discoveries magazine

New Book Celebrates Legacy of Distinguished Medical Historian

Gideon Manning, PhD

A group of renowned scholars have authored a new book honoring the illustrious career of Mordechai Feingold, PhD, a distinguished historian at the California Institute of Technology who is known for his work on the history of science.

Collected Wisdom of the Early Modern Scholar: Essays in Honor of Mordechai Feingold contains essays on topics related to Feingold’s scholarship. The project was led and edited by Gideon Manning, PhD, director of Cedars-Sinai’s History of Medicine Program in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, and Anne Marie Roos, PhD, professor of the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Lincoln in the U.K.

“This book is a Festschrift, which is a collection of original works that acknowledges the role a great mentor has played in our lives and careers,” said Manning, adding that a Festschrift is also a celebration of the mentor’s lifelong achievement.

Collected Wisdom of the Early Modern Scholar book cover

In addition, Collected Wisdom of the Early Modern Scholar contributes to the study of European intellectual history in the 16th and 17th centuries. Divided into four sections, it starts by exploring the history of universities to convey the pedagogical worlds that fostered today’s intellectual and scientific landscapes.

Part II focuses on major figures such as Galileo and Descartes, discussing both their major breakthroughs and lesser-known dimensions of their lives, ideas and work.

Part III is dedicated to Newton, in a nod to one of Feingold’s principal research subjects. We learn about key moments in Newton’s intellectual development at Cambridge, including the relationship between his interest in theology and his scientific rigor.

The final section investigates the history of the Royal Society as a springboard to discuss the origins of the learned society.

“The essays place science, learning and medicine within social and cultural contexts while capturing the multitude of dimensions within several legendary figures, who are shown also as ordinary humans with conflicts and uncertainties,” said Manning.

The book’s contributors hail from top-tier institutions, including Princeton, Cambridge and Oxford, and include two MacArthur fellows.