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History of Science

The History of Science field encompasses a broad range of topics including technology, medicine, and the environment. In addition to the Department of History’s nationally recognized faculty and diverse course offerings, our campus is home to numerous other outstanding related departments, programs, and research centers. Each year, history of science faculty and students participate in a wide variety of activities and initiatives that promote graduate education and enrich the intellectual life of the campus. Santa Barbara and the surrounding environs are also home to a large collection of museums and archival institutions. The field regularly hosts guest speakers and visiting colleagues from other institutions throughout California and beyond.

History of Science Faculty in the History Department

  • Elena Aronova (Associate Professor)
    Research Interests: history of the life sciences; environmental and evolutionary sciences; history of science in Russia and the Soviet Union; science and the Cold War
  • Brad Bouley (Associate Professor)
    Research Interests: histories of religion and science in early modern Europe
  • W. Patrick McCray (Professor)
    Research interests: History of modern American technology and physical sciences, science and the Cold War, emerging technologies; art & technology
  • Kate McDonald (Associate Professor)
    Research interests: Technology and empire; history of transportation, infrastructure and mobility; history of science and technology in East Asia.
  • Taylor M. Moore: (Assistant Professor) Modern Middle East; history of science, medicine, and magic; critical race and slavery studies; history of the body; history of anthropology and museums; science and the speculative.

Graduate Courses: General course requirements for the History of Science field are the same as those for the History Department. Students in the History of Science field must, however, take the two core courses – 201HS (History of Science) and 201HT (History of Technology) – and complete at least one of their two-quarter research seminars with a faculty member from the field.

Applying to UCSB: Potential students are strongly encouraged to contact faculty with interests in their proposed areas of research prior to submitting their materials. Applicants must submit their materials through the Graduate Division to the History Department, but should note their interest in the history of science field, and should indicate which faculty members they wish to work with. General application materials are available here.