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Sharrona Pearl Geddes W. Simpson Lecture in the History of Science

September 14, 2017 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


Dr. Sharrona Pearl joins us from the Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Pennsylvania visit for a series of events (she will also be participating in the Canadians Teaching in the US panel and participate in a series of events with the Honors College and Canadian American Center). Dr. Pearl is an historian of science and medicine and an engaging lecturer (you can get a sense of her lecture style from the link below – a talk she gave at PopTech in Camden in 2014) and she writes regularly for websites like Huffington Post and Kveller – she understands the importance of communicating the academic and scholarly work we do on campus to public audiences, and she’s excellent at it.

Her scholarship specializes in the history of physiognomy (the 19th. century science of deducing character by facial characteristics) and she’s a renowned expert on the ethics of facial transplants and the role of the face in communication. Her most recent book is Face/On: Face Transplants and the Ethics of the Other (University of Chicago Press, 2017) but she writes on wide variety of scholarly topics in myriad disciplines. Her 2010 book, About Faces: Physiognomy in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Harvard University Press) emerged from her doctoral work at Harvard’s History of Science and Technology Program.

Dr. Pearl’s work speaks to medical ethics, communication and identity, history of science, medicine, and technology, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (Dr. Pearl is Core Faculty in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at University of Pennsylvania in addition to her position in the Annenberg School).

Dr. Pearl at PopTech in Camden in 2014:

To learn more about her, check out this profile of Dr. Pearl from Penn Current (University of Pennsylvania magazine).

About the lecture series: In 2001, Simpson’s family established the Geddes W. Simpson Lecture Fund. Simpson was a well-respected faculty member whose 55-year career in the College of Life Sciences and the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station began in 1931. He chaired the entomology department from 1954 until his retirement in 1974. The lecture was established to support a series that highlights speakers who have provided significant insight into the area where science and history intersect.

Photo from Pearl’s faculty page at Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.