Claire Oliver

Ph.D. Candidate, History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

2020 to 2021
Research Fellow

Everywhere at Once: Meteorology, Communications, and the Construction of Global Climate, 1865-1900

Epistemologies of climate and weather have long been a potent historical force for social organization. This research proposal seeks to use key archival materials held by the Smithsonian, the United States Naval Observatory, and the American Philosophical Society to write a dissertation on how American meteorological observation networks contributed to the emergence of an international institutional structure and global perspective in atmospheric science during the second half of the nineteenth century. Though previous historical works have chronicled the development of American weather science, the role of US institutions in the rise of international meteorology during the late nineteenth century has remained largely unexplored. This project will contribute an important new perspective to the historiographies of meteorology and the influence of long-distance communication networks in the creation of global atmospheric knowledge.