University of Sydney



Our community of active researchers in the history and philosophy of science is one of the largest in the world; their research attracts significant funding from Australian and global sources.
Research specializations include:

Early Modern Science
Research in this area focuses on the role of scientific instruments in scientific experimentation, the structure of scientific experiments, the founding of scientific societies, their characteristics and functioning; and the correspondence between natural philosophers and early scientists. In addition, more general philosophical concerns about the nature and status of scientific knowledge and historical ontology are investigated.

Medicine and Society
In our research concentration on medicine and society, we trace the history of modern medicine, discussing topics such as the role of dissection in medical research and teaching, the evolution of the modern hospital, the influence of the germ theory of disease, the ways in which medicine has changed everyday life, and the significance of modern medical technologies, to mention just a few.
Current debates in bioethics about cloning, stem cell research, the human genome project, and the policies around genetic screening receive ample attention. Specific research projects and focuses include: intellectual property rights in biological materials, the uses of evidence in medical research and practice, the role of model organisms in medical and biological research, the history of psychiatry, war, trauma, rehabilitation, and psychiatry, posttraumatic stress disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, and the history of psychosomatic medicine.
History and Technology
Research in history of technology includes the opposition between science and ordinary experience, design history, and material theory of history.


With almost 4 million titles – both digital and physical – Univesity of Sydney is the largest academic library collection in the southern hemisphere. We provide a rich and diverse collection of resources, including rare books and electronic publications and databases to further the teaching and research programs of the University.
Our history and philosophy of science researchers have developed innovative interdisciplinary approaches to investigating and analysing developments in science, technology and medicine.
Publishing widely and enjoying international recognition, their active research records have attracted significant funding from both Australian and international sources, and they bring the latest scholarship to their teaching and research.
We regularly host international researchers who contribute new insights and ways of thinking, and both our researchers and our postgraduate students are involved in internationally collaborative research projects.