The Lone Star History of Science Group

The Lone Star History of Science Group is pretty much what it sounds like—a loose-knit and very informal organization of historians of science, technology, and medicine from around the state of Texas. It was founded in Austin in March 1988 and around bluebonnet time in March or April of every year since then (apart from the Covid-19 years of 2020, 2021, and 2022), the group has gathered in one or another Texas city (usually Austin, Houston, or College Station) to hear a talk, enjoy dinner together, and get to know each other a little better. The longevity of the Lone Star Group probably owes a lot to its simplicity: on its founding, its members agreed that the "organization" would have no by-laws, officers, or dues, and it still gets along very well without them.

Happily, we were able to return to meeting in person in 2023 when we gathered at UT in Austin on Saturday, April 1, to hear Luis Campos of Rice University speak on "Blue Vegetation on the Red Planet: Soviet Astrobotany and Early Earth Analogues." Luis gave a fascinating account of the Soviet astronomer turned astrobotanist Gavriil Tikhov (1875–1960) and his efforts to find a spectroscopic signature of possible plant life on Mars, and followed it with images from his visit to Almaty, Kazakhstan, last year to track down traces of Tikhov's life and work. You can find more on Luis and his talk here. Afterward we walked to Gabriel's Cafe, a nearby restaurant, for dinner and more conversation. It all made for a very enjoyable event.

For our 2024 gathering, Luis and his colleague Liz Petrick of Rice are organizing a rather more elaborate affair than usual: a two-day meeting in Houston and Galveston on April 26th and 27th. We'll post details as they become available.

For a list of past meetings, with the date, city, site, speaker, topic, and where we went to dinner, click on the "Past Meetings" tab above. Most of the dates also include a link to the account of the meeting published in the History of Science Society Newsletter, often with a photo of the assembled group. We're also gradually adding other photos, which you can find by clicking the "Photographs" tab above. 

Anyone wishing to be added to the e-mail list for the Lone Star Group (and that's all it takes to become a member in good standing) should contact Bruce Hunt at the University of Texas: bjhunt@austin.utexas.edu.