I am very pleased and honored to announce that the Forum for the History of Science (FHSA) in America has awarded my chapter “A Heightened Controversy” in James Fleming and Ann Johnson’s Toxic Airs the Phillip Pauly prize. The FHSA prize for 2015 was for the best best article or chapter in an edited volume published in the last three years by an early career scholar.
The FHSA was founded in the late 1970s to promote the history of American science and became a formal “interest group” of the History of Science Society in 1988. The FHSA nowadays largely promotes American science through the AmericanScience blog. You can also follow them on Twitter. Phillip Pauly was an active member before his untimely death in 2008.
My university generously supported my travel to the History of Science Society meeting in San Francisco last month so I could receive the award in person at the Forum’s annual business meeting.
Paul Lucier, a member of the prize committee, delivered a wonderful commentary on my chapter before handing me the award. In one flattering remark, Paul noted that my chapter “stood out among a strong group of articles by junior scholars because of its detailed and effective research, its attention to scientific and technical detail, and its well-illustrated case study that opened into a larger environmental perspective. This is an essay that touches on significant issues in the making of science in the post-World War II era that should be noted not only by historians of science but also by scientists and the broader public.”
After Paul’s comments, the Forum asked me to speak a few words, which I had not anticipated. I was a bit shocked when they asked me to come up, but I nonetheless managed to communicate semi-coherently, first by shamelessly promoting the monograph I am working on (which, btw, is now under contract with the University of Washington Press, Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books series) and then by thanking Jim Fleming who was in attendance. Getting chance to thank Jim was especially important to me. I first met Jim after delivering a paper on which the chapter was based on a panel on the history of meteorology at the American Meteorology Society conference in New Orleans a few years back. It was over some shrimp Po’ Boys after my talk that Jim asked if I’d be interested in contributing to the edited volume that he and Ann Johnson were putting together. Would I? Of course! Jim has been an enthusiastic supporter of my work ever since. Below is a pic that Karen Rader posted on Twitter as I was extemporaneously riffing on the award. Not sure why my arms were raised in such an animated way!