Mazviita Chirimuuta To Deliver 23rd Dibner Lecture

January 11, 2017
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cover of Zur Farbenlehre [Theory of Colors], 1810

The Smithsonian Libraries will hold the 23rd annual Dibner Library Lecture Friday, Jan. 13, at 6 p.m. at the National Museum of American History’s Warner Bros. Theater. The lecture is free and open to the public.

This year’s guest lecturer is author Mazviita Chirimuuta, assistant professor of history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh. At the Smithsonian Libraries event, Chirimuuta will speak on “Color in the Scientific Image.” For more event information, visit

Chirimuuta received her doctorate in vision science from the University of Cambridge, and is the author of Outside Colour: Perceptual Science and the Puzzle of Colour in Philosophy (MIT Press, 2015). This book examines the historical trajectory of philosophical thought about color and asks how contemporary psychology and neuroscience of perception can help answer questions about the reality, or otherwise, of the colors that people see. Chirimuuta is also the author of numerous articles on vision science, philosophy of perception and philosophy of science. In her most recent research, she is examining the relationship between neurophysiology and philosophy of mind in the closing decades of the 19th century.

Begun in 1992, the Dibner Library Lectures feature a distinguished scholar who has made significant contributions to his or her field of study. Previous lecturers include British historian Richard Holmes and Harvard University professor Joyce E. Chaplin. Since 2000, the Dibner Library Lecture has become available in published form. The lectures are also posted online. The lecture series and its publication are made possible by the support of The Dibner Fund.

The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, one of the Smithsonian Libraries’ 21 locations, opened in October 1976. The library’s core collection of 10,000 rare books and 1,600 manuscript groups came to the Smithsonian from the Burndy Library, founded by Bern Dibner in Norwalk, Conn., at the time of America’s bicentennial celebrations. The collection includes premier scientific texts spanning the 13th to the early 20th centuries and has grown to form one of the cornerstones of the Smithsonian Libraries’ collections. For over 40 years, this library has provided vital primary sources to scholars, curators and members of the scientific community.

About the Smithsonian Libraries

The Smithsonian Libraries maintains a collection of more than 2 million volumes and serves as an educational resource for the Smithsonian Institution, the global research community and the public. The Libraries are located in Washington, D.C.; Edgewater, Md.; New York City; and the Republic of Panama. For more information, visit the Smithsonian Libraries website.

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