From time to time on this page, we will profile individual department faculty and their recent activities. For Fall 2011, we introduce the newest member of the department, Vivien Hamilton, Assistant Professor of the History of Science.
Vivien is delighted to be joining the faculty at Harvey Mudd this fall. She is a historian of modern science whose work focuses on questions of authority and trust in science. She is particularly interested in moments in which scientific experts with different educational and disciplinary backgrounds come together to collaborate on the same project. Her dissertation research at the University of Toronto examined the relationships that evolved between doctors and physicists following the discovery of x-rays in 1895.
Vivien’s favorite historical objects are mid-19th century electro-magnetic devices designed to cure nervous disorders (http://db.library.queensu.ca/hosmuspic/969-34.jpg). She is in the early stages of a new research project looking at electrotherapeutic and x-ray apparatus from the Victorian era.
With a BSc in physics from Dalhousie University, Vivien has experienced first-hand the manic joys and frustrations of life in the lab. She hopes to offer the students at Mudd a chance to reflect in a different way on the nature of scientific practice and is developing courses on a broad range of topics including the history of modern physics, gender and science, and the role of technology in medicine.