Aerospace History Project Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for California and the West, University of Southern California
Matthew Shindell is an historian of science who specializes in 20th century American physical science. He received his Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of California, San Diego’s Department of History and Science Studies Program. His dissertation, “The New Prophet: Harold C. Urey, Scientist, Atheist, and Defender of Religion,” explores the relationships between science, religion, and culture in America during the twentieth century, and how these forces came to a head for Urey during the Cold War. This dissertation, along with other work, also details the emergence of isotope geochemistry and planetary geology during the Cold War, and the role that funding agencies (such as the Atomic Energy Commission) and national defense priorities played in shaping these new fields. In addition to his historical work, Shindell also employs ethnographic methods in the study of science as a social enterprise. He is currently working on an NSF-sponsored research project focusing on the expert assessment panels of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences.
Photo and biographical information from the USC Dornsife website.