Alan E. Shapiro

History of Science and Technology
+1 612 624 5770

I am a historian of the physical sciences who works in the period from the Scientific Revolution through the early 19th century, and I am particularly interested in the history of optics and in the historical development of scientific methodology and experimental practice. I received my Ph.D. in the history of science and medicine from Yale University and wrote my dissertation on the development of the wave theory of light in the 17th century. My work has focused on Newton and his optical research, and I am the editor of The Optical Papers of Isaac Newton. The history of color theory and the historical interaction of art, science, and technology also interest me, and I teach a course on that. I have been a visiting member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and a Guggenheim Fellow, and I am also former Vice President of the International Academy of the History of Science. Currently I serve on the editorial boards of many of the leading journals in my research area, such as Archive for History of Exact Sciences, Centaurus, ;Early Science and Medicine, and Nuncius.

 Selected Publications:

The Optical Papers of Isaac Newton, Volume 1: The Optical Lectures, 1670-1672 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984).

Fits, Passions, and Paroxysms: Physics, Method, and Chemistry and Newton's Theories of Fits of Easy Reflection and Colored Bodies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984).

"Artists' Colors and Newton's Colors." Isis 85 (1994): 600-630.

"The Gradual Acceptance of Newton's Theory of Light and Color, 1672-1727." Perspectives on Science 4 (1996): 59-140.

"Newton's Optics and Atomism." Pp. 227-255 in The Cambridge Companion to Newton, I. Bernard Cohen and George Smith, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

"Newton's 'experimental philosophy'." Early Science and Medicine 9 (2004): 185-217.