Time to Eat the Dogs

A Podcast About Science, History, and Exploration

Thank You FHSA


This morning the Forum for the History of Science in America presented me with their 2008 Book Prize for my book The Coldest Crucible. Officer Paul Lucier presented the prize:

On behalf of the membership and officers of the Forum for the History of Science in America, it is my pleasure to announce that the 2008 Forum Prize Committee has unanimously agreed to award this year’s book prize to Michael F. Robinson for The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration and American Culture, published in 2006 by the University of Chicago….this is a history of science of a very different sort. Instead of focusing on how the explorers collected specimens or tried to map the icy unknown, Robinson explains, in very clear and refreshingly concise fashion, how the Arctic and its explorers tried to collect sponsors and funding, and how they tried to present themselves and their expeditions as relevant to a large public.

My last time in Pittsburgh was in 1998, also at a History of Science meeting. It was the occasion of my first academic paper. I read it, hunched over a podium, to four elderly men in varying states of consciousness. I was tense, the paper was dry, but I don’t think anyone was awake enough to notice. The paper made me wonder why I spent so much time working on these subjects when no one was ever going to read or care about them.

It feels particularly good, then, to receive this award in Pittsburgh (at the same hotel no less). Thank you FHSA! Thanks too to for the generous write-ups in the Hartford Courant and the University of Hartford’s UNotes Daily.


  darwinsbulldog wrote @

Congratulations, Michael!

  Richard Carter, FCD wrote @

Yes, congratulations. The fact that this prize is from a society dedicated to science history makes it very prestigious, as far as I’m concerned.

  Karen James wrote @

Congratulations and well done. I admit that I have not read your book, but it is now on my reading list.

  brc wrote @

not only was it a pleasure to meet you at the meeting, Michael, and to get the chance for easy conversation, but now i can talk up the fact that a guy i know won the History of Science in America book prize. congratulations on the recognition, and keep up the excellent writing here at the blog. ben

  Kevin Z wrote @

Congratulations! I guess if it was good enough to get an award I’ll pop on down to the bookstore and get myself a copy ;p

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