Fellow in Focus

The Rohm and Haas Fellow in Focus Lecture Series gives our scholars an opportunity to present their work to a broad audience interested in history, science, and culture.

Fellow in Focus lectures are presented by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry.

For more information about this series please contact fellowships@sciencehistory.org.

Upcoming Events

Join writer Kerri Arsenault for a conversation on the joy, challenge, and urgency of writing about our environments.

Past Lectures


Why Gather? Reflections on the History and Future of Scientific Conferences
Geert Somsen, Maastricht University and the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

Nylon and “The Test Tube Girl”: Reimagining Plastic Futures
Isabelle Marina Held, Price-Doan Postdoctoral Fellow


Humphry Davy: Enlightenment Chemist, Poet, Social Climber
Frank James, Cain Senior Fellow

The Thing about Alchemy . . . Secrets, Mixtures, and Discerning the Alchemical in the Potter’s Art
Bruce Moran, Cultural Historian


Furnace and Fugue: An Alchemical Happy Hour
Donna Bilak, Historian of Early Modern Science
Tara Nummedal, Brown University


Wasted Space: The History of Orbiting Junk
Lisa Ruth Rand, Haas Fellow

Milk Safety in the 20th Century: Eradicating Brucellosis in the United States
Rebecca Kaplan, ACLS Public Fellow/Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting


An Electric Education: How to Teach Science on Television
Ingrid Ockert, Princeton University

Technology and Society: Engineering Cultures, Chemistry, and Social Order in the Second Industrial Revolution (1890 to 1930)
Adelheid Voskuhl, University of Pennsylvania


Fresh Air, Foul Odors, and the Growth of American Cities
Melanie A. Kiechle, Virginia Tech University

“Trust Me!” The Problem of Insincerity in Early Modern Medicine
Mark Waddell, Michigan State University


Searching for Meaning in the History of Planetary Science
Matthew Shindell, Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum

Bewitching Chemistry: Art, Alchemy, and the Making of Color
Elisabeth Berry Drago, University of Delaware and Science History Institute


New Light on Isaac Newton’s Alchemy
William R. Newman, Indiana University

Making It Delicious: The Science of Flavor and the Industrialization of Food in the United States, 1900–1960
Nadia Berenstein, University of Pennsylvania


Genuine Atonement and Sincere Performance: Living with Alchemy, Murder, and Marketing in Early Modern Europe
Bruce T. Moran, University of Nevada, Reno

The Invention of Peer Review
Alex Csiszar, Harvard University


Mapping the Universe of Knowledge: Internationalism and National Interest in Modern Science
Robert Fox, University of Oxford

Michel-Eugène Chevreul and the Material Cultures of Color in 19th-Century France
Laura Anne Kalba, Smith College


Humphry Davy’s Consolations in Travel: Last Thoughts of a Chemical Philosopher
Jan Golinski, University of New Hampshire

Beyond Genius, Before Theory: Recovering the Lost World of Practice in 19th-Century Chemistry
Catherine Jackson, University College London


The Chemistry of Kosher
Roger Horowitz, Hagley Museum and Library