Beckman at 25: Bruce Lewenstein

Bruce Lewenstein in China, 2010. Image courtesy Beijing Times/Sally Sun.

2012 is the 25th anniversary of CHF’s Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry. To celebrate the Beckman Center’s remarkable achievements and its many accomplished fellows, we will be profiling one former fellow each month over the course of the year. This month we’d like to introduce you to Bruce Lewenstein.

Bruce can’t seem to stay away from CHF—and we’re very glad he can’t After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania’s department of history and sociology of science in 1987, Bruce was here at the founding of the Beckman Center as CHF’s first public information officer. He later moved to Cornell University, holding a joint appointment in the departments of science and technology studies and communication. But about once a decade, Bruce returns.

In 2001-2002, Bruce held the Eugene Garfield Fellowship in History of Science Information Systems at CHF, during which time he studied the place of books in science communication during the 20th century. And in 2012, we have been fortunate enough to have him with us again—this time as a Presidential Fellow, helping CHF to think about its mission with respect to outreach.

It is hard to imagine someone better suited to this task. In recent years Bruce has served as the coordinator of the social and ethical issues component of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, editor of Public Understanding of Science, chair of the AAAS Section X ("Societal Implications of Science and Engineering"), and co-chair of U.S. National Research Council’s study on learning science in informal environments (among other activities). His many publications reflect these interests as well.

Bruce has played an important role in the history of the Beckman Center, and I venture to say we may have played a role in his scholarship! He is one of the many fellows whom we are celebrating during our anniversary year.

Carin Berkowitz is the associate director of CHF’s Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry.

Beckman at 25: Seymour Mauskopf [Periodic Tabloid]

Posted In: Fellows

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