Professor Catherine Jackson became a member of the Holtz Center last fall, because she saw the Center as a “very good fit” between her intellectual interests and other members of the Holtz Center. She looks forward to building on these commonalities with her recent membership.
“My historical scholarship focuses on the production of scientific knowledge. As a result, I am both interested in using and active in developing the tools of STS in historical context. In fact, I was awarded my PhD in History of Science (2009) from within the STS department at University College London – now the largest such department in the UK. Both there and in my prior training in History of Science Technology and Medicine at Imperial College London (2004), I came to know and appreciate much of the foundational literature in the field that has become STS. ”
Professor Jackson is a chemist-turned-historian and her work focuses on the crucial inter-disciplinary zone between science and the humanities. She has been on the University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty for three years in the Department of History.
Introducing a series of new historical landmarks – including the “glassware revolution” and the turn to synthesis – have enabled her to begin re-shaping history of chemistry. Building on these historiographical revisions, she is developing new explanations of chemistry as a practice and a knowledge system that convince practitioners, as well as the historians, science studies scholars, and philosophers of science who are her primary audience within the humanities. Re-engaging scientists with the power and relevance of humanistic enquiry into their expert domain is crucial to Professor Jackson’s broader mission as historian, educator, and publicly-engaged intellectual.
You may recognize Professor Jackson, from her brown bag presentation at the Holtz Center, entitled “History of Chemistry: Who Cares?”, which she presented in March of last year.
Connect with Professor Catherine Jackson: