Events

Capturing Hidden ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) History

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) History Committee is hosting an on-line seminar that is open to the public and will bring together a variety of individuals interested in ACM history.

Register

Participation is especially encouraged for organizational units of the ACM, including Special Interest Groups (SIGs), past or present. Designed for individuals who are planning or actively involved in doing projects related to ACM history, the seminar will explore concepts and methods for heritage preservation.

The program for this one-and-a-half day on-line event includes the following components:

  • Keynote presentations
    • Vicki Hanson, ACM’s Chief Executive Officer
    • Thomas Misa, Former Director of the Charles Babbage Institute and former chair of the ACM History Committee
    • Ruby Mendenhall, Associate Dean for Diversity and Democratization of Health Innovation at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  
  • Presentations about and examples from a diverse set of projects, with a focus on planning, challenges, and results to date
  • Discussion of issues such as preservation, ACM support, priorities, assessment, privacy, legal matters, preparing for public deposit
  • Working sessions to explore how to apply these ideas in one's own context

More information about this event can be found at the ACM website. 

 

 

Fall 2022 Colloquium - Emily Merchant

Science and Technology Studies, University of California – Davis

Title: Demographic Data and Global Population Control

Abstract: In the twentieth century, population growth became an object of intervention for governments, intergovernmental agencies, and nongovernmental organizations worldwide. Histories of population control typically assume that these interventions arose in response to evidence of rapid population growth. However, demographic data were sparse to nonexistent in many parts of the world during the decades immediately following World War II. This talk examines efforts by the United Nations to facilitate the collection and analysis of population data in all of its member states, and explores how the failure of those efforts created opportunities for U.S.-based philanthropies, and eventually the U.S. government, to promote population control programs throughout the Global South.


About 

Lectures begin at 3:35pm in 125 Nicholson Hall on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. 

The Program in History of Science, Technology and Medicine and the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science will host a joint lecture series during Spring 2022. At this time, all events will be in-person unless otherwise stated. Please contact hstm@umn.edu for more information. 

Capturing Hidden ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) History

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) History Committee is hosting an on-line seminar that is open to the public and will bring together a variety of individuals interested in ACM history.

Register

Participation is especially encouraged for organizational units of the ACM, including Special Interest Groups (SIGs), past or present. Designed for individuals who are planning or actively involved in doing projects related to ACM history, the seminar will explore concepts and methods for heritage preservation.

The program for this one-and-a-half day on-line event includes the following components:

  • Keynote presentations
    • Vicki Hanson, ACM’s Chief Executive Officer
    • Thomas Misa, Former Director of the Charles Babbage Institute and former chair of the ACM History Committee
    • Ruby Mendenhall, Associate Dean for Diversity and Democratization of Health Innovation at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  
  • Presentations about and examples from a diverse set of projects, with a focus on planning, challenges, and results to date
  • Discussion of issues such as preservation, ACM support, priorities, assessment, privacy, legal matters, preparing for public deposit
  • Working sessions to explore how to apply these ideas in one's own context

More information about this event can be found at the ACM website. 

 

 

UL First Fridays, "The Game’s Afoot: Clues, Cards, Puzzles, and More"

The Sherlock Holmes Collections hold a variety of games and puzzles, some going back to the earliest appearances of the famed detective. “Follow your spirit” to see and hear more about these mysteriously fun pieces. 

Sherlock

Make Reservations 

About: Have a little fun with Archives and Special Collections for the 2022-2023 season of First Fridays, a series of intellectually stimulating talks from the archives. This year we investigate materials in the archives that are strictly recreational.

Presentations resume in person this year, with the option to stream via Zoom. Please make a reservation if you plan to attend in person or online. Presentations begin at noon. Light refreshments and appetizers will be available. ASL interpreters will be present for all First Fridays events.

First Fridays is made possible by a generous gift from Governor Elmer L. Andersen and Mrs. Eleanor Andersen in honor of former University Librarian Dr. Edward B. Stanford.

