Fellow in Focus
William Newman, 2015–2016 Cain Distinguished Fellow at CHF.
The Rohm and Haas Fellow in Focus Lecture series gives the Beckman Center’s scholars an opportunity to present their work to a broad audience interested in history, science, and culture.
Fellow in Focus programs are presented by CHF’s Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry, home to CHF’s fellowship program and the heart of academic programming within the organization.
CHF gratefully acknowledges June Felley for her generous support of the Rohm and Haas Fellow in Focus lecture series.
Follow the links below to learn more about past Fellow in Focus lectures.
April 6, 2016
Elisabeth Berry Drago’s talk explored the making of pigments and their implications to the histories of both art and science, focusing particularly on the Dutch Republic, where images of alchemy were popularized by such painters as Cornelis Bega, Adriaen van de Venne, and Thomas Wijck.
November 11, 2015
Why did one of the most celebrated scientists of all time believe in alchemy? William Newman presented the evidence that led Isaac Newton and other 17th-century scholars to accept alchemical transmutation.
April 2, 2015
Nadia Berenstein examined how chemical additives designed to imitate, enhance, and improve flavor made their way into the U.S. food supply.
November 20, 2014
Alchemy mixed into the lives of early modern men and women in ways that were social as well as material and philosophical.
April 17, 2014
The referee of scientific papers has been called the linchpin of modern science. But just who is the scientific referee? Where did the referee come from? What is the referee really for? And how have the functions of the referee system changed over time?
November 14, 2013
The concept of “information overload” is nothing new. It began as the printing press inexorably increased publication, and by the later 19th century the feeling of “overload” had become intolerable for many.
April 17, 2013
Originally published in 1839, chemist Michel-Eugène Chevreul’s The Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Color quickly grabbed public attention. In this talk Kalba discussed Chevreul’s influential ideas about color within the context of 19th-century France’s buoyant consumer culture.
November 8, 2012
Sir Humphry Davy (1778–1829) was the foremost chemist of his day and one of the most distinguished British men of science of the 19th century. This talk offered a new perspective on his enigmatic last work.
May 23, 2012
We have often been told that chemistry was built on theory by genius. But what did 19th-century chemists know? What could they do, and how could they do it?
March 17, 2010
Approximately half the items in American supermarkets are certified kosher. What led the food industry to embrace kosher laws and rabbis to study food chemistry? Did modern food change kosher, or did kosher change modern food?