Alex Csiszar

Alex Csiszar

Alex Csiszar

John C. Haas Fellow

  • Phone: 215.873.8246

Alex Csiszar researches the history of scientific authorship, publishing, and information-management practices during the 19th century, with a focus on France and Britain. He is an assistant professor in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University, where he teaches on topics ranging from early modern natural philosophy to digital media. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2010, and an M.A. from Stanford University in 2004. In 2012 Csiszar was a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. Csiszar is active in the book history community, and is cochair of the Mahindra Humanities Center Seminar in the History of the Book at Harvard.

While at CHF, Csiszar will be completing his first book on the rise of the modern scientific journal. The central question the book poses is how being a scientific investigator came to be so closely associated with being a certain kind of author. Put differently, it charts how the scientific journal coalesced out of a divergent mix of periodical and other publishing genres to become a powerful institution through which to define scientists’ identities and to separate legitimate knowledge claims from spurious ones. Along the way the book considers such topics as the history of priority claims, the origins of modern refereeing practices (the distant origins of modern peer review), and the evolution of search technologies and practices in the sciences.

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