Assistant Professor of the History of Science
Alex Csiszar is Assistant Professor of the History of Science. He researches the cultural politics of scientific publishing in France and Britain, with a focus on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He is currently completing a book on the history of the scientific journal which investigates how a more or less unified genre came to coalesce out of a plethora of other periodical genres and institutions during the first decades of the nineteenth century. It follows the rise of the apparatus of specialized publishing as it became the central authoritative institution through which to demarcate who was and who was not a scientist, and what did and did not count as authoritative knowledge.
Csiszar’s “Seriality and the Search for Order: Scientific Print and its Problems during the Late Nineteenth Century” - featured in the Wilson Quarterly (Winter 2010) -- is the basis of a second project that further charts the consequences of the rise of journals by the end of the nineteenth century, looking more closely at technologies for the management of print and of communication invented by scientists, states, and information entrepreneurs. The focus is on technologies and cultures of search, not simply as organizational tools, but as epistemological resources in fields such as zoology, mathematics, and anthropology. Alongside and through these projects, Csiszar has ongoing interests in the history of peer review, the history of intellectual property (focused on the history of scientific priority), the history of classification, as well as the paper-management practices of early modern scientific societies. Csiszar also has long-standing research interests in the French mathematician and philosopher Henri Poincaré.
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“Seriality and the Search for Order: Scientific Print and its Problems during the Late Nineteenth Century.” History of Science vol. 48, no. 3/4 (September/December 2010): 399-434