Category archives: History

From gas to cash. The unexpected applications of statistical mechanics

From gas to cash. The unexpected applications of statistical mechanics

HistoryPhysics

By Pablo Rodríguez Sánchez

Mechanics and thermodynamics are two of the main pillars of physics. Mechanics, the branch of physics that studies movement, is considered to be well established since the publication of Isaac Newton’s Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687). Thermodynamics, the science dealing with heat and temperature, enjoyed its golden age in the 19th century, and was the […]

The conflict between science and religion as an “invented tradition”

The conflict between science and religion as an “invented tradition”

HistoryPhilosophy of scienceSociology

By Invited Researcher

Author: Jaume Navarro received his PhD in history of science from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (1998). He has been a researcher at the universities of Cambridge, Imperial College (London) and the Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte (Berlin). Currently he is an Ikerbasque Research Professor and a member of the Praxis Group at the Faculty […]

Intelligence testing: a history of a fierce debate

Intelligence testing: a history of a fierce debate

HistoryPhilosophy of sciencePsychology

By Invited Researcher

Is the intelligence test an “objective”, scientific device or just a way to “execute” social discrimination? This article (based on ) presents the latest steps to trace the history of one of the most problematic chapters in psychology’s history: the application of intelligence testing. By informing about the history of the IQ debate I want […]

Going postal:  When radiation dosimeters got into a box

Going postal: When radiation dosimeters got into a box

HistoryMedicinePhysicsSociology

By Invited Researcher

What is a radiation dosimeter? Why do we need one? To give you an interesting and short response I will remind you what the Japanese government officials offered to Fukushima evacuees after the 2011 nuclear disaster. Having failed to reach their original radiation decontamination target, the government proposed that evacuees could return to their homes […]

History and legend in the origins of Islam (and IV)

History and legend in the origins of Islam (and IV)

AnthropologyHistoryLinguistics

By Jesús Zamora Bonilla

We shall close with this entry our series (I, II, III) about the origins of Islam, indicating some further interesting facts about the Qur’an. 4) By Muhammad’s time, the Arabic alphabet contained no marks for vowels; furthermore, some groups of consonants were written with exactly the same character (e.g., the symbols for sounds b, t […]