Fall 2022 Colloquium - Matthew Stanley

Gallatin School of Individualized Study, NYU

Title: “Choose your own apocalypse: nuclear war, asteroids, and predicting the end of the world”

Abstract: Astronomers are good at predictions – eclipses down to the second, spacecraft landings to the minute.  But in the 1980s they struggled with convincing their colleagues, politicians, and publics to take one of their predictions seriously at all.  This was their novel warning that the Earth was in danger of being struck by an asteroid like that which killed the dinosaurs.  What they saw as straightforward technical calculations turned out to be deeply entangled with the way late Cold War America thought about apocalypses in general, and the threat of nuclear war in particular.  The scientists involved found that galvanizing political and social action required developing a new set of skills and networks that took advantage of the apocalyptic infrastructure that had been emplaced by decades of nuclear threat. 


About 

Lectures begin at 3:35pm in 125 Nicholson Hall on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. 

The Program in History of Science, Technology and Medicine and the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science will host a joint lecture series during Spring 2022. At this time, all events will be in-person unless otherwise stated. Please contact hstm@umn.edu for more information. 

Fall 2022 Colloquium - William Deringer

Science, Technology, and Society, MIT

Title: Hazardous Nature: Coalmining Engineers, Discounting Calculations, and the Price of Risk, c. 1800

Abstract: Coal has long played a starring role in historical explanations of the development of industrial capitalism and the dawning of the Anthropocene. Yet the contributions of the coal industry to the intellectual infrastructure of modern capitalism has gained far less attention. This presentation reconstructs the role that coalmining practitioners played in developing one of the foundational conceptual practices of modern economic life: the ability to put a price on things, particularly things with an uncertain future. In the years around 1800, the engineers—called “viewers”—tasked with managing mines in the rich coalfields of northeast England developed remarkably sophisticated mathematical techniques for the valuation of unmined deposits of coal. Combining geological data, engineering know-how, and market intelligence, colliery engineers reimagined subterranean seams of carbon-laden rock as orderly financial assets that could be projected to produce a flow of regular profits. The linchpin of these remarkably modern business models was a calculative technique called “exponential discounting,” which made it possible to assign a “present value” to expected future income using the logic of compound interest. (This paper is drawn from a larger book project on the history of these discounting calculations.) Viewers’ transfiguration of the earth’s products into profit-generating assets marked a key turning-point in the intellectual genealogy of the carbon economy. It also exemplified a critical development in modern ideas and technologies of risk. Colliery viewers found that adjusting just one parameter in their calculations, the “discount rate,” enabled them to adjust for the myriad financial risks that faced investors given the “precarious and hazardous nature of a Colliery property.” At the same time, this clever computational device effaced the very different kinds of risks—noxious gases, mine collapses, catastrophic explosions—that shaped, threatened, and frequently ended the lives of those workers who descended into the mines.


About 

Lectures begin at 3:35pm in 125 Nicholson Hall on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. 

The Program in History of Science, Technology and Medicine and the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science will host a joint lecture series during Spring 2022. At this time, all events will be in-person unless otherwise stated. Please contact hstm@umn.edu for more information. 

UL First Fridays: Dressed to Move and Impractical Sports

…it’s all fun and games!

Have a little fun with Archives and Special Collections for the 2022-2023 season of First Fridays. This year we investigate materials in the archives that are strictly recreational.

Presentations begin at noon. Light refreshments and appetizers will be available. ASL interpreters will be present for all First Fridays events. Presentations resume in person this year, with the option to stream via Zoom. Please make a reservation if you plan to attend in person or online.

Black and white lace-up boots from the Goldstein Museum

Dressed to Move: Women’s Activewear

Presented by Jean McElvain, Goldstein Museum of Design

During the 20th century, women increasingly participated in athletic games and recreational endeavors. Dr. Jean McElvain will show us how some of the Goldstein Museum of Design’s garments tie into the broader history of women’s active wear throughout the 20th century.

World War I illustration “Push-Ball in France” by Tyng showing soldiers playing a game with a large ball, marked with the YMCA logo

Wide World of Impractical Sports

Presented by Ryan Bean, Kautz Family YMCA Archives

While likely best known for creating basketball and volleyball the YMCA has a long tradition of sports innovation. This presentation explores the lighter side of wellness.


