News & Events


Announcing the Arrival of
Synthesis, Issue No. 6...

Download a PDF copy now!


Vesalius Correcting Vesalius

Please join us for a special lecture, "Vesalius Correcting Vesalius," by Vivian Nutton, Emeritus Professor of the History of Medicine at University College London and a Fellow of the British Academy and the Academia Europaea.

Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) revolutionized the study of anatomy with his publication in 1543 of De humani corporis fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body). Once a keen student of the ancient Greek doctor Galen, within a few years, Vesalius came to reject many of the master’s teachings. In 1538, newly appointed to a chair at the university of Padua, Vesalius published the Institutiones anatomicae (Principles of Anatomy according to Galen), a reworking of an earlier book by his Paris teacher Johann Guenther. Almost immediately upon publication, Vesalius began preparations for a further revision of the text, annotating his own copy with comments and suggestions. These previously unstudied notes not only illustrate Vesalius’ character and working methods, they also throw new light on his intellectual development in the crucial years between 1538 and 1541. These notes will be compared with the later annotations made by Vesalius to his copy of the second edition (1555) of the Fabrica. Together they reveal much that is new about the great Renaissance anatomist and show that he was constantly thinking about how to understand and interpret the human body.

Download Prof. Nutton's Introduction to The Fabric of the Human Body,
an annotated translation of the 1543 and 1555 editions of Andreas Vesalius' De Humani Corporis Fabrica by Daniel Garrison and Malcolm Hast.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 4:00PM, Science Center SC469

Puppets & Pangaea:
Celebrating a Scientific Outsider

A brief New York Times online op-ed (including narration by Prof. Naomi Oreskes) acknowledges Alfred Wegener, astronomer and inveterate explorer. Despite having no professional standing in geology, Wegener revolutionized the field via his theory of continental drift.

Documentary Film Explores Repercussions of Human Genomic Sequencing

On Wednesday, February 4, Profs. Evelynn Hammonds and Peter Galison were among the panelists discussing DNA Dreams, a documentary by Dutch filmmaker Bregtje van der Haak. The forum follows a screening of the film sponsored by the Project on Race & Gender in Science & Medicine, part of Hutchins Center for African & African American Research.

Prof. Steven Shapin Awarded the 2014 Sarton Medal

Steven Shapin, Franklin L. Ford Research Professor of the History of Science, has been awarded the 2014 Sarton Medal by the History
of Science Society
, honoring his rich and varied scholarly achievements in the field.

Download the full award citation here, and
the text Prof. Shapin's acceptance speech here.

Walter Isaacson Examines Digital History

Renowned biographer Walter Isaacson mentions the CHSI's recent enhancements to the Harvard Mark 1 exhibit in an interview with the Harvard Gazette, October 1, 2014.

Isaacson addressed an avid audience at Harvard on April 9, 2013, including Harvard President Drew Faust, delivering the Robert and Maurine Rothschild Lecture,
The Genius of Jobs, Einstein, & Franklin.

View the lecture online here.


Naomi Oreskes Wows Her Audience @ TED

Conference Celebrating 400th Galileo Anniversary

Heavenly Imperfection:
Galileo's Discovery of Sunspots

Held on October 4, 2013

Download a copy of the conference agenda.

View conference footage online here.

Coverage of this event in The Harvard Gazette.






Department Calendar


May 2015...

April 2015...

Climate Summit Comes to Harvard

Prof. Naomi Oreskes will be among the panelists participating in a discussion (April 13, 4pm, Sanders Theater) of how institutions of higher learning can dedicate resources to combatting climate change today.

March 2015...

And the answer is, "What is CHSI?"

Tuesday, March 31st at 7:30pm, EST, the popular quiz show JEOPARDY! will air a show during which a whole category will be dedicated to instruments from the CHSI collection. How many right answers (or rather questions!) will you get?

December 2014...

"Epidemics are Optional"

Profs. Evelynn Hammonds, David Jones, and Ahmed Ragab parti-cipated in a recent Harvard-sponsored public forum on Ebola at First Parish in Cambridge.

October 2014...

Putting Off the (Not Quite) Inevitable

Prof. Sarah S. Richardson and her co-authors discuss the repercussions of human egg freezing at

No Half-life:
My Atomic Origins

HS Grad Andrew Lea discusses growing up at a "node of the Manhattan Project" in October
HSS newsletter article.

Download the latest issue of Synthesis