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Prof Simon Werrett
22 Gordon Square, room 1.2
UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies
Gower Street
Prof Simon Werrett profile picture
  • Professor of the History of Science
  • Dept of Science & Technology Studies
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Simon Werrett trained in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science in Cambridge University before taking postdoctoral fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and the Getty Research Center in Los Angeles. From 2002 he was a member of the Department of History at the University of Washington, Seattle, before joining UCL in 2012.

Research Themes
Research Summary

Werrett's work explores interactions between the arts and the sciences in the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. His first monograph Fireworks: Pyrotechnic Arts and Sciences in European History (University of Chicago Press, 2010) examined exchanges of skills and techniques between early modern pyrotechnists and natural philosophers in Britain, France and Russia. Werrett’s current research explores the history of what he calls "thrifty science" an experimental approach to natural inquiry foregrounding re-use, adaptation, repair and exchange. This project examines thrifty science in Britain and North America between the seventeenth century and the present, and contributes to a broader interest in relations of science and environmental history. Werrett also has a longstanding interest in Russian and Soviet sciences and has published numerous articles on this topic. He has also published articles on science, technology, and empire, including articles on Captain Cook, Russian voyages of exploration, and the development of the Congreve war rocket in India and Great Britain in the nineteenth century.

Teaching Summary

Simon Werrett teaches modules in History and Philosophy of Science, and Science and Technology Studies, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Modules variously survey the history of science in the ancient and early modern world; the history of science in Russia and the Soviet Union; and global histories of science.


01-OCT-2019 Professor Science and Technology Studies University College London, United Kingdom
OCT-2012 Lecturer/ Senior Lecturer Science and Technology Studies UCL, United Kingdom
SEP-2009 – JUL-2012 Associate Professor History University of Washington, United States
SEP-2002 – AUG-2009 Assistant Professor History University of Washington, United States
Academic Background
2000   Doctor of Philosophy University of Cambridge
1996   Master of Philosophy University of Cambridge
1994   Bachelor of Arts (Honours) University of Leeds
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