The Dispersal of Darwin turns 7, and feedback wanted

Today marks seven years since I started The Dispersal of Darwin. Posting was heavy while I was in school, and has since declined in the last couple of years, and even more so since starting another blog and having a second child.

While I wish I had the means to post original content, I hope, my readers, that you still enjoy the smattering of videos, new article and book notices, and other posts. Is it time to retire DoD, or should I keep dispersing Darwin, evolution, and history of science content?

Staying up to date with The Dispersal of Darwin

I had used Google Reader for a long time in order to keep track of the blogs and websites I follow. Earlier this year, Google announced they would end Reader on July 1st. I switched to Feedly, and highly recommend it!

So, if you’ve followed this blog through Google Reader, please update my RSS for another feed reader, or subscribe to my posts via email through the tool in the blog’s sidebar. Also, all posts go to this Facebook page, and my Twitter.

Thanks for following!

– Michael


The Giants’ Shoulders #56

Two pound coin

Image of £2 coins from UK by Flickr user p_rocket71

Welcome to The Giants’ Shoulders #56, bringing you the world of history of science blogging over the last month all in one place. For lack of energy (I’m under the weather) and the overwhelming number of great and worthy posts (this is only a good sign that history of science blogging is healthy), there is no grand theme to this blog carnival. Instead, I will offer the posts to you in Chicago Manual Style format. Yes, CMS has citation (footnote/endnote) and bibliographic guidelines for blog posts! Awesome. I will use the citation format, as that includes the title of the blog post, whereas the bibliographic format only includes the post URL and name of the blog. For example,

John Ptak, “History of Science Reference Tools,” Ptak Science Books, February 3, 2013,

The author of the post above would like to expand his list of science reference tools, so he respectfully invites readers to share their top five go-to reference sites for the history of science, either in the comments here, or John can be reached on Twitter at @ptak. Thanks!

Also, before I bombard you with an incredibly long list of posts, let me highlight a few that go together, as they address the act of blogging:

Jai Virdi, “HPS Blogging V.2013,” From the Hands of Quacks, January 30, 2013,

Mike Thicke, “False dilemmas in science blogging,” The Bubble Chamber, January 30, 2013,

Nathaniel Comfort, “Toward a historioriography of science & social media,” Genotopia, February 4, 2013,

Mike Thicke, “Interview with James Collier of the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective,” The Bubble Chamber, February 10, 2013,

On to the #histsci!

Dan Allosso, “Birth Control in the First Half of the 19th Century,” The Historical Society, February 6, 2013,

Rupert Baker, “Our unusual ‘Chymist’,” The Repository, The Royal Society, January 17, 2013,

Philip Ball, “Righting history,” Chemistry World, January 9, 2013,

Michael Barton, “Get to Know Darwin,” The Dispersal of Darwin, January 30, 2013,

Michael Barton, “I post this without comment,” The Dispersal of Darwin, February 5, 2013,

BBC, “Five Portraits of Science,” The Essay, BBC Radio 3, January 14-18, 2013,

David Bressan, “The Forgotten Naturalist: Alfred Russel Wallace,” History of Geology, January 9, 2013,

David Bressan, “Geologizing with Darwin,” History of Geology, February 12, 2013,

David Bressan, “Men among prediluvian Beasts,” History of Geology, January 27, 2013,

B. Ricardo Brown, “Darwin, Slavery, the HMS Black Joke, and Seaman Morgan,” Until Darwin: Science & the Origins of Race, February 12, 2013,

B. Ricardo Brown, “Darwin, Slavery, and Science (2009),” Until Darwin: Science & the Origins of Race, January 24, 2013,

Michael Bycroft, “Correctives to #overlyhonestmethods,” Double Refraction, January 17, 2013,

Richard Carter, “Charles Darwin to Charles Lyell, 10th January, 1860,” The Friends of Charles Darwin, January 10, 2013,

Thony Christie, “Down a mineshaft or why historians (must) become polymaths,” Renaissance Mathematicus, February 7, 2013,