About

First Fridays is made possible by a generous gift from Governor Elmer L. Andersen and Mrs. Eleanor Andersen in honor of former University Librarian Dr. Edward B. Stanford.

Fall 2022 Colloquium - Suman Seth

Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University

Title: Problems in the Pluriverse: Postcolonial and Indigenous Science and Technology Studies

Abstract: In this talk I will explore one of the most interesting current areas of overlap between Postcolonial and Indigenous STS: a shared concern with the problems posed and the opportunities offered by relativizing ontologies. The central issue may be explained quite simply. Imagine a disagreement between two groups. One explains a given event—the shaking of the earth, perhaps—by invoking the action of some Gods; the other insists on a ‘scientific’ explanation, pointing to the coming together of tectonic plates. Were we, as analysts, to adopt an epistemologically relativist position on this disagreement, we might suggest that both groups were really ‘talking about the same thing.’ That they, in fact, were simply offering competing representations of truths—beliefs—about the world. Such a position insists that only one world exists, however many understandings of that world there may be. As an alternative, scholars in both postcolonial and Indigenous STS have proposed that it is the ontological and not the epistemological that needs to be relativized: that the problem lies in assuming that ‘we’ all share a single world. Instead of a universe, some have argued, we inhabit a pluriverse. Is the pluriverse a solution, however, or does it pose its own set of problems, both practical and political?  


About 

Lectures begin at 3:35pm in 125 Nicholson Hall on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. 

The Program in History of Science, Technology and Medicine and the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science will host a joint lecture series during Spring 2022. At this time, all events will be in-person unless otherwise stated. Please contact hstm@umn.edu for more information. 

UL First Fridays: First Fridays: Food! Glorious Food!

…it’s all fun and games!

Have a little fun with Archives and Special Collections for the 2022-2023 season of First Fridays. This year we investigate materials in the archives that are strictly recreational.

Presentations begin at noon. Light refreshments and appetizers will be available. ASL interpreters will be present for all First Fridays events. Presentations resume in person this year, with the option to stream via Zoom. Please make a reservation if you plan to attend in person or online.


Food! Glorious Food! Food and Feasting in the Pre-modern World

Presented by Marguerite Ragnow, Curator, James Ford Bell Library

So much of our lives revolve around food: rituals and celebrations as well as day-to-day living. Dr. Marguerite Ragnow of the James Ford Bell Library will take us on a culinary tour of some of her favorite pre-modern recipes and menus, and share some stories that illuminate how the people of the past interacted with and thought about food.


About

First Fridays is made possible by a generous gift from Governor Elmer L. Andersen and Mrs. Eleanor Andersen in honor of former University Librarian Dr. Edward B. Stanford.

UL First Fridays: Playing Ball and Neighborhood Home Festivals

…it’s all fun and games!

Have a little fun with Archives and Special Collections for the 2022-2023 season of First Fridays. This year we investigate materials in the archives that are strictly recreational.

Presentations begin at noon. Light refreshments and appetizers will be available. ASL interpreters will be present for all First Fridays events. Presentations resume in person this year, with the option to stream via Zoom. Please make a reservation if you plan to attend in person or online.

A woodcut image from the James Ford Bell Library showing a large group of people playing a game with one figure kicking a ball

Playing Ball in the James Ford Bell Library

Presented by Anne Good, Assistant Curator, James Ford Bell Library

Ball games, in fact games and recreational activities of all sorts, were played by peoples throughout the premodern world. This talk by assistant curator Anne Good will share accounts and images of recreation documented in the Bell Library’s collections.

A black and white photo from the IHRCA collections showing a person playing a guitar with five people standing behind them in an indoor space

‘Get Together Americans!’ Through Neighborhood Home Festivals

Presented by Ellen Engseth, Curator, Immigration History Research Center Archives

The Parranda, a Puerto Rican custom of progressive parties, were adapted by Rachel Davis Dubois in New York as the Neighborhood Home Festival. Their purpose was intercultural experiences, developing friendships, and combating racism.


About

First Fridays is made possible by a generous gift from Governor Elmer L. Andersen and Mrs. Eleanor Andersen in honor of former University Librarian Dr. Edward B. Stanford.