David Vail: Exploring the STEM-Humanities History of Nebraska's Agriculture
David Vail, Associate Professor of History at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, speaks about his recent article in "Great Plains Research" on the STEM-Humanities history of Nebraska agriculture.
Video by Elise Stastny, Center for Great Plains Studies
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[00:00:00.510]Hi, I'm David Vail, I am an associate professor
[00:00:03.320]of history at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
[00:00:05.740]I specialize in environmental history, agricultural history,
[00:00:08.920]history of science and medicine.
[00:00:11.170]My article in Great Plains Research has a lot to do
[00:00:14.870]with combining STEM and humanities research together
[00:00:18.577]in an interdisciplinary way.
[00:00:21.490]My specialties in environmental history
[00:00:23.660]and agricultural history in particular,
[00:00:25.520]and also focusing that on the Great Plains,
[00:00:28.330]has a lot of interdisciplinarity in it.
[00:00:32.970]I was inspired to share this research and these ideas
[00:00:38.640]at a lecture that I held on campus
[00:00:41.600]as our two colleges were merging
[00:00:44.840]into the College of Arts and Sciences last year.
[00:00:48.490]So it's been a very vibrant college,
[00:00:50.310]and I had a few ideas to share with my colleagues
[00:00:53.520]across campus about how the history of Nebraska agriculture
[00:00:58.330]can reveal some really important and exciting relationships
[00:01:02.570]between those of us who study STEM fields
[00:01:06.720]and those of us who are in the humanities fields.
[00:01:09.510]I'm excited to share with readers
[00:01:11.330]because it does a lot of things.
[00:01:13.550]It reveals unexpected archives that you may not think about
[00:01:18.290]as you're trying to get at what kind of relationships
[00:01:21.650]between STEM and humanities have happened in the past,
[00:01:24.510]so there's that part of the article,
[00:01:28.820]so highlighting new archives
[00:01:31.200]and special collection materials
[00:01:32.460]from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and at UNK
[00:01:35.830]is a piece of that.
[00:01:37.420]Also it kinda profiles different case studies
[00:01:40.640]throughout Nebraska agricultural history,
[00:01:43.460]as I think really important moments from 1900 to the present
[00:01:50.100]that can inspire us to think differently,
[00:01:52.380]and think more holistically about the research
[00:01:55.300]that we do, the teaching that we do,
[00:01:57.790]and how we can come together to work,
[00:02:01.210]to solve problems that we'll encounter in the future.
[00:02:06.630]I just wanna say thank you
[00:02:07.740]to the Center for Great Plains Studies,
[00:02:09.450]and also University of Nebraska at Kearney,
[00:02:11.890]the College of Arts and Sciences,
[00:02:14.030]the Warner Lecture organizers,
[00:02:16.610]all of those groups really encouraged me to write this
[00:02:20.770]and have been a really strong supporter
[00:02:23.290]of this type of research
[00:02:24.400]that blends STEM and humanities research together,
[00:02:27.040]so I just wanted to say thank you.
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