Today is the last day of teaching for me this semester. Running some evaluations for my honors seminar but little else. Yesterday, Origins, Evolution & Creation ended with the final examination – 30 questions in 45 minutes. I told my TA that the first person to finish would do so in nine minutes … and I was bang on the money. Weird.
Some things to take care of and then I can look forward to a summer of writing (at least two papers – one history and one science – and a handful of book reviews) and travel (no Europe this year, just Minnesota and Michigan, the latter twice). I also need to recuperate … it was a relatively tough semester.
Classes started this week. I’m teaching the second half of the Socratic seminar that is required of all honors students at Barrett – you can see the schedule of readings here – and my course “Origins, Evolution and Creation” which is now in its twelfth year. You can read more about that class here. Above are the slides for the first class of “Origins” – an introduction to the course. I tried to record a podcast so you all could listen along, but ran into a problem. If there is sufficient interest (let me know in the comments), I may keep uploading slide presentations as the semester goes on. You’ll need to guess at what I’m saying, but it may be useful none the less 🙂
Friday I gave a talk on St George Mivart at the History of Science Society (HSS) annual meeting. All went well and our session – which also discussed Charles Kingsley, Asa Gray and popularizers of Darwin’s ideas – generated good discussion. A bunch of folks came up to me and said that I need to write a book on Mivart, so that was encouraging.
Anyway, I return from the meeting to be faced by a pile of grading. Such is the life academic.
Back on January 1st I posted a list of things that I wanted to achieve this year. Let’s see how I did with six months gone (I’ve added some comments in italics):
- Finish and submit three book reviews over the next few weeks – done and of course new books to review appeared immediately!
- Finish some work for the History of Science Society’s Committee on Education – Eek! Still need to get this finished.
- Have a paper accepted by Pediatrics – As it happens, today I received notification that the paper has finally been accepted. I’ll post something about it when it appears online.
- Teach my Origins, Evolution and Creation course for what must be the eleventh time (Spring) – done
- Give a talk at the University of Oklahoma for their Darwin celebrations (February). – done
- Give a four day seminar on Darwin (also at Oklahoma in February; syllabus is here) – done
- Give a talk on Darwin for the ASU chapter of Sigma Xi (February) – done
- Perhaps attend the ISHPSSB meeting in Australia (July) – Unfortunately, I decided that this was not possible given the cost. Pity really.
- Present a paper at the next History of Science Society meeting on St. George Jackson Mivart as part of a session on Victorian responses to Origin (November) – Our session got accepted and I will be presenting. Now I only need to write the paper!
- Submit a book proposal for a monograph on Mivart. I have a few leads for a publisher and I’m hoping this will be the big task for the Summer. – Thinking this through, I decided it would be better just to write a few papers rather than a whole monograph. So that is the plan now.
- Teach my History of Science since 1700 class for the second time (Fall) – The class is going a head and all 100 places are already taken. Need to tweak that syllabus a little though.
- Begin transcriptions at ASU for the Tyndall Correspondence Project (Fall, funding permitting) – We’re still waiting to hear back from the NSF on this.
- Get promoted to Principal Lecturer. My paperwork is sitting on a desk somewhere and has been for a few months now. – Heard back in May and am now promoted.
- Hopefully get a few new grad students – Have at least one potential student starting in August.
Not too shabby.
My talk at the AHA annual meeting was this morning and it went well (as far as I can tell). There was time for 15 minutes of questions and I guess I spent a further 20 minutes chatting afterwards. All good. As usual, I’ve posted my slides here for anyone that wants to see them. The talk was very similar to the one I gave in Oklahoma – some slides were changed but the thrust of my argument remained the same.