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Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2018) 48 (5): 627–636.
Published: 01 November 2018
...Dan Bouk A mid-1960s proposal to create a National Data Center has long been recognized as a turning point in the history of privacy and surveillance. This article shows that the story of the center also demonstrates how bureaucrats and researchers interested in managing the American economy came...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2018) 48 (5): 581–593.
Published: 01 November 2018
...David Sepkoski One of the best arguments for approaching the history of information processing and handling in the human and natural sciences as a “history of data” is that it focuses our attention on relationships, convergences, and contingent historical developments that can be obscured following...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2020) 50 (1-2): 81–89.
Published: 02 April 2020
...Cathryn Carson This essay is part of a special issue entitled “Looking Backward, Looking Forward: HSNS at 50,” edited by Erika Lorraine Milam. © 2020 by The Regents of the University of California 2020 CATHRYN CARSON* Clouds of Data ABSTRACT This essay is part of a special issue entitled...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2019) 49 (5): 556–565.
Published: 01 November 2019
... . $32.00 (hardcover). © 2019 by The Regents of the University of California 2019 The New Critical History of Surveillance and Human Data BY THEODORA DRYER* SARAH IGO. The Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018. 592 pp., illus., index...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2018) 48 (5): 557–567.
Published: 01 November 2018
...Daniel Rosenberg The history of what we today call “data” extends to the ancient world, yet our contemporary terminology of “data” is modern. This article examines the history and significance of the term “data.” It argues that a historiography of data that is self-conscious about the historicity...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2018) 48 (5): 549–556.
Published: 01 November 2018
...Soraya de Chadarevian; Theodore M. Porter © 2018 by the Regents of the University of California 2018 SORAYA DE CHADAREVIAN AND THEODORE M. PORTER* Introduction: Scrutinizing the Data World Although data as a topic of historical investigation is not radically new, it appeared until a few years...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2018) 48 (5): 673–684.
Published: 01 November 2018
...Matthew L. Jones In the last two decades, a highly instrumentalist form of statistical and machine learning has achieved an extraordinary success as the computational heart of the phenomenon glossed as “predictive analytics,” “data mining,” or “data science.” This instrumentalist culture of...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2018) 48 (5): 648–658.
Published: 01 November 2018
...Soraya de Chadarevian There is much talk about data-driven and in silico biology, but how exactly does it work? This essay reflects on the relation of data practices to the biological things from which they are abstracted. Looking at concrete examples of computer use in biology, the essay asks: How...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2018) 48 (5): 616–626.
Published: 01 November 2018
...Sarah E. Igo This article examines a recent, unexamined turn in the history of personal data in the last half century: the era when it was re-envisioned as a possession of the individual whom it described or from whom it was obtained. Data—whether scientific, commercial, or bureaucratic—had often...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2018) 48 (5): 594–603.
Published: 01 November 2018
...Theodore M. Porter French asylum doctor Ludger Lunier’s effort to measure the causal force of war and revolution in the production of insanity involved reasoning from data in an unfamiliar form. Lunier built up what we can call a medical database from an accumulation of about four hundred compact...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2016) 46 (2): 252–259.
Published: 01 April 2016
...Hallam Stevens © 2016 by the Regents of the University of California 2016 Orit Halpern . Beautiful Data: A History of Vision and Reason Since 1945 . Durham : Duke University Press , 2014 . ix + 342 pp., illus., index. ISBN 978-0-8223-5730-8 . $28.97 (paper). Katy Börner , ed...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2010) 40 (2): 183–224.
Published: 01 May 2010
...Elena Aronova; Karen S. Baker; Naomi Oreskes This paper discusses the historical connections between two large-scale undertakings that became exemplars for worldwide data-driven scientific initiatives after World War II: the International Geophysical Year (1957––1958) and the International...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2018) 48 (5): 568–580.
Published: 01 November 2018
...Christine Von Oertzen This essay argues that the explosion of visual graphics in nineteenth-century population statistics was closely linked to a shift in statistical epistemologies and practices of data collection. Taking German census statistics as a case in point, I illuminate concepts and...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2018) 48 (5): 604–615.
Published: 01 November 2018
...Staffan Müller-Wille Statistics derives its power from classifying data and comparing the resulting distributions. In this paper, I will use two historical examples to highlight the importance of such data practices for statistical reasoning. The two examples I will explore are Franz Boas’s...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2018) 48 (1): 56–109.
Published: 01 February 2018
...David Sepkoski; Marco Tamborini This paper traces the emergence of a new visual language for statistical paleontology in the early nineteenth century as part of a broader project to uncover a deep genealogy of modern practices in data visualization. In the first decades of the nineteenth century...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2019) 49 (1): 41–69.
Published: 01 February 2019
...Kim Kleinman Edgar Anderson of the Missouri Botanical Garden had long and rich collaborations with such mathematicians and mathematically inclined biologists as R. A. Fisher, Sewall Wright, and John Tukey. It was Anderson’s Iris data that Fisher used to develop his linear discriminant function to...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2006) 37 (1): 127–151.
Published: 01 September 2006
...ERIK M. CONWAY ABSTRACT In the late 20 th century, remote sensing from space offered a means of resolving one of the principal challenges plaguing physical oceanographers, poor spatial sampling. But in fact, remote sensing offered an opposing problem––so much data that the traditional oceanographic...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2018) 48 (5): 637–647.
Published: 01 November 2018
... West, was a project to gather unprecedented amounts of behavioral data and centrally store it to identify emergent crime. Protesters correctly seized on the violence center as a potential site of racially targeted experimentation in psychosurgery and an example of iatrogenic science. Yet the eventual...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2017) 47 (4): 529–567.
Published: 01 September 2017
...K. M. Frederick-Frost In December 1913 and April 1914, Henry Moseley, a British physicist, published data that is now famed for being the first experimental evidence for the atomic number as a physical property of the nucleus. Shortly after, in June 1914, Moseley used x-ray spectroscopy to analyze...
Journal Articles
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2018) 48 (5): 659–672.
Published: 01 November 2018
...Emmanuel Didier A database organizes information, but since information is produced by actors, it also coordinates the different actors involved with data. Here, focusing on the newly created ClinVar, a genomic clinical variant database, we will see how it helps the government, academia, and...