Thony Christie, “A play is not a history book,” Renaissance Mathematicus, February 15, 2013,

Thony Christie, “What Kepler and Newton really did,” Renaissance Mathematicus, February 5, 2013,

Matthew Cobb, “What is life? The physicist who sparked a revolution in biology,” Notes & Theories, February 7, 2013,

Jason Colavito, “How a (Sort of) Believer in Ancient Astronauts Almost Became U.S. President,”, February 6, 2013,

Nathaniel Comfort, “Hilary Rose on eugenics & genetic medicine,” Genotopia, January 31, 2013,

Richard Conniff, “Lost and Gone Forever,” The Opinionator, The New York Times, February 3, 2013,

Justin Cook, “International Museum of Horology (Musée International d’Horlogerie), Switzerland,” The BSHS Travel Guide, February 6, 2013,

Joanna Corden, “Piltdown Man,” The Repository, The Royal Society, February 4, 2013,

Stephanie Cowell, “Poetry, pain, and opium in Victorian England: Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s use of laudanum,” Wonders & Marvels, February 5, 2013,

Henry Cowles, “A Novel History of Psychology,” AmericanScience: A Team Blog, February 15, 2013,

Henry Cowles, “Up Goer Five and the Rhetoric of Science,” AmericanScience: A Team Blog, January 31, 2013,

Helen Anne Curry, “David Kinkela on DDT, American politics, and transnational history,” AmericanScience: A Team Blog, January 16, 2013,

Athene Donald, “A cracking tale: why did the world’s first jetliner fall out of the sky?,” Occam’s Corner, January 21, 2013,

Lindsey Fitzharris, “Silent Voices in History: The Searchers of the Dead,” the chirurgeon’s apprentice, February 11, 2013,

Katherine Ford, “A curious fact…,” The Repository, The Royal Society, January 15, 2003,

Katherine Ford, “A Fellow’s election card,” The Repository, The Royal Society, February 11, 2013,

Jennifer Frazer, “Darwin’s Neon Golf Balls,” The Artful Amoeba, January 15, 2013,

Susannah Gibson, “Natural Histories in Eighteenth-Century Britain,” Dissertation Reviews, February 13, 2013,

Greg Gbur, “Phantasmagoria: How Étienne-Gaspard Robert terrified Paris for science,” Skulls in the Stars, February 11, 2013,

Greg Gbur, “The physicist vanishes,” Science Chamber of Horrors, February 4, 2013,

Greg Good, “Romantic Science, Romantic Music: Alexander von Humboldt and Franz Schubert,” GEOcosmoHISTORY, February 10, 2013,

Greg Good, “Starting off in a new direction: Earth, Cosmos, and History,” GEOcosmoHISTORY, February 8, 2013,

Graeme Gooday, “Review: Science in the Twentieth Century and Beyond,” Reviews in History, February 13, 2013,

Bill Griffith, “Lord Porter of Luddenham at Imperial College, London,” BSHS Travel Guide, February 2, 2013,

Jacob Hamblin, “Can’t Historians Predict the Future?,” Minds in a Groove, February 4, 2013,

Jacob Hamblin, “History of Science off the Beaten Path, History of Science at Oregon State University, January 31, 2013,

Ann-Marie Hansen, “Contracts and Early Modern Scholarly Networks,” The Sloane Letters Blog, February 4, 2013,

Jennifer Harbster, “Saving Science Blogs,” Inside Adams, January 25, 2013,

Tom Harper, “Stargazing with maps. In the dark?,” Magnificent Maps Blog, January 18, 2013,

Darin Hayton, “Forgeries, Lies, and Deception in History,” Darin Hayton, February 8, 2013,

Darin Hayton, “Gopkin on Galileo,” Darin Hayton, February 6, 2013,

Darin Hayton, “Science Heroes Refuse to Die, Darin Hayton, February 3, 2013,

Darin Hayton, “Tales of Scientific Heroes are Just Celebrity Biographies,” Darin Hayton, January 31, 2013,

