Harvard’s Professor Steven Shapin to join London’s School of Advanced Study as ST Lee Visiting Fellow, May-June 2012

Monday 16 April 2012

Image of Professor Steven Shapin, courtesy of Globe Newspaper Company / Jonathan Wiggs © 2008Professor Steven Shapin, Franklin L Ford Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University, will hold the ST Lee Visiting Professorial Fellowship at the School of Advanced Study for 2011-12.

Professor Shapin, who has published widely in the historical sociology of scientific knowledge, will be based at the School for six weeks in May and June 2012. He will give a series of public lectures during his time in the UK - at the universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh and London – covering a range of topics including the tastes of wine, the sciences of subjectivity, and the history of dietetics.

Professor Shapin’s current research interests include historical and contemporary studies of dietetics, the changing languages and practices of taste, the nature of entrepreneurial science, and modern relations between academia and industry. He writes regularly for the London Review of Books and has written for The New Yorker. He was a joint winner (with Simon Schaffer) of the Erasmus Prize in 2005.

Professor Roger Kain CBE FBA, Dean and Chief Executive of the School of Advanced Study, said “I am delighted that Professor Shapin has accepted the School’s invitation to hold the prestigious ST Lee Fellowship for 2011-12. The focus of Professor Shapin’s research and the topics of his public interventions could hardly be of greater relevance to current discussions in the UK and beyond about the value of the humanities and social sciences, their relations to the hard sciences and their significance for culture and society generally. I very much look forward to welcoming Professor Shapin to the School and to hearing from him on these issues during his time here.”

Professor Shapin said: “I am honoured by the award of the S T Lee fellowship and I look forward to the programme that the School of Advanced Study has kindly arranged for me. I spent the first twenty years of my academic career teaching at the University of Edinburgh, and I hope to renew old acquaintances and make new intellectual contacts in British universities.”

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Notes for editors:
For further information please contact Dee Burn at the School of Advanced Study, University of London at dee.burn@sas.ac.uk / 020 7862 8670 / 07900 401 240. Images available on request. Follow ST Lee Fellow news and updates on Twitter using #STLeeFellow.

  1. The School of Advanced Study at the University of London is the UK’s national centre for the promotion and facilitation of research in the humanities and social sciences. The School brings together ten prestigious research institutes to offer academic opportunities, facilities and stimulation across a wide range of subject areas for the benefit of the national and international scholarly community. The member institutes of the School are the Institutes of Advanced Legal Studies, Classical Studies, Commonwealth Studies, English Studies, Germanic & Romance Studies, Historical Research, Musical Research, Philosophy, Study of the Americas, and the Warburg Institute. The School also hosts a cross-disciplinary centre, the Human Rights Consortium, dedicated to the facilitation, promotion and dissemination of academic and policy work on human rights.
    www.sas.ac.uk
  2. The ST Lee Professorial Fellowship has been made possible by a generous endowment by Dr ST Lee, of Singapore to the School of Advanced Study, University of London for the purpose of supporting research in London in any field relevant to the work of one or more of the School's ten research institutes and the Human Rights Consortium. The ST Lee Professorial Fellowship is awarded to eminent and distinguished scholars in the arts, humanities and social sciences who promote research in these areas through the global standing they enjoy in their own field of inquiry and through their active engagement with the wider public. ST Lee Fellows are invited to spend a period of between four and six weeks at the School of Advanced Study and during their stay to give a series of high profile lectures in London and elsewhere in the UK. These events provide an important opportunity to demonstrate the reach and significance of the arts, humanities and social sciences to the wider culture and to society at large.
    www.sas.ac.uk/support-research/fellowships/visiting-fellowships
  3. Steven Shapin is Franklin L Ford Professor of the History of Science, joining Harvard in 2004 after previous appointments as Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego, and at the Science Studies Unit, Edinburgh University. His books include Leviathan and the Air- Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life (Princeton University Press, 1985 [new ed. 2011]; with Simon Schaffer), A Social History of Truth: Civility and Science in Seventeenth-Century England (University of Chicago Press, 1994), The Scientific Revolution (University of Chicago Press, 1996; now translated into 16 languages), Wetenschap is cultuur (Science is Culture) (Amsterdam: Balans, 2005; with Simon Schaffer), The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation (University of Chicago Press, 2008), Never Pure: Historical Studies of Science as if It Was Produced by People with Bodies, Situated in Time, Space, Culture and Society, and Struggling for Credibility and Authority (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), and several edited books. He has published widely in the historical sociology of scientific knowledge, and his current research interests include historical and contemporary studies of dietetics, the changing languages and practices of taste, the nature of entrepreneurial science, and modern relations between academia and industry. He writes regularly for the London Review of Books and has written for The New Yorker. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and his awards include the J. D. Bernal Prize of the Society for Social Studies of Science (for career contributions to the field), the Ludwik Fleck Prize of 4S and the Robert K Merton Prize of the American Sociological Association (for A Social History of Truth), the Herbert Dingle Prize of the British Society for the History of Science (for The Scientific Revolution), a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. With Simon Schaffer, he was the 2005 winner of the Erasmus Prize, conferred by HRH the Prince of Orange of the Netherlands, for contributions to European culture, society, or social science. 
    www.fas.harvard.edu/~hsdept/bios/shapin.html