This website is created by me, William Thomas. I received my BA in history and a minor in physics from Northwestern University in 2001, and a PhD in the history of science from Harvard University in 2007. I worked as the postdoctoral associate historian at the Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics (AIP) from 2007 to 2010, and was a junior research fellow at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (CHoSTM) at Imperial College London from 2010 to 2013. From 2013 to 2016, I did contract histories with History Associates, Inc.
In 2016 I returned to the American Institute of Physics to work on the FYI science policy news service. Although my academic work has a significant bearing on my work in today’s science policy, please note that any views expressed here are solely my own and pertain to my scholarly interests.
I have been working on the history of operations research and related areas on and off since I was introduced to it at Northwestern. It was the subject of my PhD dissertation, and now my 2015 book, Rational Action: The Sciences of Policy in Britain and America, 1940–1960, which you can read more about here.
In addition to the “sciences of policy,” I have published on the history of early particle detection techniques in physics, and on the links between glaciology and climate research in Antarctica—subjects that still interest me a great deal. See a full list of my publications here.
Since 2008 I have been blogging about the history of science, and about methodological/historiographical issues, at Ether Wave Propaganda. I also indulge a side interest in the 18th century there.
I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC.