NOTE: I will be on leave from UCSB from 1 July 2015 until the start of the Fall 2016 quarter; I’ll be in Washington DC as the Lindbergh Chair at the National Air and Space Museum.

Personal Statement:

I research and teach about the history of technology and science in the 20th century. For more information about me and my work, see my off-UCSB website. It also is the home of my blog, Leaping Robot. You can also find me on Twitter.

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Current Graduate Students:

Current Projects:

I have several new projects underway. I recently started a new book project for The MIT Press called Re-Wiring Art. It looks at art-technology collaborations during the 1960s-90s with the focus being the perspective & experience of engineers and scientists who paired up with artists. Connected to this, I have a courtesy appointment with the Media Arts and Technology program at UCSB.

As a follow-up to an earlier book, I’m looking at how astronomers’ view of the night sky changed from an era of photographic plates to one mediated by digital technologies.

Finally, with UCSB graduate student Brian Tyrrell, I’m exploring the emergence of the “DNA nanotechnology” community; the focus is how scientists and artists have taken this iconic molecule and transformed it from a “blueprint” to “bricks” they could use to bioengineer objects on the nanoscale.

Selected Publications:



Recent and Forthcoming Articles:

Courses Taught:

My research informs my teaching. I offer a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses including:

  • Science and the Modern World (History 20)
  • The Atomic Age (History 105A)
  • The Space Age (History 105B)
  • The Information Age (History 105C)
  • Technology and Modern America (History 109T)
  • Science and Modern America (History 109S)

In addition, I teach some more specialized small-enrollment undergraduate courses as well as graduate readings and research seminars.

Honors and Professional Activities:

In the News

  • In January 2016, I attended the World Economic Forum in Davos and gave talks about science, technology, and innovation. Some coverage of this is here and here.
  • I recently talked about art & technology on PRI’s Science Friday; a link is here.
  • A blog post I wrote became – after much editing – a piece for The Chronicle of Higher Ed.
  • In 2013, I had a conversation with NPR’s Richard Harris about the pace of scientific discovery.