The history of “scientist”

The Renaissance Mathematicus

Today is a red-letter day for readers of The Renaissance Mathematicus; I have succeeded in cajoling, seducing, bullying, bribing, inducing, tempting, luring, sweet-talking, coaxing, coercing, enticing, beguiling[1] Harvard University’s very own Dr Melinda Baldwin into writing a guest post on the history of the term scientist, in particular its very rocky path to acceptance by the scientific community. First coined by William Whewell at the third annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1833 in response to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s strongly expressed objection to men of science using the term philosopher to describe themselves, the term experienced a very turbulent existence before its final grudging acceptance almost one hundred years later. In her excellent post Melinda outlines that turbulent path to acceptance, read and enjoy.

J.T. Carrington, editor of the popular science magazine Science-Gossip, achieved a remarkable feat in December of 1894: he found a…

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Breaking Plates

The Not Me

Reach (LG)

Two weeks ago, I was sitting alone on a stool in the corner of my kitchen with my back against the wall. I had been trying to cry, to discharge some of my sadness and anger, but I was stuck in nothingness. I felt hopeless, and a barking voice in my head was scolding me, insisting that I pull myself together.

People say things like “Pull yourself together!” all the time, but for some reason on this night that expression really irritated me. I mean, if someone tells you to pull yourself together, it suggests that they can see you’ve fallen apart, right? If you didn’t know me, though, you might have thought I looked sad or distraught, but you would not have been able to see the extent of my not-togetherness.

That’s the thing about depression—there is often nothing to see. I felt that I had fallen apart. I…

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The Skies Belong to Us: How Hijackers Created an Airline Crisis in the 1970s

Longreads

Brendan I. Koerner | The Skies Belong to Us | 2013 | 25 minutes (6,186 words)

‘There Is No Way to Tell a Hijacker by Looking At Him’

When the FAA’s antihijacking task force first convened in February 1969, its ten members knew they faced a daunting challenge—not only because of the severity of the crisis, but also due to the airlines’ intransigence. Having spent vast sums on Beltway lobbyists, the airlines had the political clout to nix any security measure that might inconvenience their customers. So whatever solutions the FAA proposed would have to be imperceptible to the vast majority of travelers.

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An Atomic Fairy Tale

Envisioning The American Dream

Atomic Attack Survival Fairy Tale cinderella and her prince Atomic Fairy Tale

1950 was Cinderella’s year.

My mother Betty knew it was an omen. After 6 long years of waiting, Disney’s much anticipated movie, Cinderella was finally opening and now Betty Joseph’s days of waiting were over too- she was getting married.

Her prince had come! Albeit her prince, my future father Marvin, hailed from the less than regal Astoria Queens.

And it seemed to be no better time to be in love. President Truman presented a rosy picture of the future- if all went well according to his Fair Deal program, Americans would work less, play more, purchase more!

Why, it was predicted, the average American family would have an income of $12,000 by the year 2000! With a staggering income like that, there would be no limit to how much we could buy.

vintage cover mahazine atomic blast vintage illustration engagement (L) Cover Colliers Magazine 8/5/50 “Hiroshima USA Can Anything Be Done About It?” Imagining…

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You are a bear

Hello, I am a bear

You are a bear. You wake up in a dimly lit cave. Your eyes are adjusted to the low light, so you are able to see the textures of your surroundings. You are about to begin a new day as a bear. There will be many obstacles, mental and physical, for you to overcome. You might find something important. You might meet someone important. You might get hurt. You might eat something. It is up to you. As a bear.

Your fur is warm but dirty.

The cave floor is soothing. Cool.

Your surroundings motivate you to…

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The Ebola virus and the vampire state, by Susan Shepler

Mats Utas

Coming back to Sierra Leone at the end of June and traveling on to Liberia in July, I’ve seen a big change.  There have been hundreds of deaths, and people are definitely taking the issue more seriously now.

The virus is primarily spread by contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, so one of the precautions advised is to not shake hands with people. But I’m finding that very hard in Sierra Leone and Liberia.  We shake hands with everyone we meet.  A driver told me, “I carry all kinds of people in my car.  My children are playing with all kinds of children and then we all sit together at home.  What can I do?”  I was sitting in a crowded public transport vehicle in the Red Light neighborhood, just outside Monrovia the other day, waiting for the vehicle to fill with passengers so we could leave. …

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A Response to ‘Women Against Feminism.’

iwantedwings

Imagine this:

The year is 2014. You are a white Western woman. You wake up in the morning in a comfortably sized house or flat. You have a full or part-time job that enables you to pay your rent or mortgage. You have been to school and maybe even college or university as well. You can read and write and count. You own a car or have a driver’s licence. You have enough money in your own bank account to feed and clothe yourself. You have access to the Internet. You can vote. You have a boyfriend or girlfriend of your choosing, who you can also marry if you want to, and raise a family with. You walk down the street wearing whatever you feel like wearing. You can go to bars and clubs and sleep with whomever you want.

Your world is full of freedom and possibility.

Then you…

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