James Burnes has traveled from Mayan ball courts in Belize and the fossil filled deserts of Utah to the TEDxOU stage absorbing and sharing the knowledge of field expeditions and collecting. Passionate about community outreach, he maintains his own traveling fossil exhibition called the Paleo Porch Mini Mobile Museum which he takes to school classrooms, homeschools, libraries, universities, and even city parks in order to engage people who may not have the opportunity to visit a museum. By combining the history of science with the history of objects as well as personal experience in archaeology and paleontology, the exhibits reveal a dynamic relationship between the sciences and the humanities and have allowed him to live up to his museum’s tagline: “Have Bones Will Travel.” Museum updates, paleo news, and PhD progress can be followed at PaleoPorch.com. He also tweets about cartoons more than he should @Egonatello. Currently, James is the Assistant Exhibition Coordinator for the University Libraries, overseeing the curation and technical aspects of exhibits across the main and satellite libraries. In his position, James works to provide a unique exhibit experience for the public and visiting researchers.
Kirsty Gaither is currently preparing for her exams and researching for her dissertation. After looking at the public spaces of learning in 17th-century England in her master's thesis, she has continued to research public and everyday access to scientific knowledge in non-academic settings. Her dissertation looks at scientific, technological, and medical knowledge present in 18th-century British kitchens, kitchen practices, and recipe books. She is also working on incorporating a digital humanities component into her dissertation.
Personally, she describes herself as a worldwide traveler and adventurer, having grown up in various countries. She is an avid fan of science fiction and all things Marvel. She devotes most of her free time to kickboxing, her two dogs, and working out with her husband.
Nathan Kapoor completed a B.S. in History and secondary education licensure at Tennessee Technological University. He completed his M.A. in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of Oklahoma and received a graduate certificate in Women and Gender Studies. In addition to history, Nathan has studied jazz percussion and played in OU's jazz ensemble and independent combos. He has done some museum internships and worked on history of science exhibits, such as assisting the chairman of the André Michaux International Society with the development of an exhibit. His master’s thesis critiqued the historiography of electrical generation technologies and argued for a greater inclusion of wind power in the history of early electrification. Currently, Nathan lives in Massachusetts with his wife and is completing archival work. His dissertation focuses on the electrification of New Zealand in the late-nineteenth century, specifically the relationship between imperialism and electrification.
Read more about Nathan's research at elecectricalgeneration.com.
Younes Mahdavi completed his BS in Mathematics at Shahid Beheshti University (Tehran) and then earned his MA in the History of Science at the University of Tehran. His MA research focused on mathematics and astronomy in medieval Islam. In his master’s thesis he explored the application of spherical trigonometry in astronomy from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries, with a focus on new techniques developed by Islamic and Iranian mathematicians that replaced the techniques of Ptolemy’s Almagest. In spring 2015, Younes, enrolled in the University of Oklahoma’s PhD program in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine. He is interested in the cross-cultural transmission of science between the Islamic world and the Latin West during the middle ages and early modern period. For his dissertation project, he is working on the intellectual history of Safavid Iran, which dates back to the early modern period (16th and 17th centuries), focusing on astronomy and mathematical sciences.
Brent Purkaple completed a BA in Greek and Hebrew with a minor in History in 2007 from Oklahoma Baptist University, and then completed an MA at Wheaton College in Biblical Exegesis in 2009. In spring 2015 he completed his MA in the History of Science at OU. His master’s thesis, titled, “Making Sense of Mathematics: The Certitudine Mathematicarum Debate and its Relationship to Plato and Aristotle,” explored the ontology of mathematics in a sixteenth-century Italian debate. He plans to continue looking into the development of science within the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries for his dissertation. Brent works as a graduate research assistant in the History of Science Collections, and as such has been working to strengthen K-12 education outreach for the Collections as well as to help launch the exhibition, Galileo’s World. In his free time he enjoys running, exploring the outdoors, and fiddling with his violin.
Read more about Brent's research at brentpurkaple.com
Anna Reser has a BFA in studio art and an MA in history of science. She is currently pursuing a PhD and writing a dissertation about design culture and the built environment in the American space program. Her other writing and research interests include popular culture, critical and literary theory, art history, and women and gender studies. She is a painter, sculptor, and printmaker with a focus on the aesthetics of technology and information. She is the co-editor of the monthly magazine Lady Science [ladyscience.com].
Read more about Anna's interests at annareser.com.
Amy Rodgers graduated from OU with a BS in astronomy and a minor in the history of science in 2009. She undertook the dual degree program, pursuing both the MA in history of science and the MLIS, which she successfully completed in fall 2012. Her master’s thesis was entitled, “Blood, Books, and Bile: Ancient Greek Humoralism in Louisa May Alcott's 1868 Novel, Little Women”. In her PhD dissertation, Amy furthers the research she began in her master’s work, locating medical theories of disease in popular culture. She currently runs an editing business, ASR Editing. After completing the PhD she plans to continue editing while working as a special collections librarian.
Carolyn Scearce completed a BA at the University of Maryland in English literature and a BS in biological sciences followed by an MS in oceanography at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UC-San Diego. After completing her degrees, Carolyn worked as an aquatic science database editor before entering the program in the history of science at OU. In spring 2013, she successfully defended her master’s thesis: “John Gray and Albert Gunther are Dead: Zoology at the British Museum During the Darwinian Era.” While preparing for her general exams, Carolyn is studying the history of the life sciences, with particular emphasis on biogeography, exploration, natural history collections, and ichthyology.
Blair Stein holds a Bachelor of Journalism (2010) from Carleton University, a MA in History (2011) from Queen's University, and a MA in HSCI from OU (2014). Her MA research from both schools focused on Trans Canada Air Lines (now Air Canada). At OU, she examined how the special relationship Canadians have historically believed themselves to have with cold weather was used as a rhetorical tool in the development and advertising of TCA's first pressurized airliner in the late 1940s. Her dissertation expands this further, examining how Canadian climatic identity has been expressed through aviation discourse during the first three-quarters of the twentieth century and exploring what this says about the modern experience of technology, environment, and nation. Blair is currently a regular featured blogger for the Network in Canadian History and the Environment (NiCHE) blog, The Otter. When she's not talking about cold-weather Canadian airplanes, Blair can be found riding her bicycle, watching reality television, and dreaming about real maple syrup.