Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Antony Adler

Antony Adler

antony_adler (at)

Antony Adler is a Visiting Assistant Professor with the History Department at Carleton College. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the program on Science, Technology and Society in 2015-2016. His current research examines the history of physical oceanography and marine geo-engineering in the twentieth century, with particular focus on Gulf Stream current research. While at Harvard, Antony will work on a book project based on his dissertation, The Ocean Laboratory: Exploration, Fieldwork, and Science at Sea.

His PhD thesis – supported by a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant and a history of science fellowship from the American Geophysical Union – offers a comprehensive transnational history of changing practices of scientific oceanic fieldwork from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. An examination of this history reveals how scientific field practices have shaped our understanding of the natural world, how scientists have altered the natural world to conform to the requirements of accepted scientific practice, and how marine spaces gained acceptance as legitimate terrains for scientific observation and analysis.

Antony received a BA in History, with a concentration in archaeology, from Carleton College in 2006, an MA in Museology from the University of Washington in 2009, and a PhD in the History of Science from the University of Washington in 2014. During the spring of 2015, Antony was a postdoctoral instructor at the University of Washington, teaching courses on the history of science and marine exploration. Antony has long maintained an interest in material culture. He has participated in several archaeological excavations in Labrador. He has also completed internships at the New Bedford Whaling Museum and the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle.


“Bridging Land and Sea: The French Marine Stations of Roscoff and Arago (1872 – 1920),” Conference proceedings, Place and Practice: Doing Science on and in the Ocean 1800-2012 (forthcoming 2015).

“The Capture and Curation of the Cannibal ‘Vendovi’: Reality and Representation of a Pacific Frontier,” The Journal of Pacific History, Vol. 49, Issue 3 (2014), 255 – 282.

“The Ship as Laboratory: Making Space for Field Science at Sea,” The Journal of the History of Biology, Vol. 47, Issue 3 (2014), 333 – 362.

“From the Pacific to the Patent Office: The US Exploring Expedition and the Origins of America’s First National Museum,” The Journal of the History of Collections, Vol. 23, Issue 1 (2011), 49 – 74.

Note: The above information concerns a past fellow at the Program on Science, Technology, and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School. It does not constituent evidence of current enrollment. The information may be out of date. To update their information, past fellows should e-mail the site administrator.