The Age of Wonder and the Era of Experiments

The Smithsonian Institution Libraries hosted a two-day symposium titled “The Era of Experiments and the Age of Wonder: Scientific Expansion in the 17th-19th Centuries” March 4 and 5 in the National Museum of American History. This celebration marked the reopening of the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, one of the Libraries’ two facilities for rare books and manuscripts, the Dibner Library lectures and the Resident Scholar program. Guest lecturers included British historian and author Richard Holmes (The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science), Harvard University professor Conevery Bolton Valencius (The Health of the Country: How American Settlers Understood Themselves and Their Land) and the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for Science and distinguished plant pathologist Eva J. Pell.