Miseratione Non Mercede
Written on the wall of The Old Operating Theater is “Miseratione Non Mercede” which translates to “For compassion not for gain.” While it seems like the doctors who would have once performed operations here were in no way compassionate, these words really stuck with me. There are so many who make their decisions solely on their own benefit, that it’s sometimes hard to remember that there can possibly be anyone who truly lives by these words. I find them inspiring as to not give up on humanity quite yet.
Nullius in Verba
Another motto, this time that of the British Royal Society, “Nullius in Verba” translates to “take nobody’s word for it.” I really like the idea of living by these words as well, to always be skeptical, to always want to prove it to/for yourself, etc. Take nobody’s word for it. The words feel like a teasing or inviting challenge to me. I hope to make a career out of research so these are motivating words.
English Music Roots
I’m a huge fan of classic rock music, so in my free time I wanted to do a bit of a “music tour” where I went to look for different musical artist’s plaques around London. I saw the plaques for The Who, Pink Floyd, Ziggy Stardust, and of course went to Abbey Road. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars is one of favorite albums (I even named my neon green Jeep wrangler ‘Ziggy’ after the David Bowie persona). This type of music is my favorite because the albums will often tell a story as the records were meant to be listened to all the way through. You can appreciate the music better too if you learn and understand the time in history in which they were written/produced. For example, the album, The Final Cut by Pink Floyd is another favorite of mine. It’s an anti-war concept album that tells the story of the tragedy and loss of the “post-war dream,” and how British lives were affected and changed due to WWII. It isn’t just something you learn about in school in order to pass a test, it’s real people who experienced these horrific events and they were brave enough to turn it into something beautiful that can be shared for generations, in the hopes that it never happens again. Perhaps the historical event we are going through currently will produce the same. It’s interesting to gain historical perspective through music. Listen deeper.
The aspect I appreciated most about this project was the freedom to choose any OSU history topic we were interested in. Doing the project specifically about OSU brought a sense of pride into being a Buckeye while hearing about the subjects everyone else in the class did. In addition, I liked feeling like I got to know some of my fellow classmates better by listening to what they found interesting enough to research themselves.
I was part of the group that did the all-women Antarctica expedition, and I think it worked well to have a group of us doing one big event, so we could tell the story cohesively, while focusing on the aspects of the trip we individually found interesting. We each recorded our parts individually, then put them together in a predetermined order to make one story. I think we lucked out in being able to find sources because the anniversary of the trip was just this past year, otherwise I’m not sure we would have found enough info to make this one trip our whole project, and we maybe could have expanded more.
As far as looking forward to the History of Science in Europe project, I think I will look into making a rough draft “script” for Ada Lovelace’s story, that way I know exactly where I need to go or need to film while in London, to ensure I get everything I need to while abroad.
While the subject of Dr. Mathur’s lecture was beyond me, I really appreciated how he chose to make the lecture interactive by asking us questions and leading us to figure out the answers to some of these seemingly unreachable conclusions. It made the material easier to follow step-by-step and his visual representations helped as well (although there was still a bit I didn’t fully grasp of course). It was interesting that as Dr. Mathur said, we only needed “high school physics” in order to understand everything in his lecture. A subject that seems so unreachable and complex, when actually thought about in individual components, can really be explained somewhat simply, or with basic knowledge. I think that we learn about certain principles in classes, or in high school especially, but we don’t always see how they have applications currently in research, or in very complex research. So what I learned from this lecture, generally, is that sometimes the answer to a very complicated problem is really quite simply explained.
I found Dr. Kinghorn’s talk very interesting. I’m not sure why, but it’s crazy for me to sit and think about how there are plants out there that could treat/cure diseases, many of which we haven’t discovered yet. It seems pretty extremely lucky that some of the cures for different illnesses or treatments for symptoms have been discovered from basically guessing which plants or parts of plants to test. Maybe there is a more “scientific” approach to this, but it seems like mostly a “guess and check” sort of process. The process of trying to test and approve a new drug seems exhausting as well. I’m not sure I would have the patience for this particular field of research!
