I am a historian of science currently based out of Washington, DC, where I am the Books Editor at Physics Today. My research focuses on the cultural and intellectual history of science since 1800, with a particular focus on scientific communication. I am a former member of the teaching faculty at Harvard University, and I have held fellowships from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and the Situating Science Cluster grant at York University. I earned my PhD in History from Princeton University, an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge University, and a BS from Davidson College.
My first book, Making Nature: The History of a Scientific Journal (University of Chicago Press, 2015), examines the history of the specialist journal through the lens of Nature, a British scientific weekly that today is arguably the world’s most prestigious scientific journal. The project covers Nature’s development from its foundation in 1869 to the present day. Making Nature analyzes how the editors and contributors used Nature to communicate both their scientific claims and their visions of what it meant to be a “scientist” in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
You can also read the Introduction (and select parts of other chapters) online via Google Books.
Interested in Nature’s history? See this guest post for AmericanScience on Nature’s early history and how its contributors changed its content. This guest post at The Renaissance Mathematicus on the history of the word “scientist” — a word Nature‘s staff refused to use as late as 1924 — draws from Making Nature‘s introduction.
My second book project focuses on the influence of the Cold War on the development of peer review, both in specialist scientific journals and at grant-giving organizations. For more on the history of peer review, see recent articles for Zocalo Public Square (reprinted at Time.com) and Leaping Robot.