The Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series was founded at the College of Physicians & Surgeons in 1981 to provide a forum and formal vehicle for interdisciplinary academic exchange in the basic sciences, clinical sciences, and humanities. The lectures are designed to emphasize the cross-collaborative nature of scientific inquiry and to enrich the traditional scholarly exchange between the health sciences faculties, the other branches of Columbia University, and the metropolitan New York medical community—all while honoring the school's fundamental responsibility to maintain the highest standards of humanistic education.
Over the past thirty years, we have been fortunate to have as speakers some of the world's leading basic scientists, clinicians, and humanistic scholars, all of whom have made significant and outstanding contributions to their respective fields. Yet, as expert as all of these speakers are in their areas of specialization, they have been able to bring their thoughts and experiences to life for those outside their traditional academic disciplines—some of whom ultimately have found new ways to advance this knowledge at the intersection of the arts and sciences.
Through the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series, we look forward to continuing our tradition of bringing together students, professors, researchers and clinicians in the spirit of true intellectual curiosity and academic cooperation—sowing the seeds, perhaps, for the next great breakthrough discovery or cure in the process.
"Science, Art, and Medicine: A Historian in the Laboratory"
Pamela H. Smith, Ph.D.
Seth Low Professor of History
Monday, October 13, 2014
650 West 168th Street, first floor
Pamela H. Smith is founding director of the Columbia Center for Science and Society and the Seth Low Professor of History at Columbia University, where she teaches history of early modern Europe and the history of science. She is the author of "The Business of Alchemy: Science and Culture in the Holy Roman Empire" (Princeton 1994), which won the 1995 Pfizer Prize for the best book in the history of science from the History of Science Society, and "The Body of the Artisan: Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution" (Chicago 2004), which won the 2005 Leo Gershoy Prize for best book in European history from the American Historical Association. She co-edited several books, including "Merchants and Marvels: Commerce, Science, and Art in Early Modern Europe" (with Paula Findlen, Routledge 2002), "Making Knowledge in Early Modern Europe: Practices, Objects, and Texts, 1400-1800" (with Benjamin Schmidt, Chicago 2008), "Ways of Making and Knowing: The Material Culture of Empirical Knowledge" (with Amy Meyers and Harold J. Cook, Michigan, 2014), and "The Matter of Art: Materials, Technologies, Meanings, c. 1250-1650" (with Christy Anderson and Anne Dunlop, Manchester, forthcoming 2014). She is the author of numerous articles on alchemy, artisans, and the making of vernacular and scientific knowledge. She has been a Guggenheim recipient, a Fellow at the Wissenschafts-Kolleg, Berlin, a Getty Scholar, a Samuel Kress Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of the Visual Arts in Washington, D.C., and she has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, among other honors.
She is presently working on a variety of projects, including a collectively researched critical edition of a 16th century craft manuscript that will be published as an open access digital volume; a collaborative project on the movement of knowledge around the globe before 1750; and a book titled "From Lived Experience to the Written Word: Recovering Art and Skill in Early Modern Europe," in which she seeks to reconstruct the vernacular knowledge of early modern European metalworkers from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including hands-on reconstruction of historical techniques.
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