Observing the Streets, Defining Our Health

Science on Tap
Monday, September 12, 2022
6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. EDT (UTC -4)

Do cities influence the way we think about our health or that of our community? How might the physical landscape of cities construct these sociocultural definitions?


1799 Engraving of Third and Market Streets, Philadelphia

Courtesy of the American Philosophical Society

History PhD candidate Molly Nebiolo will answer these questions and more at this month’s virtual Science on Tap talk, “Observing the Streets, Defining Our Health: How Public, Urbanizing Spaces Influence Our Understanding of Healthiness in Early Colonial Philadelphia and Beyond.”

She’ll discuss how inhabitants of early Philadelphia only needed to look outside to the streets or go for a stroll to observe, understand, and define the healthiness of themselves and their community. Nebiolo will use two examples: streets defining the yellow fever disease and waterways like Dock Creek to show how spatial experiences were (and continue to be) integral to shaping public definitions of health and sickness.


About the Speaker


Molly Nebiolo

Molly Nebiolo.

Molly Nebiolo is a sixth-year PhD candidate in history at Northeastern University and a dissertation fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s McNeil Center. She has been lucky enough to have her work supported by the American Philosophical Society in multiple capacities, once with a digital humanities fellowship in 2020 and more recently with a predoctoral fellowship in 2021–2022. Her dissertation argues that health was central to the development of pre-planned early Anglo-American cities.


About the Series

Science on Tap is a monthly virtual speaker series that features brief, informal presentations by Philadelphia-based scientists and other experts followed by lively conversation and a Q&A. The goal is to promote enthusiasm for science in a fun, spirited, and accessible way, while also meeting new people. Come join the conversation!