Jack' Eddy, the Maunder Minimum, and the Rise of a Dilettante Astrophysicist."

  • January 19, 2018

    Melinda (Lindy) Baldwin, Books Editor, Physics Today, American Institute of Physics. "How 'real' science' became peer reviewed: Tracing the role of scientific refereeing through the 19th and 20th centuries."

Group Conveners

  • Richard Shrake


113 Members