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Dr Robert Bud
The Science Museum
Tel: 020 7942 4200
Dr Robert Bud profile picture
  • Honorary Senior Research Associate
  • Dept of Science & Technology Studies
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences


1973  B.Sc.    Liberal Studies in Science, University of
Manchester. 1st Class

1980  Ph.D.    History & Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania. Professional History:

Since 1 April 2004    Principal Curator of Medicine, The Science Museum

November 1978-2004 Senior posts at Science Museum

1974-1977   Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant, University of  Pennsylvania, on Chemistry in America

Academic  affiliations

March 2008-present  Visiting Professorial Fellow,

Department of History, Queen Mary University of London

October 2003-present  Honorary Research Fellow, Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck College

October 2003-present   HonorarySenior Research Fellow, Department of Science and Technology Studies,
University College London

2002-present      Associated Research Scholar, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge

1990-2000    Associate Senior Research Fellow, Centre for the Evaluation of Public Policy and   Practice, Brunel University

Research Summary

Principal publications

(Authored books)
Penicillin :Triumph and Tragedy (Oxford University Press, 2007) (Choice Outstanding Academic Book 2007)
The Uses of Life: A History of Biotechnology, (Cambridge University Press, 1993; German edition, Wie wir das Leben nutzbar machten (Vieweg Verlag, 1995). This book is still in print
Chemistry in America 1876-1976: Historical Indicators, (Dordrecht: Reidel, 1985),
with Arnold Thackray, Jeffrey L Sturchio and P Thomas Carroll
Science versus Practice: Chemistry in Victorian Britain, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984), with G K Roberts
(Edited books)

Cold War Hot Science: Applied Research in Britain’s Defence Establishments, 1945-1990 (Harwood, 1999) ) edited with Philip Gummett

Manifesting Medicine: Bodies and Machines (Harwood,1999) edited with Barney Finn and Helmuth Trischler

Instruments of Science: An Historical Encyclopedia (Garland, 1998) edited with Deborah Warner [winner of  Bunge Prize) Japanese edition 2005. Winner Bunge Prize awarded by German Chemical Society 1998

Invisible Connections: Instruments, Institutions and Science (Bellingham: SPIE, 1991)
edited with Susan Cozzens


From Applied Microbiology to biotechnology: Science, medicine and industrial renewal’, Notes & Records of the Royal Society 64 (2010) 17-29

Upheaval in the moral economy of science? Patenting, teamwork and the World War 2 experience of penicillin History and Technology Volume 24, Issue 2 June 2008 , pages 173 – 190

‘Antibiotics, big business and consumers: the context of government investigations into the Post War American Drug industry’ Technology and Culture 46(2005), 329-49

`Penicillin and the New Elizabethans' British Journal for the History of Science 31(1998): 305-33

`Science, Meaning and Myth in the Museum', Public Understanding of Science 4 (1995) 1-16.

`Strategy in American Cancer Research after World War II: A Case Study', Social Studies in Science 8 (1978): 425-59

`The Royal Manchester Institution', in From Artisan to Graduate, edited by D S L Cardwell, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1974), 119-133


Teaching Summary

Responsible lecturer, "Medicines, Science and Society" module in the MA/MSc course in History of Medicine, Birkbeck College since 2003

Supervised 6 MA dissertations in History of Medicine

The museum partner and supervisor on the following doctoral projects

AHRC Collaborative doctoral award, 2009, Negotiating 'Progress': Promoting 'Modern' Physics in

Britain 1900-1940
in association with Jeff Hughes, Manchester University. In progress

AHRC Collaborative doctoral award, 2005, 'The

material culture of health in central America' in association with Katie Willis, Royal Holloway, University of London. PhD awarded 2008

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