Pamela H. Smith


Pamela H. Smith is founding director of the Columbia Center for Science and Society and Seth Low Professor of History at Columbia University where she teaches history of early modern Europe and the history of science.  She is the author of The Business of Alchemy: Science and Culture in the Holy Roman Empire (Princeton 1994), which won the 1995 Pfizer Prize for the best book in the History of Science from the History of Science Society, and The Body of the Artisan: Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution (Chicago 2004), which won the 2005 Leo Gershoy Prize for best book in European history from the American Historical Association. Her co-edited volumes include Merchants and Marvels: Commerce, Science, and Art in Early Modern Europe (with Paula Findlen, Routledge 2002), Making Knowledge in Early Modern Europe: Practices, Objects, and Texts, 1400-1800 (with Benjamin Schmidt, Chicago 2008), Ways of Making and Knowing: The Material Culture of Empirical Knowledge (with Amy Meyers and Harold J. Cook, Michigan, 2014), and The Matter of Art: Materials, Technologies, Meanings, c. 1250-1650 (with Christy Anderson and Anne Dunlop, Manchester, 2015). She is the author of numerous articles on alchemy, artisans, and the making of vernacular and scientific knowledge. She has been a Guggenheim recipient, a Fellow at the Wissenschafts-Kolleg, Berlin, a Getty Scholar, a Samuel Kress Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of the Visual Arts in Washington, DC, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, among other honors.

She is presently working on a variety of projects, a collectively researched critical edition of a sixteenth-century craft manuscript that will be published as an open access digital volume; a collaborative project on the movement of knowledge around the globe before 1750, and a book entitled From Lived Experience to the Written Word: Recovering Art and Skill in Early Modern Europe, in which she seeks to reconstruct the vernacular knowledge of early modern European metalworkers from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including hands-on reconstruction of historical techniques.