Paula Findlen

Co-Chair, History and Philosophy of Science
Ubaldo Pierotti Professor in Italian History, Department of History
Director of the Patrick Suppes Center for the History and Philosophy of Science

History Department, Building 200
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-2024

Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley
B.A., Wellesley College

Curriculum Vitae


Background and Current Research

Paula Findlen teaches history of science before it was "science" (which is, after all, a nineteenth-century word). Her main interests are the scientific revolution, natural history before Darwin, and the history of medicine; her regional emphasis is on Italy in the age of Galileo.

Professor Findlen received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and taught at the University of California, Davis and Harvard before coming to Stanford. She is the author of Possessing Nature: Museums, Collecting, and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), which received the 1995 Howard Marraro Prize in Italian History and the 1996 Pfizer Prize for best book in History of Science. Other works include Empires of Knowledge: Scientific Networks in the Early Modern World, Edited by Paula Findlen and Mapping the Republic of Letters, and many other edited volumes, manuscripts, articles.

She received the Galilei Prize in 2016 and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Findlens's Work:


  • The Age of Plague: Medicine and Society, 1300-1750
  • When Worlds Collide: The Trial of Galileo
  • Science Technology and Art: The Worlds of Leonardo
  • The Emergence of Modern Medicine
  • New Worlds, Imaginary Worlds
  • The Scientific Revolution