“Points on Blogs” returns this week, with a visit to The Neuro Times, “an historical blog dedicated to neurology and neuroscience.” The Neuro Times is the work of Dr. Stephen T. Casper, an Assistant Professor in the History of Science at Clarkson University, along with a small group of contributors. Casper recevied his doctorate in the History of Medicine from University College London, where he studied the history of British neurology. Here’s how he describes the blog:
The Dictionary of Neurology Project seeks to inform scholars, physicians, scientists and the wider public about trends in the history of neurology and neuroscience. While it is foremostly concerned with promoting history for the sake of history, the project also seeks to inform about and critique the growth of “neuroculture,” a trend that has emerged in various quarters in the last two decades to ascribe complex elements of culture and society to human neurobiology.
Our contributors provide commentary, critique, and high quality content about the neurosciences, and we seek to establish and build a broad and global community that engages in historical and sociological studies devoted to the many sciences (clincial and basic) that primarily focus on the nervous system. This blog, in consequence, serves university and medical communities as well as wider publics.
Should Points readers care? Not long ago, David Courtwright urged fellow historians to
“take a hit” of neuroscience, adding in good pusher fashion, “just don’t get addicted.” David made it clear what he meant: “Suspicion of scientific arrogance and imperialism ought not to prevent anyone from the selective appropriation of research insights, especially those that illuminate the common or synergistic features of drug action.” (1) Meant as a provocation of sorts, David’s call for common ground between history and neuroscience certainly does not go so far as to suggest that historians drop their posture of suspicion (nor do posts like this one suggest any impending sense of mutuality between fields). And that, it seems to me, is where The Neuro Times helps, by creating a space for well-informed suspicion.