Dr Victor Boantza

MA, PhD University of Toronto


History of Science and Technology
University of Minnesota

Victor Boantza works on the history and philosophy of early modern science, in particular chemistry, physics, and the experimental sciences. He is also interested in historiography, science and religion, and the history of technology. He has written on Boyle, Duclos, Priestley, Kirwan, the mechanical philosophy, the chemical revolution, and Enlightenment science.

Current projects

Victor's current projects are: (1) Elusive Matters: A Historical Ontology of Imponderables from Newton to Davy (provisional title); (2) the relations between Newtonianism, chemistry, and experimentalism; and (3) the changing meanings and contexts - material, conceptual, and cultural - of 'instruments' in early modern science.


  • Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award: "The Making of the Modern Chemist: Struggles within Enlightenment Science" ($375,000; 2012–2015)
  • University of Sydney Postdoctoral Fellowship ($267,000; 2010–2013)
  • McGill University Richard H. Tomlinson Postdoctoral Fellowship (2009–2010)

Selected publications


  • Matter and Method in the Long Chemical Revolution: Laws of Another Order. Burlington: Ashgate, forthcoming 2012.
  • Controversies Within the Scientific Revolution (co-edited with M.Dascal). Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2011.

Selected Articles

  • "Chymical Philosophy and Boyle’s Incongruous Philosophical Chymistry." International Archives of the History of Ideas, forthcoming 2012.
  • "Reaching Far and Wide: The Commercial Life of the New Science," Science as Culture, forthcoming 2012.
  • "The 'Absolute Existence' of Phlogiston: The Losing Party’s Point of View" (with O. Gal). British Journal for the History of Science, 44 (2011): 317-42.
  • "From Experimental to Corporate Knowledge in Early Modern Science." Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 42 (2011): 613-17.
  • "From Cohesion to Pesanteur: The Origins of the 1669 Debate on the Causes of Gravity," Controversies Within the Scientific Revolution, V. Boantza and M. Dascal (eds) Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins (2011): 77-100.
  • "Alkahest and Fire: Debating Matter, Chymistry, and Natural History at the Early Parisian Academy of Sciences." The Body as Object and Instrument of Knowledge: Embodied Empiricism in Early Modern Science, O. Gal and C. Wolfe (eds). Dordrecht: Springer (2010): 75-92.
  • "The Phlogistic Role of Heat in the Chemical Revolution and Kirwan's 'Ingenious Modifications… into the Theory of Phlogiston.'" Annals of Science, 65 (2008): 309-338.
  • "Collecting Airs and Ideas: Joseph Priestley's Style of Experimental Reasoning." Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 38 (2007): 506-522.
  • ''Light in the Pneumatic Context: Aspects of Interplay between Theory and Practice in Early Photochemical Research." Historia Scientiarum, 16 (2006): 105-128.

Areas of teaching and supervision

History and philosophy of early modern science; the scientific and chemical revolutions; Enlightenment science; early modern intellectual history

Other professional contributions

Secretary of the Australasian Association for the History and Philosophy of Science AAAHPS.