Vivien Hamilton

Associate Professor of the History of Science

I teach a wide range of courses in the history of science, technology and medicine, asking questions about the cultural authority of science, the multiple occurrences of seemingly revolutionary shifts in scientific theory and practice in history, and the impact of structures of race, class and gender on the production of scientific knowledge.

My research focuses in particular on medical technologies, including x-rays, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These devices brought together new groups of experts, physicists, engineers and doctors from very different disciplinary cultures and I am interested in understanding the dynamics of those collaborations. Thinking about hospital x-ray rooms as potentially toxic spaces has recently sparked new and fruitful collaborations with scholars working in environmental history and environmental justice. Brinda Sarathy, Janet Farell Brodie and I have finished editing a collection of essays, Inevitably Toxic? Historical Perspectives on Contamination, Exposure, and Expertise, examining a diverse set of spaces contaminated by radiation and industrial waste.

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