Profile for Penelope Hardy

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Penelope Hardy

Assistant Professor
History
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Specialty area(s)

History of science, technology, and medicine, especially technologies of ocean science. 

Brief biography

Penelope K. Hardy is an historian of science, technology, and medicine, focusing on technologies of science, ocean sciences, and scientific exploration of the global ocean.  Hardy’s research on ocean sciences in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries focuses on the role of ocean-going research vessels in the development of modern scientific understanding of the oceans and the ocean-atmosphere system, and in the establishment of oceanography as a field.  Her academic fields of interest include the relationship between science and the public, the role of technology in American society, the professionalization of science, and changes in popular understanding of the deep oceans. She has published on topics including military-scientific partnerships in the US and UK, meteorology in interwar Germany, and ocean mapping as both technical feat and imaginative exercise. A recipient of numerous research fellowships, including from the Smithsonian Institution, the American Meteorological Society, the Huntington Library, and the North American Society for Oceanic History, Hardy is also co-founder of an international working group examining the history of oceanic science, technology, and medicine. 

Current courses at UWL

Fall 2022:

     HIS 110 - Technology & Science in World History     

     HIS 300 - Knowing the Oceans: A History of Human Understanding of the Ocean Environment

Spring 2023: 

     HIS 110 - Technology & Science in World History     

     HIS 490 - History Research Seminar

Education

PhD in History of Science & Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 

MA in History, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL 

BS in Aerospace Engineering (Astronautics), US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD 

Career

Teaching history

Past courses include:

     Survey of the History of Modern Science (HIS 280)

     Epidemics in World History (HIS 300)

    History of US Science & Technology (HIS 309)

Professional history

Before coming to UW-La Crosse in 2019, Dr. Hardy was a visiting assistant professor at Xavier University, in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Research and publishing

I am editing a four-volume primary source collection on global oceanic history for the Routledge Historical Resources series, tentatively titled Knowing the Oceans, 1790-1914: A Global History in Primary Sources.

I chaired a panel on "Explorations, Expeditions, and Extractions" at the History of Science Society Annual Conference in Chicago, 17-20 November 2022. 

I presented “Drafting the Deep: Knowing the Ocean through Images in the Mid-Nineteenth Century” at the History of Science Society/Society for the History of Technology Joint Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA, on 18-21 November 2021. [The conference was virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic.]

I presented "Science from the quarterdeck: Naval-scientific networks and the 1870s Challenger Expedition" at the 26th International Congress of History of Science and Technology in Prague on July 27, 2021. [The conference was virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic.]

I co-wrote, with Dr. Helen M. Rozwadowski, a blog post on "Reckoning with a Racist Legacy in Ocean Science" for the International Commission of the History of Oceanography in June 2020.

 

Recent articles:

Water as the Medium of Measurement: Mapping Global Oceans in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.” Ch 5 in Hydrohumanities: Water Discourse and Environmental Futures, edited by Kim DeWolff, Rina Faletti, and Ignacio López-Calvo, pp. 118-140. (Oakland: University of California Press, 2021).

“Finding the History of the World at the Bottom of the Ocean: Hydrography, Natural History, and the Sea in the Nineteenth Century.” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 110, no. 4 (July 2021): 117-132.

w/ Dr. Helen M. Rozwadowski, "Maury for Modern Times: Navigating a Racist Legacy in Ocean Science," Oceanography 33, 3 (September 2020): 8-13.

"Meteorology as Nationalism on the German Atlantic Expedition, 1925-1927." History of Meteorology 8, Relocating Meteorology (December 2017): 124-144.

"Every Ship a Floating Observatory: Matthew Fontaine Maury and the Acquisition of Knowledge at Sea." In Soundings and Crossings: Doing Science at Sea 1800-1970, edited by Katharine Anderson and Helen M. Rozwadowski (Sagamore Beach, MA: Science History Publications/Watson Publishing International, 2016): 17-48.

"Matthew Fontaine Maury: Scientist." In "Forum: Reconsidering Matthew Fontaine Maury," International Journal of Maritime History 28, no. 2 (May 2016): 402-410.

