The folks at News and Views: The History of Science in America (a blog of the Forum for the history of science in America) have introduced a series of posts asking What’s American about the History of Science in America. The first few essays ought to be of interests to the readers of this blog for a number of reasons. First, they describe how starting during the 1960s a group of researchers tried to influences their discipline (history of science) to pay attention to American topics and to organize themselves within the discipline: a goal which bears some similarity to the motivation behind this blog. Second, their efforts are interesting from the point of view of American intellectual history itself: the history of history of science in American during the second half of the last century. Finally, they touch on perennial question of historians of science: making garden-verity historians take note of history of science.
What, if anything, can we learn from this group? How, if at all, are the goals of U.S. intellectual historians and historians of American Science related? Those are important questions to ponder as we continue to read new essay in the series.