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Department Name Change

On August 28, 2020, the Faculty voted unanimously to change the Department name from "History of Science" to "History of Science, Technology and Medicine", reflecting the major strengths represented in the Department. The change was approved by the University Regents at their March 2021 meeting and is now the official name of the Department.

2020-2021 Colloquium Series


Our ongoing colloquium series will be entirely by Zoom. See details below.


Upcoming Speakers


12:00 pm, Friday April 30. To register, please visit

For help with Zoom link or accomodation on the basis of disabliity please contact The event will be live captioned.

From Invention to Discovery and Back Again: Examining the Cycle of Invention and Discovery

Tolu Odumosu (STS and Electrical Engineering, University of Virginia)

In this talk, I will examine the history and resiliency of the terms "basic" and "applied" research and demonstrate how they have become a hindrance to US Science, Technology, and Innovation. By attending to researchers' lived experiences and their daily practice, I will demonstrate the critical importance of integrated research practice and its contribution to the virtuous cycle of discovery, invention, and innovation. Institutions have a power all their own to shape our experience and understanding of the world. Consider how federal use of the term "social distancing" has granted the term a very peculiar obduracy. As a group of sociologists argued in the early days of the pandemic, what we needed was "physical distancing" with complementary efforts to preserve social ties as much as possible to enable proper mental health. Their valiant efforts were all for naught, and "social distancing" has become the vernacular of the pandemic. Names have the power to shape thinking, and even when we realize the problems inherent in their use, shifting to different language, and different perspectives can be a herculean task.

Co-sponsored by the Department of History of Science, Technology and Medicine and the Office of the Vice-President for Research and Partnerships



2019-2020 Colloquium Series


OU Alumna at American Philosophical Society. With a bachelor’s degree in p