Vanessa Heggie, “The science of Ripper Street,” The H Word, February 3, 2013,

Robinson A. Herrera, “The Ambulatory Archive: Santa Muerte Tattoos as Historical Sources,” The Appendix, December 2012,

Rebekah Higgit, “Heritage and the Royal Institution,” The H Word, January 29, 2013,

Rebekah Higgit, “Thinking about life on Mars – video,” The H Word, January 18, 2013,

 Joanna Hopkins, “Can you feel the chemistry?,” The Repository, The Royal Society, February 14, 2013,

Rowan Hooper, “Wallace: Wonders of nature have been solace of my life,” New Scientist, January 24, 2013,

Virginia Hughes, “Darwin In the Age of Ebooks,” Download the Universe, January 7, 2013,

Dana Hunter, “Darwin: Geologist First and Last,” Rosetta Stones, February 10, 2013,

Ashutosh Jogalekar, “Leo Szilárd, a traffic light and a slice of nuclear history,” The Curious Wavefunction, February 12, 2013,

Eric Michael Johnson, “Macaque and Dagger in the Simian Space Race,” The Primate Diaries,” February 14, 2013,

Steve Jones, “Alfred Russel Wallace, the man who pre-empted Darwin,” The Telegraph, January 14, 2013,

Gilbert King, “The Rise and Fall of Nikola Tesla and his Tower,” The Past Imperfect, February 4, 2013,

Greg Laden, “Charles Darwin, Geologist,” Greg Laden’s Blog, February 11, 2013,

Fiona Keates, “That’s Ent-ertainment,” The Repository, The Royal Society, February 8, 2013,

Roger Launius, “Reflections on the Loss of STS-107: Ten Years Ago,” Roger Launius’s Blog, February 1, 2013,

Roger Launius, “Wednesday’s Book Review: ‘Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age’,” Roger Launius’s Blog, February 6, 2013,

Roger Launius, “What is the Space Shuttle’s Place in Modern American History?,” Roger Launius’s Blog, January 14, 2013,

Daniel Lende, “On Science, Social Science, and Politics,” Neuroanthropology, January 21, 2013,

Cory Lewis, “HPS could be the Corpus Callosum of the academy,” The Bubble Chamber, January 16, 2013,

Eleanor Louson, “A cold day in Ottowa,” Productive (adj), February 6, 2013,

Martin Mahony, “The slippery concept of ‘climate’,” Topograph: contested landscapes of knowing, January 16, 2013,

Adrienne Mayor, “Alexander the Great and the Rain of Burning Sand,” Wonders & Marvels, February 2013,

Patrick McCray, “Apprehending the Artifact,” Leaping Robot Blog, February 6, 2013,

John McKay, “Boltunov’s drawing,” archy, February 6, 2013,

John McKay, “An Early Description of Permafrost,” Mammoth Tales, February 3, 2013,

Adam McLean, “Lawrence Principe takes Basilius Valentinus to the laboratory,” Bibliotheca Philosophica, February 13, 2013,

Keith Moore, “The romantic Mr Edwards,” The Repository, The Royal Society, February 13, 2013,

Larry Moran, “How Linus Pauling Discovered the α-Helix,” Sandwalk, February 7, 2013,

Kate Morant, “The Paramore becalmed,” Halley’s Log, January 15, 2013,

Dawn Moutrey, “Winter surprise: tiny phrenology book,” Whipple Library Books Blog, January 23, 2013,

Carla Nappi, “Christopher I. Beckwith, Warriors of the Cloisters: The Central Asian Origins of Science in the Medieval World,” New Books in Science, Technology, and Society, January 22, 2013,

Carla Nappi, “Deborah R. Coen, The Earthquake Observers: Disaster Science from Lisbon to Richter,” New Books in Science, Technology, and Society, February 11, 2013,

Carla Nappi, “Joel Isaac: Working Knowledge: Making the Human Sciences from Parsons to Kuhn,” New Books in Science, Technology, and Society, January 28, 2013,

