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Date sent: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 17:54:01 -0400From: Karen Reeds <email@example.com> (apologies for cross-posting) On behalf of the Forum for the History of Science in America, I am happy to announce that the Forum's Book Prize for 2000 has been awarded to Nicolas Rasmussen for his book, Picture Control: The Electron Microscope and the Transformation of Biology in America, 1940-1960, published by Stanford University Press in 1997 in the series, Writing Science, edited by Timothy Lenoir and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht. To quote from the prize citation: "At the end of the twentieth century, it is fitting to award the Forum prize for a book that portrays a discipline that in many ways epitomizes the issues of twentieth-century American science. Dr. Rasmussen's book--and his own interest in history and philosophy of science--grew directly out of his own experience working in biology labs. His longstanding curiosity about the ways "the practical rituals" of experimental protocols and routines arose and were passed along found a focus when he was trained as an electron microscopist. The early technology and use of the electron microscope had, as a result of World War II, been concentrated in just a few institutions in the United States and Canada; and it was recent enough that many of its founding scientists were still alive and eager to talk. Picture Control asks, "How [does] our knowledge depend on our technology?" To address the question, Rasmussen weaves together a chronicle of the development of a new scientific tool, a sociology of the individuals, institutions, and communities that embraced it, a study of the new scientific information it provided, and, above all, an analysis of the epistemological problems of interpreting those new images and facts. To mention just one of many examples, Rasmussen describes and illustrates with micrographs how Keith Porter, at the Rockefeller Institute in the late 1940s and early 1950s, persuaded himself and his colleagues that the endoplasm of cells--a featureless "ground substance" under the light microscope--really did have the complex structure that the electron microscope revealed. Though much of the book necessarily deals with technical details, Rasmussen's clear, often witty account makes it easy for even non-biologists to follow the thread of the narrative and the argument. Picture Control is a rich, ambitious work which both illuminates a key innovation of twentieth-century biology and offers its own methodological innovations for the study of technology, technique, and scientific discovery." In 2001, the prize will be awarded for an outstanding article; in 2002, for a book. For details about eligibility and nominations, please get in touch with the 2001 committee chair, Dr. Clark A. Elliott, "Clark A. Elliott" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Karen Reeds Forum 2000 Prize committee chair Karen Reeds, Ph.D. Curator, "A State of Health: New Jersey's Medical Heritage" Traveling exhibition showing March-April 2001 at Coriell Research Library, UMDNJ, 401 Haddon Ave., Camden, NJ 08103. http://www4.umdnj.edu/camlbweb For details and future sites: 973--972-7830 email@example.com. Exhibition catalogue forthcoming from Rutgers University Press in 2001. ============== 127 Southgate Road New Providence NJ 07974 908--464-0714*fax firstname.lastname@example.org