Re: History and ASA

From: Ted Davis <tdavis@messiah.edu>
Date: Thu Nov 17 2005 - 18:55:31 EST

Let me clarify my point by adding background.

Many historians these days are social historians who use class, race, and
gender to analyze events and movements in human history. (I suppose this
favors the view I reject, that history is a social science.) Most
historians do not study "science" or its social manifestations, and most do
not study "religion" and its social manifestations either--religious history
is increasingly being shunted off to separate departments of religious
studies rather than being integrated into history departments at many
universities. Very, very few study the history of "science and religion,"
and many of those few who do consider themselves to be historians of
science, indeed several are in separate history of science departments.

Most historians have little or no formal interest in science at all.

To get at what I'm trying to say, let me reverse the implied question: how
many scientists and engineers in the ASA are seriously interested in
history--strongly enough to belong to a national historical society, such as
the Organization of American Historians or the American Historical
Association? Incidentally, I don't think that any rule would bar anyone
from joining either of those organizations.

I really don't care whether or not history per se (as vs history of science)
is included in the ASA disciplines--assuming we still wish to list those
disciplines.

Ted
Received on Thu Nov 17 18:57:11 2005

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