David Kaiser




Room E51-179



 Back to Faculty List

Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science (STS), and Senior Lecturer (Department of Physics)

Director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society

David Kaiser is Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and Department Head of MIT's Program in Science, Technology, and Society, and a Senior Lecturer in MIT's Department of Physics. He completed an A.B. in physics at Dartmouth College and Ph.D.s in physics and the history of science at Harvard University. Kaiser's historical research focuses on the development of physics in the United States during the Cold War, looking at how the discipline has evolved at the intersection of politics, culture, and the changing shape of higher education. His physics research focuses on early-universe cosmology, working at the interface of particle physics and gravitation.

Kaiser is author of the award-winning book, Drawing Theories Apart: The Dispersion of Feynman Diagrams in Postwar Physics (University of Chicago Press, 2005), which traces how Richard Feynman's idiosyncratic approach to quantum physics entered the mainstream. His latest book, How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival (W. W. Norton, 2011), charts the early history of Bell's theorem and quantum entanglement. His edited volumes include Pedagogy and the Practice of Science: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (MIT Press, 2005), and Becoming MIT: Moments of Decision (MIT Press, 2010). He is presently completing a book entitled American Physics and the Cold War Bubble (University of Chicago Press, in preparation).

Kaiser's work has been featured in such magazines as Harper's, Nature, Science, Scientific American, and the London Review of Books; on National Public Radio and NOVA television programs; and in specialist journals in physics and history. In 2010, he was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Other honors include awards for best book in the field from the History of Science Society (2007) and the Forum for the History of Science in America (2006); the Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award for distinguished tenure-track faculty member at MIT (2006); and the Leroy Apker Award for best undergraduate physics student from the American Physical Society (1993). Kaiser has also received several teaching awards from Harvard and MIT. In 2012 he was named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow, MIT's highest honor for excellence in undergraduate teaching.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Building E51-163