Make your own contribution to the history of science.

Why did alchemists want to find the philosophers’ stone? How did people in the past understand what made them sick? What does it mean to preserve the natural environment in the 21st century? These are just a few of the questions that scholars at the Science History Institute think about in their research.

At the Institute, our staff and visiting fellows conduct original research and present new stories to public and scholarly audiences. We invite you to use our collections and make your own contribution to shaping the history of science.

Fellows working in Jacobs Reading Room

Fellowship Community

Every year, our Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry awards dozens of fellowships to scholars from around the world. We provide a vibrant scholarly community and access to world-class research collections. Scholars may also give lectures and workshop their ideas in our writing group.

Othmer Library of Chemical History

Our library is home to a world-class research collection and our nationally renowned Center for Oral History. With rare books, unique archival papers, and extensive runs of journals, we are an essential stop for anyone researching the history of science. The Othmer Library is open to researchers by appointment only.

books on a shelf

Synthesis Book Series

We partner with the University of Chicago Press to publish books in the Synthesis series. Synthesis welcomes all historical treatments of chemistry, broadly construed, and its diverse roles in society. Authors are top scholars in the history of science and include Institute staff and past fellows.

History of Science Society

In 2022 the Institute partnered with the University of Pennsylvania to host the executive offices of the History of Science Society (HSS) in Philadelphia. Founded in 1924, HSS is the world’s oldest and largest society dedicated to understanding science, technology, medicine, and their interactions with society in historical context.

Stanislao Cannizzaro looking to the side, seated and wearing a suit with a bow tie.

University of Pennsylvania

Many members of our staff also serve as associated faculty in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of History and Sociology of Science. Each year, they teach classes related to their area of research to Penn’s undergraduate students.


    Copy the above HTML to republish this content. We have formatted the material to follow our guidelines, which include our credit requirements. Please review our full list of guidelines for more information. By republishing this content, you agree to our republication requirements.