337 Cohen Hall
Pamela Smith, Columbia University
"The History of Early Modern Science in Practice"
Abstract: The empirical techniques of experiment and observation employed in the natural sciences since the Scientific Revolution have important origins both in the accurate description and eyewitness practiced by Renaissance historians and in the creative labors of Renaissance artists’ workshops. But since the seventeenth century, these shared origins have been obscured, and the divisions between the natural sciences and the arts and humanities have become ever wider. Studying the pre-modern artisans’ workshop provides an opportunity for the historian to enter the contemporary scientific laboratory. Drawing on techniques from laboratory and archival research, as well as on new methods of the digital humanities, this lecture crosses the science/humanities divide to explore some ways that scientists and scholars from the humanities can collaborate in order to enhance our understanding of science, art, and scholarship.