Research Interests

Professor Olson says:

My longstanding research and writing on topics which connect developments in the natural sciences to various aspects of the cultures in which they occur continues. Presently (2009), I am taking a break from dealing with modern topics and am returning to a very early interest in the cultural connections of ancient scientific developments, but extending those beyond the Greco-Roman World to incorporate Mesopotamia, Egypt, Early India, China and Mesoamerica.

Special emphases will be on the way in which different written languages promote different kinds of theorizing about the natural world, on the interactions between mathematics developed for commercial and governance purposes and the growth of theoretical mathematics divorced from practical applications, and the roles of divination in stimulating astronomical and medical knowledge. That project should be completed  and published by Praeger in late 2009. After that, I will return to move my series of works on Scientism into the 20th century.