Department of History

Department of History
Department of History

The John M. Sherwood Memorial Lecture History of Science and Technology 

John M. Sherwood (1931-1986) was a Professor in the Department of History at Queen's University for 22 years.

He was born in Brooklyn, New York and received his Ph.D from Columbia University. He published George Mandel and the Third Republic with Stanford University Press in 1970. His later writings include the article "England, Marx, Malthus and the Machine," which was published in the American Historical Review in 1985. His study of the History of Technology was incomplete when he died. 

Professor Sherwood was strongly committed to students and teaching. One of his most lasting contributions was introducing the first year course History 121 Introductory Origins of the Contemporary World, based on the Columbia University introductory course on Western Civilization. It depended upon intense discussion and student participation in small classes of under 30 students, providing the kind of intense one-on-one interaction with professors that remains a challenge and goal for university curriculum to this day. History 121 is still offered on a yearly basis and continues to be a thriving course in our Undergraduate program. John M. Sherwood was a rigorous scholar with wide-ranging interests that resulted in the introduction of a number of new courses during his time at Queen's. 

His lasting memorial is in the students he influenced, the colleagues he impacted, and his family. 

John M. Sherwood's concern with the relationship between technology and the humanities is commemorated in this lecture series established with the support of his family, colleagues and friends. 


2018: Dr. Michael Gordin, Rosengarten Professor Modern and Contemporary History and Director of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, Princeton University. "Identifying Einstein: Being German or Jewish in Prague (and Elsewhere)" See Poster     See Video

2015: Dr. Peter Dear, Professor of History and of Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University. "The Force of Reason: Reason as a Secular God in Modernity" See Poster   See Video

2012: Dr. Adam Frank, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester. "About Time: Cosmology & Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang or Relax, The End is Near" See Poster

2010: Dr. Londa Schiebinger, The John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science, Stanford University and the Barbara D. Finberg Director of Stanford's Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research. "Exotic Abortifacients: Bioprospecting in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World" See Poster

2008: Dr. Ron Deibert, Director, The Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre, University of Toronto. "Hacking Back: Information Security in Support of Human Rights" See Poster

2005: Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar, FRSC, Department of Geology and Chemistry, University of Toronto. "Threats to Canadian Groundwater: Microbial Clean-Up and the Challenge of Invisible Technology" See Poster

2003: Dr. George Saliba, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Science. Columbia University, New York City. "Islamic Science in Cross-Cultural Context." See Poster

2002: Dr. Ruth Schwartz Cowan, The State University of New York at Stonybrook. "Gender and Technology" 

1999: Dr. David Noble, Department of History, York University. "Digital Diploma Mills: The Computer and the University" See Poster

1998: Dr. Ursula Franklin, Senior Fellow, Massey College. Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto. "The Impact of Modern Technology on the Nature and Future of the Nation State." See Poster

1996: Dr. Patricia Baird, Chair of the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies and Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia. "Individual Interests, Societal Interests and Reproductive Technologies." See Poster

1993: Dr. Cynthia Cockburn, Senior Research Fellow of the Department of Social Sciences, The City University. "Technology, Gender and Creativity" See Poster

1991: The Inaugural John M. Sherwood Memorial Lecture. Dr. Langdon Winner,  Department of Science and Technology Studies. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. "Upon Opening the Black Box and Finding it Empty: Social Constructionism and the Politics of Technology" See Poster 

1991 Inaugural Introduction to the Lecture Series