Publications

The list of selected staff publications may be searched by keyword or author and can be sorted by year.

"Astronomy as Public Utility: the Bond Years at the Harvard College Observatory." Journal of the History of Astronomy 21(1990): 21-36. Reprinted in Owen Gingerich and Michael Hoskins, Two Astronomical Anniversaries: HCO & SAO (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 1990), pp. 21–36.

Article about the period between 1839 and 1865, when the observatory provided the U.S. federal government with observations for determining basic latitudes and longitudes and offered the local community a time service.

"The Most Reliable Time': William Bond, the New England Railroads, and Time Awareness in 19th-Century America." Technology & Culture 30 (January 1989): 1–24.

Describes the growth of a time service and a standard time for New England in the mid-19th century in response to the needs of regional railroads and the availability of reliable time from the Harvard College Observatory.

On Time: How America Has Learned to Live by the Clock. Boston: The Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown, 2002.

Book that accompanies the NMAH exhibition of the same title.

America's Forested Wetlands: From Wasteland to Valued Resource. Durham, N.C.: Forest History Society, 2008.

A history of society's changing perceptions, values, actions, and laws pertaining to wetland environments in the United States.

“Me, Myself and Infrastructure: Private Lives and Public Works in America, at the National Building Museum, Washington, D. C.” Technology and Culture 44 (October 2003): 778–85.

An evaluation of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ sesquicentennial exhibition, which explores the profound—and frequently unappreciated—contributions of public works to the functioning of modern society.

“APWA: Using History to Advance Appreciation of Public Works.” APWA Reporter 79 (June 2012): 86-87.

Reflections on how popular opinions about the appropriate role of public enterprises have devolved since the founding of the American Public Works Association in 1937, and how historical inquiry can contribute to society’s understanding of this trend and its consequences.

Twenty Years of Science in the Public Interest: A History of the Congressional Science and Engineering Fellowship Program. Washington: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1994.

Examines the combined efforts of the nation’s leading scientific and engineering societies to provide technically trained staff to the U.S. Congress and its support agencies.

"The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and the Evolution of Cultural Resources Management." The Public Historian 14 (Spring 1992): 7–30.

Traces the changes in the documentation and preservation of cultural heritage sites as influenced by the cultural resources management strategies employed during the construction of the nation’s largest water project in the 1970s and 1980s. Recipient of the National Council on Public History’s 1993 G. Wesley Johnson Prize.

"Scientific Instrumentation as an Element of U.S. Science Policy: National Science Foundation Support of Chemistry Instrumentation." In Invisible Connections: Instruments, Institutions, and Science, edited by Robert Bud and Susan E. Cozzens, 238–63. Bellingham, Wash.: SPIE Optical Engineering Press, 1992.

A history of the U.S. government’s support of chemistry instrumentation, 1950–1990.

"Russell G. Cone." In Dictionary of American Biography, supplement 7, 135–36. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1981.

A biographical sketch of the civil engineer involved in the design and construction of several major suspension bridges in the United States, including San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

A History of Science Policy in the United States, 1940–1985. Background Report No. 1, prepared for the Task Force on Science Policy of the House Committee on Science and Technology. 99th Cong., 2d sess., 1986.

An examination of the policy issues and debates that shaped the relationship between government and science in the United States since 1940. Special attention is paid to the evolution of science policy planning mechanisms, along with the ongoing development of Executive agency science programs and the periodic attempts to coordinate the nation’s overall research efforts.

Nelson P. Lewis and the City Efficient: The Municipal Engineer in City Planning during the Progressive Era. Essays in Public Works History, no. 11. Chicago: Public Works Historical Society, 1981.

A biography of the New York City engineer who championed the contributions of engineers to city planning during the first two decades of the twentieth century.

“American Chestnut Trees at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.” With Stephen VanHoven. In Forest History Today (Spring/Fall 2004): 66–67.
“George Washington Goethals.” In American National Biography, vol. 9, 163–65. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

A biographical sketch of the civil engineer best known for his work on the Panama Canal.

"Environmental Policy during the Carter Presidency." In The Carter Presidency: Policy Choices in the Post-New Deal Era, edited by Gary M. Fink and Hugh Davis Graham, 179–201. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.

A historical assessment of President Jimmy Carter’s environmental record. Recipient of the Society for History in the Federal Govern-ment’s 1999 Charles Thomson Prize.

Mixing the Waters: Environment, Politics, and the Building of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Akron, Ohio: The University of Akron Press, 1993.

This history of the largest and most controversial water project ever built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers interweaves analyses of changing environmental values, engineering, and pork-barrel politics. Recipient of the Public Works Historical Society’s 1994 Abel Wolman Award and the 1995 Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Issues in the Twentieth Century: A Bibliography. with Michael C. Robinson, eds. Environmental History Series. Washington: GPO, 1984.

A compilation of books, articles, government reports, newspaper stories, and unpublished items that address the environmental implications of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works and regulatory activities.

Congressional Hearings on Science and Technology Issues: Strengths, Weaknesses, and Suggested Improvements with Marcel C. LaFollette. Background report prepared for the Committee on Science, Technology, and Congress. New York: Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government, 1990.

Examines the various ways in which the U.S. Congress has used hearings to receive, question, and debate scientific and technical information.

"Professionalism vs. Special Interest: The Debate over Engineering Education in Nineteenth Century America." Potomac Review 26–27 (1984–1985): 72–94.

A study of how engineering changed from a craft-oriented occupation to a professional occupation in the United States during the nineteenth century.

“Epilogue.” In Echoes from the Poisoned Well: Global Memories of Environmental Injustice, edited by Sylvia Hood Washington, Paul C. Rosier, and Heather Goodall, 409–10. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006.

Reflections on the expansion and internationalization of environmental justice as a field of study.

"M.M. O'Shaughnessy." APWA Reporter 46 (March 1979), 4–5. (Reprinted in People Making Public Works History: A Century of Progress, 1894–1994, Robert D. Bugher, 261-62. Kansas City, Mo.: American Public Works Association, 1998.)

A biographical sketch of the San Francisco engineer best known for his work on the controversial dam built in Yosemite National Park’s Hetch Hetchy valley.

“Placing Environmental History on Display.” Environmental History 7 (October 2002): 566–88.

Discusses how and why environmental history should be integrated into exhibitions developed at both cultural and scientific institutions. The essay is a revised version of the author’s presidential address before the American Society for Environmental History.

"Technology, Pollution, and the Environment." with Joel A. Tarr, eds. A special theme issue of Environmental History Review 18 (Spring 1994).

A collection of essays that explore the reciprocal influences of technology and the environment during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Technology and Choice: Readings from Technology and Culture with Marcel C. LaFollette, eds. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991.

A collection of essays providing a spectrum of historical perspectives on how, when, or why individuals, societies, governments, and industries have made choices regarding the use of technologies. The essays offer historical accounts, some recent and some from several centuries ago, of the invention, dissemination, adoption, or rejection of technologies that range in complexity from electrical plugs to nuclear power plants.

"Knowledge Collaborations in the Arts, the Sciences, and the Humanities: Edited Excerpts from a Smithsonian Seminar Series—Part 2: The Sciences." Knowledge: Creation, Diffusion, Utilization 13 (June 1992): 399–406.

A historical overview of the patterns of collaboration among investigators in different fields of science and how federal science policy has attempted to account for those changes.

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