47th Annual Joint Atlantic Seminar for the History of Biology


Department of History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science

Friday, April 20, 2012 - 10:00pm

The 47th Joint Atlantic Seminar for the History of Biology will be held at the University of Pennsylvania, beginning with an opening reception and plenary the evening of Friday April 20th, followed by the presentation of papers, a faculty panel, and a dinner on Saturday April 21st. The event is being co-sponsored by the History and Sociology of Science Department, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science (PACHS). The Joint Atlantic Seminar, founded in 1965, has fostered a long tradition of collegiality amongst historians of biology in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. It offers the opportunity for graduate students and other Historians of Science to present their work to a well-informed audience in an intimate and supportive setting. It has been a venue where many of today’s senior scholars in the field gave their first academic talk. Events will primarily take place in Claudia Cohen Hall, located at 249 South 36th Street, between Spruce Street and Locust Walk, on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia. Wednesday February 1st, 2012 at 5pm, and can be emailed to ahog@sas.upenn.edu. Decisions on submitted abstracts will be made as soon as possible, and the chosen presenters will be informed on or about March 1st.

Some travel support is available for graduate student presenters.

Attendance at the seminar is free for graduate students. Registration is required of all attendees.

Registration for faculty members is $35.00, which should be sent in the form of a check. Please make checks payable to: The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. Please send checks to: Pat Johnson, 303 Claudia Cohen Hall, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

To Register:
Send an email to ahog@sas.upenn.edu with the following information:

  • Your Name
  • Your academic affiliation
  • Your intention to attend the Friday Reception and Saturday Dinner
  • For senior scholars: Your availability to serve as chair of a panel or on the faculty panel

We will do our best to arrange housing for all graduate student attendees at the homes of students in the History and Sociology of Science department. Please send an email to ahog@sas.upenn.edu to request student housing.

The following hotels are convenient to campus (walking distance):

  • Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel
    3549 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
    (215) 387-8000
  • The Inn at Penn, A Hilton Hotel
    3600 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA
    (215) 222-0200

-->Transportation: Philadelphia is accessible by car (I-95; I-76), Amtrak rail from New York and Washington, and from various points in New Jersey via NJ transit and SEPTA (through Trenton). Philadelphia’s train station (30th Street) is located about a ten-minute walk from campus. Taxis and public transit are also available from 30th Street. Visitors may also want to fly into the Philadelphia International Airport. Taxis are available from the airport, as is public transit via SEPTA regional rail, which should be taken directly to the University City stop. Parking around the campus is available on the street (metered) and in nearby parking garages. Any additional questions, please contact: Andy Hogan at ahog@sas.upenn.edu. Schedule Friday, April 20 5:00pm Opening Reception (3rd Floor Lounge) 6:00pm Welcome Susan Lindee Associate Dean for the Social Sciences (Penn) Babak Ashrafi Director (Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science) 6:15pm Plenary Talk (Seminar Room) Adriana Petryna Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor in Anthropology (Penn): “The Ends of the Sick Role in Transnational Medicine” 7:15pm Reception with Dinner (3rd Floor Lounge) Saturday, April 21 8:30am Coffee, Tea, Bagels, and Pastries (Room G-17) 9:00am Session I Epigenesis and Evolution (Room G-17) Chair: Alex Csiszar (Harvard) Sarah Eldridge (Princeton): “Dynamic Words: the Language of Epigenesis in 18th Century Biology and Culture” Richard Nash (Johns Hopkins): “William Keith Brooks as a Late-Nineteenth Century Darwinian” Myrna Perez (Harvard): “Stephen Jay Gould and McClean v. Arkansas: Scientific Expertise and the Nature of Science in American culture 1980-1985” 10:30am Coffee Break 11:00am Session II Studying the Senses (Room G-17) Chair: Erika Milam (Maryland) Marion Schmidt (Johns Hopkins): “Eugenic Prevention and Educational Perfection: Hereditary Deafness Research at the Clarke School for the Deaf in the 1930s and 40s” Scott Phelps (Harvard): "Photographs of Agnosia: Neuropsychiatry and the 'Pötzl Phenomenon,' 1917-1924” Adrianna Link (Johns Hopkins): “Documenting Human Nature: E. Richard Sorenson and the National Anthropological Film Center, 1965-1980” 12:30pm Lunch (3rd Floor Lounge, Claudia Cohen Hall) 2:00pm Session III Post-War Genetics and Society (Room G-17) Chair: Luis Campos (Drew) Maxwell Rogowski (Penn): “Modeling the 'Near-White Negro': Curt Stern and the Genetics of Race in the 1952 South” Mary Mitchell (Penn): “Past Predicates; Tense Futures: Human Geneticists & Social Policy 1967-1973” Robin Wolfe Scheffler (Yale): “From Polio to p53: The Life of Simian Virus 40” 3:30pm Coffee Break 4:00pm Session VI Aging Cells and Ancient DNA (Room G-17) Chair: Dawn Digrius (Stevens) Elizabeth Dobson (Florida State): “The Search for Ancient DNA, the Meaning of Fossils, and Paleontology in the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis” Lijing Jiang (Arizona State): “Aging Catastrophe Comes with Protein: Cytoplasmic Inheritance and Epigenetics in Robin Holliday’s Cell Aging Research, 1963-1988” 5:00pm Coffee Break 5:30pm Faculty Panel (Room G-17) Jane Maienschein (Arizona State) Garland Allen (Washington) Everett Mendelsohn (Harvard) 7:00pm Dinner (3rd Floor Lounge, Claudia Cohen Hall) Any additional questions, please contact: Andy Hogan at ahog@sas.upenn.edu.