Carla Nappi, “Michael Gordin: The Pseudo-Science Wars: Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe,” New Books in Science, Technology, and Society, January 15, 2013,

Hannah Newton, “A Bag of Worms: Treating the Sick Child in Early Modern England, 1580-1720,” The Recipes Project, January 17, 2013,

Roger Pielke, Jr., “The Authoritarian Science Myth,” Roger Pielke, Jr.’s Blog, January 17, 2013,

John Pieret, “On the First Day of Darwin” through “On the Twelfth Day of Darwin, Thoughts in a Haystack, February 1-12, 2013,

 Maria Popova, “Happy Birthday, Pale Blue Dot: A Timeless Valentine to the Cosmos,” Brain Pickings, February 14, 2013,

Maria Popova, “How Chemistry Works: Gorgeous Vintage Science Diagrams, 1854,” Brain Pickings, January 31, 2013,

James Poskett, “Django Unchained and the racist science of phrenology,” Notes & Theories, February 5, 2013,

James Poskett, “Letters of Alfred Russel Wallace go online,” Nature, January 24, 2013,

John Ptak, “How Old are (Some) Scientific Words? Many Not Very,” Ptak Science Books, February 3, 2013,

John Ptak, “Pre-Darwin Darwin, Without the Post-Darwin,” Ptak Science Books, January 19, 2013,

Michael Robinson, “Beyond the Extreme,” Time to Eat the Dogs, January 27, 2013,

David Rooney, “The multiple lives of Alan Turing,” Stories from the stores, February 5, 2013,

Meg Rosenburg, “Between Science and HPS: How did I get here?,” True Anomalies: Tales from the History of Science, February 13, 2013,

Steve Shapiro, and Andrew Bensley, “The 6 Greatest Acts of Trolling in the History of Science,”, February 3, 2013,

Patrick Slaney, “Audra J. Wolfe: Competing with the Soviets: Science, Technology, and the State in Cold War America,” New Books in Science, Technology, and Society, February 4, 2013,

Lisa Smith, “Hans Sloane’s New York Collections,” The Sloane Letters Blog, February 10, 2013,

Lisa Smith, “Preparing for an Epidemic in the Eighteenth Century,” The Sloane Letters Blog, January 28, 2013,

Amy Shira Teitel, “Schirra’s Stellar Navigation,” Vintage Space, January 26, 2013,

Brian Switek, “Book Review: The Complete Dinosaur, Second Edition,” Laelaps, January 29, 2013,

Brian Switek, “Fossils of Future Past,” Laelaps, January 24, 2013,

Will Thomas, “Kuhn’s Demon, or: The Iconoclastic Tradition in Science Criticism,” Ether Wave Propaganda, January 21, 2013,

Will Thomas, “R.A. Fisher, Scientific Method, and the Tower of Babel, Part 1 and 2,” Ether Wave Propaganda, February 2/9, 2013, and

UCL History of Medicine, “How To Make a Victorian Villain (or the Tale of Isaac Baker Brown) Part 1 and 2,” The UCL Centre for the History of Medicine Blog, January 17/26, 2013, and

Alberto Vanzo, “Empiricism and innate ideas,” Early Modern Experimental Philosophy, February 4, 2013,

Jai Virdi, “Popular Remedies for Deafness,” From the Hands of Quacks, February 11, 2013,

Jai Virdi, “Searching for Charlatans,” From the Hands of Quacks, February 1, 2013,

Jennifer Wallis, “Muscle and mind in the asylum,” Asylum Science, February 4, 2013,

Michael Washburn, “Floating Ideas: ‘Soundings,’ About Marie Tharp, by Hali Felt,” Sunday Book Review (The New York Times), January 25, 2013,

Brandon Watson, “Whewell on Newton’s Laws IV: The Second and Third Laws,” Siris, January 30, 2013,

Mike White, “There is grandeur in Lucretius’ view of life,” The Finch and Pea, February 10, 2013,

Emily Winterburn, “Happy familes and Nobel Prizes,” Tea and Stars, February 6, 2013,

