Department News and Faculty Books Archive


World’s Fairs on the Eve of War

Since the first world’s fair in London in 1851, at the dawn of the era of industrialization, international expositions served as ideal platforms for rival nations to showcase their advancements in design, architecture, science and technology, industry, and politics. Before the outbreak of World War II, countries competing for leadership on the world stage waged […]


Joan Bromberg Passed Away

Joan Bromberg, a visiting scholar in our department since 2000, has recently passed away. She was a highly respected historian of modern physical science and technology. She received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 1966 and started her career as assistant professor at the University of Hawaii. She published three books, Fusion: Science, Politics […]


Dr. Maria Portuondo New Chair

After 12 consecutive years, Dr. Sharon Kingsland has given the “Chair” over to Dr. Maria Portuondo. Thank you Dr. Kingsland for all of your years of service! Dr. Portuondo, happy chairing!


New Faculty Member

The department is pleased to welcome Dr. Joris Mercelis as assistant professor starting July 1. Dr. Mercelis is a historian of modern technology, especially technology related to chemical industries, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ghent.


The Secrets of Alchemy

The Secrets of Alchemy
In The Secrets of Alchemy, Lawrence M. Principe, one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, brings alchemy out of the shadows and restores it to its important place in human history and culture. By surveying what alchemy was and how it began, developed, and overlapped with a range of ideas and pursuits, Principe illuminates […]


Urban Modernity: Cultural Innovation in the Second Industrial Revolution

Urban Modernity
At the close of the 19th century, industrialization and urbanization marked the end of the traditional understanding of society as rooted in agriculture. Urban Modernity examines the construction of an urban-centered, industrial-based culture—an entirely new social reality based on science and technology. The authors show that this invention of modernity was brought about through the […]


Science in Victorian Manchester: Enterprise and Expertise

Science in Victorian Manchester
The evolution of an urban scientific community under the pressures of conceptual and social change is the main focus of this book. Manchester was Victorian Britain’s leading industrial city. In order to describe and analyze the transformation of science in the 18th century, Robert Kargon closely examines Manchester through successive stages. In so doing, he […]


Secret Science: Spanish Cosmography and the New World

Secret Science
The discovery of the New World raised many questions for early modern scientists: What did these lands contain? Where did they lie in relation to Europe? Who lived there, and what were their inhabitants like? Imperial expansion necessitated changes in the way scientific knowledge was gathered, and Spanish cosmographers in particular were charged with turning […]


Invented Edens: Techno-Cities of the Twentieth Century

Invented Edens
Industrialization created cities of Dickensian squalor that were crowded, smoky, dirty, and disease-ridden. By the beginning of the 20th century, urban visionaries were looking for ways to improve both living and working conditions in industrial cities. In Invented Edens, Robert Kargon and Arthur Molella trace the arc of one form of urban design, which they […]