About Me

I am a historian of science and the AIP Endowed Professor in History of Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland. 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 am also a former senior editor at Physics Today. 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.

Making Nature

Baldwin_Jkt (1)My book, Making Nature: The History of a Scientific Journal (U. 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.

Making Nature is available for purchase in hardcover and eBook formats! Buy it at: IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones (UK)Amazon | Kobo eBook | University of Chicago Press.

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. You can also read this guest post at The Renaissance Mathematicus on the history of the word “scientist,” which draws from my introduction.

Peer Review

My second project focuses on the history of peer review at specialist scientific journals and at funding bodies, with particular emphasis on developments in the late twentieth century. For more on the history of peer review, see my articles in Isis and Physics Today. You can also see my pieces at Zocalo Public Square (reprinted at Time.com) and Leaping Robot, as well as this interview at The Scholarly Kitchen.