Emily Winterburn, “Herschel’s telescope,” Tea and Stars, January 12, 2013,

Alun Withey, “‘Weird’ remedies and the problem of ‘folklore’,” Dr Alun Withey, January 24, 2013,

Ed Yong, “Scientific families: Dynasty,” Nature, January 16, 2013,

Michelle Ziegler, “History Meets Biology at the AHA,” Contagions, January 8, 2013,

Unknown, “Rankine on Entropy, Love and Marriage,” Carnotcycle, February 1, 2013,

And, since February 12 was Darwin Day AND Mardi Gras, I’ll share one more Darwin post (from last year, but too good not to):

Cyriaque Lamar, “In the 1870s, Charles Darwin was the theme of a downright deranged Mardi Gras parade,” io9, May 2, 2012,

Well, there you have it, about a month’s worth of history of science/technology/medicine blogging (and this is far from comprehensive). Just one month? Wow!

As far as I know, a host for the March edition of The Giants’ Shoulders is still needed. If interested, reach out to the blog carnival organizers here or here.

Giants’ Shoulders #57 will be hosted by Alison Boyle (@ali_boyle) on the Science Museum Blog on 16th March. Submission should as always be made direct to the host or to Thony at The Renaissance Mathematicus or to Dr SkySkull at Skull in the Stars by 15th March at the latest.

Seeking guest posts for The Dispersal of Darwin

I would like to get more original content up on The Dispersal of Darwin. Since graduating from Montana State in May 2010 and moving to Portland, and now having a second child, I am not doing any research, have no papers to write, and thus, I have less time for writing posts about some aspect about Darwin (I find myself spending more available time on my children and nature blog).


Drawing by John Hawks

Thus, I would like to open up my blog to guest posts. If you have something you would like to write and need an online venue to share it, or you already have something original about Darwin and the history of science and would like to share, consider having it as a guest post here. If you know of other students, colleagues, etc. that work on Darwin, please forward this request along. Contact me at darwinsbulldog AT gmail DOT com if interested and we’ll start a conversation.

2012 in review (WordPress generated)

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 99,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Busy busy busy

Apologies for the scarcity of posts recently. Between work, being a dad, and a forthcoming daughter (due date is August 11th), I haven’t posted much. Here’s Catherine and her bump watering in our garden:

Less than a month away

I’ve also been focusing more of my energy into my Portland nature blog, and so been neglected this here blog. I continue to share Darwin and evolution related content through my Twitter and Facebook pages (see the handy new social media logos on the right). A few things to share:

The Darwin Online project has revamped their website!

There is much that is new with Alfred Russel Wallace. The correspondence project for his letters continues to work away at transcribing (I’ve done a few myself), a campaign is set up for the 100th anniversary of his death in 1913, there is a fund to contribute to if you’re willing for a Wallace statue, and a new blog to check out.

And check out the archives list in the sidebar here to get your fix for recent history of science blogging.

The latest The Giant’s Shoulders is up

The latest history of science blog carnival is up. Via Thony C:

Dr SkySkull, founder and senior manager of your monthly history of science blog carnival, has posted the 45th edition of The Giants’ Shoulders at Skull in the Stars and as always it is a fascinating, titillating, exhilarating, scintillating and captivating potpourri of histsci delight. So put on the reading specs and mosey on over to Dr SkySkull’s abode and drink your fill at his history of science well of knowledge.

The 46th edition of the world’s numero uno history of science blog carnival will be hosted by Romeo Vitelli at his Providentia blog on 16th April 2012. We are having problems with the Blog Carnivals website so submissions please either direct to the host or to me (and I will forward them) before or on 15th  April.

The 47th edition of Giants’ Shoulders is being hosted by a newcomer to our blog carnival the Medical Heritage Library on 16th May. You can have the historic chance of hosting either the last Giants’ Shoulders #48 in its fourth year of existence on 16th June or the very first edition in its fifth year on 16th of July! Book now to avoid disappointment! Contact either Dr SkySkull at Skulls in the Stars of Thony C here at the Renaissance Mathematicus.