Emeritus Prof. Roy MacLeod

AB Harvard University; PhD, Litt D Cambridge University
Email:
+61 2 9036 5188

Roy MacLeod is Professor Emeritus of (Modern) History at the University of Sydney, and an Honorary Associate in the History and Philosophy of Science. He was educated in history, the biochemical sciences, and the history of science at Harvard University (summa cum laude), in sociology at the London School of Economics, and in history and the history of science at Cambridge, where he took the Ph.D degree in 1967.

In 1966, he was elected a Junior Research Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, and in the same year became a founding Fellow of the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex. In 1970, he was appointed foundation Reader (and Chairman) in the History and Social Studies of Science at Sussex, and remained a Senior Fellow at SPRU until 1978. Between 1978 and 1982, he held the foundation chair in Science Education at the Institute of Education in London University. In 1982, he moved to Sydney, where until 2003 he taught social, economic, and cultural history; the history of science, medicine, and technology; military history; nuclear history; museum studies; the history of higher education; and the history of science in the expansion of Europe in Africa, India, Asia, Australasia and the Pacific.

He has held senior visiting positions in history and the history of science at Indiana University, the Free University (Amsterdam), Harvard, Cambridge (Pembroke College, Clare Hall, and Wolfson College); Oxford (Christ Church, Magdalen, and St. John’s Colleges); in the history of ideas at the ANU and the University of California, Santa Cruz; in the history of ideas at the University of Ume√•; in university history at the University of Oslo; and in cultural history, at the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, where he has several times been a directeur d'etudes associé. He has lectured in Korea, China, Singapore, Japan and India, and has been a consultant to the Nobel Foundation, the IDP, the ARC, the ADI, the Australian Antarctic Division, OECD, UNESCO, and the Office of National Assessments. He has held a Fulbright Fellowship, an Hon. Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, a Regents Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution; the Edelstein International Fellowship in the History of Chemistry (University of Pennsylvania, Chemical Heritage Foundation, and the Hebrew University, Jerusalem); the Rhône-Poulenc Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science and the Ministère des Affaires √ątrangères of France; and the Fowler Hamilton Fellowship at Christ Church, Oxford.

In 1978, he co-founded the Research Centre for History of Science and Technology (RCHST) at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. In 1985, he co-founded the Pacific Circle, a scientific commission of the International Union for the History and Philosophy of Science, and is currently its Vice-President. At Sydney, he was a founding member of the University's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS). He founded its Centre for the Human Aspects of Science and Technology (CHAST); and has been a member of the university's Research Institute on Asia and the Pacific (RIAP) and its China Studies Centre. In 2007, he served as an Honorary Professor in the newly established Centre for International Strategic Studies; and in 2009, was appointed an Honorary Associate in the School of Physics, with special reference to nuclear policy.

He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, the Royal Historical Society of England, the Australian Academy of Humanities, and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. In 2001, he was awarded a Litt.D degree by Cambridge University, and in 2005, an honorary degree in Arts and Philosophy by the University of Bologna. In 2003, he received a Centenary Medal from the Australian Government for services to History. In 2005, he was the Cecil and Ida Green Professor at Green College, University of British Columbia and was elected a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of the History of Science. In 2006-7 he was the Leverhulme Visiting Professor in History at Oxford University and received a Humboldt Research Prize from the German Government. In 2008, he returned to the Chemical Heritage Foundation as the Gordon Cain Fellow. In 2009, he was a Senior Braudel Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. In 2010, he held the Charles A. Lindbergh Chair at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and in 2011, he was a Fellow-in Residence at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg of the University of Göttingen.

In 2012, he was a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study and the Durham Global Security Institute at the University of Durham. In 2013, he held the Keeley Visiting Fellowship at Wadham College, Oxford, and in 2014, was awarded the Sarton Chair and Medal by the University of Ghent. In 2016, he was an Archives By-Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge. In 2017, he was appointed an Alumni Fellow of the Humboldt Foundation, and a Visiting Fellow of the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Disarmament, Arms Control and Risk Technologies (IFAR), at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH) of the University of Hamburg. Later this year, he will be holding a Wellcome Trust Bursary at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is currently a member of the College of Expert Reviewers of the European Science Foundation.

In 1971, he co-founded the quarterly journal Social Studies of Science, and was its co-editor until 1991. Between 2000 and 2008, he was Editor in Chief of Minerva, and currently serves on the editorial boards of several other journals, including Science Communication (Washington, DC), the Pacific Circle Bulletin (Honolulu), Health and History (Sydney), Science Studies (Helsinki), and the Journal of War and Culture Studies (London).

He is the author or editor of twenty-seven books and around 140 articles in the social history of science, medicine and technology; military history, museum history, Australian and American history, European history, research policy, and the history of higher education. In 2017, he received the Royal Society of New South Wales Medal in History and Philosophy of Science for services to scholarship. His recent books include Archibald Liversidge, FRS: Imperial Science under the Southern Cross (Sydney: University of Sydney Press and the Royal Society of New South Wales, 2009) and The University of Things: Theory –History-Practice, in the Jahrbuch für Europaische Wissenschaftskultur, edited with Dominik Collet and Marian Füssel (Frankfurt: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2016). Details of current projects are available upon request.