Simon Schaffer at a summer school in St. Petersburg, Russia (2001)
January 1, 1955 [|
|Institutions||University of Cambridge
Darwin College, Cambridge
Imperial College, London
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
|Thesis||Newtonian cosmology and the steady state (1980)|
|Notable awards||Erasmus Prize (2005); Sarton Medal (2013)|
Simon J. Schaffer (born 1 January 1955 in Southampton) is a professor of the history and philosophy of science at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at University of Cambridge and was until recently editor of The British Journal for the History of Science.
Schaffer was born in Southampton and educated at Varndean Grammar School for Boys in Brighton. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he captained the winning college team in the 1974 University Challenge; he went on to gain his PhD in 1980 with the thesis Newtonian cosmology and the steady state.
After completing his BA, Schaffer went to Harvard University as a Kennedy Scholar, and had taught at Imperial College London and the University of California, Los Angeles. Schaffer has been a Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge since 1985.
Schaffer has authored or co-authored numerous books, including Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life with Steven Shapin. In addition to his work at Cambridge, he has been a presenter on the BBC, in particular the series Light Fantastic broadcast on BBC Four in 2004.
Awards and honours
In 2005 he shared the prestigious Erasmus Prize with Steven Shapin for Leviathan and the Air-Pump. This Dutch prize was handed over by the Dutch crown prince Willem-Alexander and can be regarded as a token of appreciation for the intrinsic value of his work for the history of science in general. In 2013 he received the Sarton Medal, the most prestigious honor awarded by the History of Science Society, in recognition of his "lifetime of scholarly achievement".
- Schaffer, Simon (1980). Newtonian cosmology and the steady state (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge.
- Schaffer, Simon; Shapin, Steven (2011). Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life (New in Paper). Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-15020-6.
- "BBC Four - Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams".
- "BBC - Press Office - Light Fantastic Simon Schaffer interview". Archived from the original on 2013-06-03.
- Light Fantastic at the Internet Movie Database
- Simon Schaffer at the Internet Movie Database
- CBC interview—Ideas: How to Think about Science, podcast available
- Leviathan and the Air-Pump
- Simon Schaffer interviewed by Alan Macfarlane 27th June, continued 1st and 2nd July 2008 (film)
- Simon Schaffer's 2010 Tarner Lectures ”When the stars threw down their spears”: Histories of Astronomy and Empire
- Simon Schaffer's Videos at Imperial College