Recent News

Gwen Ottinger, PhD

Gwen Ottinger, PhD, Wins Rachel Carson Prize for her Book, “Refining Expertise”

April 15, 2015
Gwen Ottinger, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Politics and the Center for Science, Technology, and Society, was awarded the Rachel Carson Prize f... Read More »
William Drust

MS student Bill Drust featured in 25 Faces of CoAS

April 13, 2015
Bill Drust is an MS student in science, technology and society. His master’s research focuses on the da Vinci Surgical System, a minimally invasi... Read More »
miller portrait thumbnail cropped

Jonson Miller on Engineers as Servant-Leaders of the Old South

March 03, 2015
Miller reports on his project, “Engineers as Servant-Leaders of the Old South: The Southern Military Schools and the Foundation of the New South” fo... Read More »

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  • Building Energy Benchmarking: Energy Wise: Citizen Scientists and Open Data

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015

    12:00 PM-2:00 PM

    NEW LOCATION! Behrakis Grand Hall, Creese Student Center 3210 Chestnut Street Philadelphia PA 19104

    • Everyone

    This event will focus on issues of citizen science and data practices in relation to energy use.  How does citizen science engage with local and regional energy issues? How do/could citizen science projects be leveraged to educate and shift citizen engagement with energy use? How do these projects work through digital platforms, and how often do citizen scientists collaborate with academics or campus communities? “Energy Wise” panelists will describe citizen science projects they have worked on, highlighting how the projects 1) leverage digital platforms for data collection and public communication, 2) how citizen scientists work with universities or academic researchers, and 3) how these projects shift public thinking about energy use writ large.

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  • Benjamin Cohen Lecture:How to Police Your Food: Homes & Bodies in the Early Age of Manufactured Food

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015

    2:00 PM-3:20 PM

    Curtis Hall, Room 453 3141 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19104

    • Everyone

    How to Police Your Food: A Story of Controlling Homes and Bodies in the Early Age of Manufactured Foods is a talk about three concerns of our day: food, knowledge, and control. The concerns are anchored in debates over environmental and public health inside a world of manufactured, industrial food. Cohen will talk about the dawn of that manufactured food system to show the basis for and consistency of such anxieties. As it were, the biggest story of agriculture and food from the mid-1800s to early 1900s is one of shifts in control from the field to the kitchen, from the farm to the city, from production to consumption. Those trends grew substantially across the 1900s, but their shape was put in place early in the century. In the midst of those massive changes, domestic economists, chemists, and grocers engaged in intense arguments over the best way to police the food of new urban households. Taste, smell, and sight had long provided ways to judge the quality and presumed purity of foods. Those were measurements of the body derived from daily experience. But just as the household body was challenged by new foods from outside sources—some domestic, some foreign—so too did officials challenge the value of evidence from individual bodies in protecting that space. This talk focuses on debates between the value of bodily knowledge and the incursion of analytical evidence during the so-called pure food crusades. Those debates highlighted a struggle between household management (what foods were brought into the house) and individual health (how to assure sustenance and nourishment). It’s all very familiar as we struggle, to this day, to manage relationships between food, bodies, and the land.

    Benjamin R. Cohen is assistant professor in the Engineering Studies and Environmental Studies Programs at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. From 2005-2011, Cohen was a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society [STS] at the University of Virginia. Holding STS, history, and environmental studies together, his interests sit at the intersection of the histories of science, technology, and the environment, with particular attention to industrial agriculture from the 19th century to today.

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