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Twentieth Century Reading Group

The group discusses books and papers relating to the history and historiography of 20th-century science, technology and medicine, broadly construed. We meet on Thursdays, 1pm to 2pm in the Board Room. Organised by Mary Brazelton, Joe Martin, Charu Singh and Richard Staley.

Everyone is welcome – feel free to bring along your lunch.

Lent Term 2018

This term we will consider readings on infrastructure, scale, climate and cartography on the following dates (alternating with Twentieth Century Think Tank):

25 January, on scale:

8 February, on place and geographies of climate change:

22 February


1 March

We will meet to discuss the work of Naomi Oreskes in preparation for her visit to Cambridge in mid May. We will focus on her important work with Erik Conway, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming (New York/Berlin/London: Bloomsbury Press, 2010). The book is widely available in Cambridge libraries with a copy on reserve at the Whipple and online access at designated PCs in the UL and affiliate libraries.

We suggest reading chapter 6, 'The Denial of Global Warming', together with the conclusion and epilogue (which offer an account of the motivations underlying the work of major denialists, and 'a new view of science').

8 March

Readings TBC