“…these places [spa locations] became sacred to healthseekers; “taking the waters” embodied a basic and important but fleeting relationship with the natural environment. People searched for the healing powers of nature and found them in mineral springs. They sought companionship, leisure, and alleviation of bodily pain in an inspiring and comfortable environment.”

— Janet Valenza in Taking the Waters in Texas (2000)

Thesis Research

"There is still, I think, not enough recognition by teachers of the fact that the desire to think — which is fundamentally a moral problem — must be induced before the power is developed. Most people, whether men or women, wish above all else to be comfortable, and thought is a pre-eminently uncomfortable process…"

— Vera Brittain in Testament of Youth (1933)

Uncategorized

The historians task… is wisely to reduce complexity where it can be reduced without undue violence, and to portray complexity only where it is essential.

— Noah Effron, “Sciences and Religions: What It Means to Take Historical Perspectives Seriously,” in Science and Religion

Uncategorized

“Why do the miracles in the Bible not happen now? The answer is, if they were to happen all the time they would stop astonishing us. Let us look about us. See how day and night turn in their perpetual round, and how the sky and stars follow their changeless courses. See how the seasons change, and the leaves grow wither on the boughs. Look at the unquenchable vitality within seeds, and at the beauty of light, colors and sounds, of smells and of tastes, in all their variety. Now let us go and talk to someone who was seeing this for the first time. Could he talk to us? He would be struck dumb by all these miracles. Yet we think them ordinary. This is not because we understand them. Their causes remain a deep mystery. No, it is because they are never absent from our experience.”

— St. Augustine of Hippo, ~391 AD

Uncategorized

“Popularizers provided syntheses, synoptic overviews, and more: at heart, as storytellers who engaged with questions of meaning as well as providing information, they brought the larger public into communication with the search for natural knowledge by incorporating their hopes and dreams and fears and speaking directly to their experiences.”

— Katherine Pandora and Karen A. Rader in “Science in the Everyday World”

Why Popular Science Matters

Quotes