Juan Andres Leon

Juan Andres Leon

Juan Andres Leon

Bodensee Collection Postdoctoral Fellow

I am the 2013–2014 Gordon Cain Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Technology, Policy, and Entrepreneurship. During my stay at CHF I am starting a new research project that analyzes the incursion of mathematical models and computer simulations in postwar industrial and academic chemistry in the United States.

My PhD dissertation in the history of science, “Citizens of the Chemical Complex” (Harvard University, 2013), explored the persona of the chemical industrialist in Imperial and Weimar Germany, showing how scientific identity shaped the German business landscape and the practice of science philanthropy, which included political support and significant participation in research beyond chemistry in such areas as applied mathematics, physics, and astronomy.

Previously, I published a monograph on the Atoms for Peace program in Latin America that illustrated how nascent scientific elites in the Third World skillfully navigated Eisenhower’s international atomic policies, contemporary development ideals, and competition among the Western atomic powers to secure their participation in the promising “nuclear age.”

For the last seven years I have worked at Harvard University’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, where I had the opportunity to research thousands of scientific instruments from the early modern period to the present. Among other endeavors I directed a project to photograph, digitize, and document the collection’s tens of thousands of objects, designed and co-programmed a mobile application to guide visitors through the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture, and co-curated the new permanent exhibit of the first programmable computer in the United States, the Harvard-IBM Mark I.

Fellowships at CHF

CHF’s scholars, who spend anywhere from one to nine months in residence, form a vital part of CHF’s intellectual life.