It was so interesting learning about how great Louis Pasteur was. Not only because he discovered so many revolutionary things, but also because it is apparent that he was a very compassionate person, who really just wanted to help people. He is very admirable for these characteristics and also for just how deeply and logically he was able to think. In particular, I found it very interesting how Pasteur was seemingly able to apply his findings so well. He really was able to take things to the next level entirely. He even foresaw how these ideas could be applied, like how Dr. Alber used the example of his idea that microorganisms may be “domesticated,” which leads to applications of biofuels today. I really appreciate being able to see how these historically breakthrough discoveries are still very much applicable and are even driving science today (pun unintended).
I enjoyed Dr. Cogan’s presentation because I thought it was interesting to think about how things like air were thought about before they were “discovered.” It’s interesting to think about how mysterious air must have been to people back then, when it seems to be common knowledge now, no surprises. That is, if “common people,” people who weren’t the scientific discoverers, back then even thought about air enough to be curious of it.
I also think it’s interesting that Priestly was pretty much just a catalyst for other scientific thinkers. That is, he sparked ideas for others, probably without realizing he had done so.
I liked the discussion on what sorts of things go into creating a scientific revolution. We talked about how funding is needed as a societal aspect. This would mean that whatever discoveries you hope to get out of the revolution have some benefit to whoever is paying their support for it. So I think sometimes, in any revolution, you need enough people, or maybe the “right” people, to be desperate enough to want solutions to be able to get anything done!
I enjoyed and appreciated Dr. Breitenberger’s presentation on women in science. I of course think it’s an extremely important topic, and I’m glad it was something she felt was worth the whole class hearing, and it continues to be. As I have said before, I would like to focus on women in science for both our OSU history project, and our history of England and France project. Even though this is a topic I have always cared about, I still was introduced to women I have never heard of in this presentation, which I think says something in itself. While this presentation gave me more women to possibly research, I might try to dig deeper for other women who have also gone fairly unnoticed or unaccredited, so we might hear of someone entirely new, although I am still interested in researching Mary Anning more. However, I actually already have someone else in mind who we haven’t discussed, Ada Lovelace, but will have to look into if there is any museum or somewhere I can visit while in England that would have information on her.
I throughly enjoyed Dale’s speech. It was really great to see his passion and enthusiasm for geology and paleontology, and his excitement I felt was contagious. I like that he pointed out specific museums we would visit while abroad, which made me even more excited for the trip. I would specifically like to do some more research into Mary Anning, who Dale mentioned, before and during the trip. I was really interested in the “subaqueous flying” Dale said was a characteristic of the creatures Mary Anning found. I just think it’s really interesting how geologist/paleontologists can make these different predictions for how Earth and different species used to be and learn from it.
I found Dr. Anelli’s presentation very interesting and relevant to my current studies. In general, I appreciate looking into how ground-breaking scientific discoveries were made, or how the discoverer came to his/her conclusions. It was interesting to see how many people and ideas influenced Darwin, demonstrating once again how collaborative science is in nature. Even if the information presented by one individual is found incorrect, or not entirely true, that negative data can spark new ideas or new directions in which to carry on other research. Discussing Darwin and his process of getting to his “Origin of Species” is very relevant to me currently, as in my Biology 1114 class, we just finished discussing Darwin and how he came to his conclusions. I also found it interesting that Darwin was actually afraid of his own conclusions and what they might suggest, but I appreciate that he took the time to really make sure he had abundant observations and data before he put “Origin of Species” out there.
I throughly enjoyed Jan’s presentation. Specifically, I appreciated how she chose to structure her presentation, by working chronologically from discussing the work of the very first faulty, to the work that is being done by current faculty, and connecting it back to each other. This really demonstrated to me just how collaborative every field of science is, and also how this particular university itself has contributed greatly to the many fields of science. I enjoyed the example of how science has come full circle at OSU for the case of Mendenhall creating the gravimeter, to current faculty member, Dorothy Grejner-Brzezinska, working on similar research. It made me feel some pride to be able to attend this university with such interesting history and to hopefully be a part of the legacy.