David J. Caruso’s current research projects explore the role government and private funding have played and are playing in the development of biomedical research in the United States from the end of the 20th century through today; the modern history of biotechnology; and science and disability. He received his doctoral degree in science and technology studies from Cornell University, where he worked on the history of American military medicine before, during, and after World War I and on the creation, dissemination, and use of automated external defibrillators in the mid- to late 20th century. He received his undergraduate degree in history of science, medicine, and technology from Johns Hopkins University.

In his position as director of the Science History Institute’s Center for Oral History, Caruso is establishing new projects that focus on the relationship between science and disability, on the role that presidential science advisers play in science and technology policy in the United States, on the ways in which LGBTQ scientists and engineers navigate professional structures, and on minorities in science and engineering. Caruso also conducts the center’s biannual Oral History Training Institute, a week-long workshop designed to introduce historians to the oral history methodology; is the president of Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region; and is the editor of the Oral History Association’s journal, the Oral History Review.

In addition, Caruso is working on expanding the breadth and depth of the Institute’s oral history collection in order to make it useful to those interested in the history and contemporary studies of science, medicine, engineering, and technology broadly. He is also working with his staff on different ways to bring the history of science to a more general, science-minded audience. These interests form the core principles of the Center for Oral History, which develops projects to better understand various aspects of the scientific life and the lives of scientists and works to expand the collection of oral histories housed in the Othmer Library.

Active and Previous Projects

  • Science and Disability
  • Minorities in Science and Engineering
  • Presidential Science Advisers
  • LGBTQ Scientists and Engineers
  • Women in Science and Engineering
  • Private Funding and Biomedical Sciences (with a special focus on the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences)
  • Chemical History of Electronics
  • Chemical Industry
  • Mass Spectrometry