I have reviewed scholarly books for Technology and CultureThe British Journal for the History of Science, International Journal of Maritime History, Endeavour, The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord, History: Review of New Books, Global Maritime History, H-Environment, H-Water, H-War, The Michigan Historical Review, Michigan War Studies Review, and Anthropological Forum.

Kudos

awarded

Penelope Hardy, History, received the award for Charles Dana Gibson Award at the North American Society for Oceanic History annual conference on June 25 in Pensacola, FL. The award recognizes Hardy's article, "Finding the History of the World at the Bottom of the Ocean: Hydrography, Natural History, and the Sea in the Nineteenth Century," which was published in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 110, no 4 (July 2021): 117-132, as the most significant article on any aspect of North American maritime history published in a peer-reviewed journal in 2021.

Submitted on: Sept. 1

 

served

Penelope Hardy, History, served on an ad hoc committee on the legacy of meteorologist Cleveland Abbe for the American Meteorological Society (AMS). The committee's charge was to report on the most probable historical account of Abbe's contributions to the atmospheric science community and to examine parts of his biography that have come into question, so that the AMS Council can make informed decisions about how to appropriately utilize his legacy. The committee's report was presented to the AMS Council and published in the April 2022 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

Submitted on: May 31

 

published

Penelope Hardy, History, authored the chapter "Water as the Medium of Measurement: Mapping Global Oceans in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries" in Hydrohumanities: Water Discourse and Environmental Futures published on Tuesday, Dec. 21 by University of California Press. The book is available for purchase from the usual outlets or as an open-access download from https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.115

Submitted on: Dec. 21, 2021

 

presented

Penelope Hardy, History, presented "Drafting the Deep: Knowing the Ocean through Images in the Mid-Nineteenth Century" at the joint annual conference of the History of Science Society and the Society for the History of Technology on Nov. 20 online.

Submitted on: Dec. 7, 2021

 

interviewed

Penelope Hardy, History, was interviewed by Paul Voosen of Science on Thursday, Sept. 2. Hardy discussed her research on the ties between nineteenth century American naval officer Matthew Fontaine Maury's ocean science work and his support for slavery.

Submitted on: Sept. 2, 2021

 

presented

Penelope Hardy, History, presented "Science from the quarterdeck: Naval-scientific networks and the 1870s Challenger Expedition" at the 26th International Congress of History of Science and Technology on July 27 online. In her paper, Hardy argues that examining the crucial role of individual naval officers and their networks enhances our understanding of the origination and success of early British oceanographic expeditions.

Submitted on: July 29, 2021

 

presented

Penelope Hardy, History, presented "From Swab to Scientific Instrument: A Historical Case Study in Naval-Naturalist Collaboration" at the North American Society for Oceanic History 2021 Annual Conference on July 8 online.

Submitted on: July 12, 2021

 

published

Penelope Hardy, History, authored the article "Finding the History of the World at the Bottom of the Ocean: Hydrography, Natural History, and the Sea in the Nineteenth Century" in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society published on July 7 by the American Philosophical Society. In the article, Hardy examines how 19th-century naturalists used biological specimens from the bottom of the Atlantic to make geological arguments about the history of the earth.

Submitted on: July 8, 2021

 

presented

Penelope Hardy, History, presented "The Oceans as Site and Subject of Citizen Science" at "The Promise and Pitfalls of Citizen Science" conference, sponsored by the American Philosophical Society on April 7 online. In her paper, Hardy argues that understanding the global ocean scientifically requires the collection of inherently distributed knowledge, which derives from the experiential and working knowledge of those who live, work, and play in, on, and around the sea.

Submitted on: April 10, 2021

 

presented

Penelope Hardy, History, presented "Rethinking Matthew Fontaine Maury’s Racist Legacy in the Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences" at the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Colloquium at University of Wisconsin-Madison with fellow historian of science Dr. Helen M. Rozwadowski, University of Connecticut, on Monday, March 22. Hardy and Rozwadowski used the case of 19th century American naval officer and ocean science pioneer Matthew Fontaine Maury, who was also a strong proponent of slavery, to discuss the responsible incorporation of history in science classrooms.

Submitted on: Mar. 22, 2021

 

Memberships & affiliations

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