March 30, 2009
Minnesota represented well. Eight grad students made the trip down along with a few faculty. Kate, Joe, and Hyung Wook all gave great presentations that should give the rest of us incentive to get our butts in gear and present at next year's Junto. I also enjoyed this year's banquet speaker, Lynda Payne who gave a witty talk on physician quackery in 18th century Europe. It was both interesting and funny; a perfect talk for a crowd of toasted historians of science.
The rest of the presentations were all interesting in their own rights. If I had any complaints it would be that the majority of the presenters at this year's Junto spoke for most of their 20 minute talk giving little, if any, time for questions by the audience. It seems to me that everyone, presenters and audience alike, would get more out of the talks if there was a good 5 mins of Q&A. Luckily, there was plenty of break time built in throughout the conference so I think that anybody who had a specific question for a speaker was able to ask it afterwards.
Next year the Junto will be held in Norman, OK sponsored by the University of Oklahoma HST program. Not that I need to give them any advice, but I will say that they should just stick to the three things that guarantee a successful Junto: Free alcohol, good food, and umm....free alcohol.
March 25, 2009
Secondly, and far more importantly, I need to call your attention to the new blog, Entangled Bank, started by our very own Rachel Mason Dentinger. Instead of me summarizing, I'll just cut-n-paste her own words (which she grabs from Darwin himself):
Entangled Bank takes its name from the first sentence of the final paragraph of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859):
“It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us.”Rachel is currently living in Toronto and is a self proclaimed "muddy-boots historian of science," writing her dissertation on the history of coevolutionary studies. Also, you should envy her since she seems to take frequent trips to tropical countries with her husband in search of mushrooms.