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Mary Terrall


Contact Information

Office  5276 Bunche Hall
Phone  310-825-2013


B.A. Harvard University; PhD UCLA

Selected Publications

Catching Nature in the Act: Réaumur and the Practice of Natural History in the Eighteenth Century (University of Chicago Press, 2014).

Vital Matters: Eighteenth-Century Views of Conception, Life and Death (University of Toronto Press, 2012). (Co-edited with Helen Deutsch)

The Man Who Flattened the Earth: Maupertuis and the Sciences in the Enlightenment, University of Chicago Press, 2002. Winner of Pfizer Prize (History of Science Society) and Gottschalk Prize (American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies).

Articles and Book Chapters:
“Masculine Knowledge, the Public Good, and the Scientific Household of Réaumur,” Osiris 30 (2015): 182-202.

“Material Impressions: Conception, Sensibility and Inheritance,” in Vital Matters: Eighteenth-Century Views of Conception, Life and Death, ed. Mary Terrall and Helen Deutsch (University of Toronto Press, 2012).

“Frogs on the Mantelpiece: The Practice of Observation in Daily Life,” in Histories of Scientific Observations, ed. Lorraine Daston and Elizabeth Lunbeck (University of Chicago Press, 2011).

“Following Insects Around: Tools and Techniques of Natural History in the Eighteenth Century,” British Journal for the History of Science, 43 (2010): 573-588.

“Speculation and Experiment in Enlightenment Life Sciences,” in Heredity Produced: At the Crossroads of Biology, Politics, and Culture, 1500-1800, ed. Staffan Müller-Wille and Hans¬Jörg Rheinberger (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2007).

“Biography as Cultural History of Science,” Isis 97 (2006): 306-313.

“Mathematical Narratives of Scientific Expeditions,” Isis 97 (2006): 683-699.

“Vis viva Revisited,” History of Science 42 (2004): 189-209.

“The Uses of Anonymity in the Age of Reason,” in Scientific Authorship, ed. Mario Biagioli and Peter Galison (Routledge, 2002).

“Fashionable Readers of Natural Philosophy,” in Books and the Sciences in History, ed. Nick Jardine and Marina Frasca-Spada (Cambridge University Press, 2000).

“Metaphysics, Mathematics and the Gendering of Science in France,” in The Sciences in Enlightened Europe, ed. by William Clark, Jan Golinski and Simon Schaffer (University of Chicago Press, 1999).

“Heroic Narratives of Quest and Discovery,” Configurations 6 (1998): 223-242.

“Salon, Academy and Boudoir: Generation and Desire in Maupertuis’s Science of Life,” Isis 87 (1996): 217-229.

“Gendered Spaces, Gendered Audiences: Inside and Outside the Paris Academy of Sciences,” Configurations 3 (1995): 207-232.

“Emilie du Châtelet and the Gendering of Science,” History of Science 33 (1995): 283-310. (Winner of Women in Science Prize, History of Science Society, 1998)

“Representing the Earth’s Shape: The Polemics Surrounding Maupertuis’s Expedition to Lapland,” Isis 83 (1992): 218-237. (Winner of Derek Price Award, History of Science Society, 1994.)

“The Culture of Science in Frederick the Great’s Berlin,” History of Science 28 (1990): 333-364.