Magazine article Humanities

Some of Our Best Friends Are Geniuses

Magazine article Humanities

Some of Our Best Friends Are Geniuses

Article excerpt

This year's class of twenty-one MacArthur Foundation "genius" fellowships include two NEH grantees, Pamela O. Long and Tara Zahra.

Long is an independent historian of science and technology who received an NEH fellowship in 2007 for her work on "Engineering the Eternal City: Power, Knowledge, and Urbanization in CounterReformation Rome, 1560-1590." Her books Openness, Secrecy, Authorship: Technical Arts and the Culture of Knowledge from Antiquity to the Renaissance and Artisan/Practitioners and the Rise of the New Sciences, 1400-1600 explore the development of scientific understanding alongside technical expertise.

Long told Washington's City Paper that the fellowship, which comes with a $625,000 prize from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, will allow her "to follow my ideas more freely in the sense that I can go to the archives and libraries of Europe. ... I am a historian of European cultural history and the history of science and technology and although Washington is a mecca of rare book libraries, I also need to work in European libraries. All historians need to go to their sources, wherever they are. …

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