David Kaiser

David Kaiser
David Kaiser
Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science, Program in Science, Technology, and Society; Professor of Physics, MIT

DAVID KAISER is Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science in MIT's Program in Science, Technology, and Society, and also professor of physics in MIT's Department of Physics. He completed an A.B. in physics at Dartmouth College and Ph.D.s in physics and the history of science at Harvard University. Kaiser's historical research focuses on the development of physics in the United States during the Cold War, looking at how the discipline has evolved at the intersection of politics, culture, and the changing shape of higher education. His physics research focuses on early-universe cosmology, working at the interface of particle physics and gravitation. He has also helped to design and conduct novel experiments to test the foundations of quantum theory.

Kaiser is author of the award-winning book, Drawing Theories Apart: The Dispersion of Feynman Diagrams in Postwar Physics. His latest book, How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival, was named "Book of the Year" by Physics World magazine. His edited volumes include Pedagogy and the Practice of Science: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives and Becoming MIT: Moments of Decision. He is presently chair of the editorial board of MIT Press, and also serves on the advisory boards for Nautilus and Undark magazines.

Kaiser's work has been featured in such venues as Nature, Science, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Huffington Post, and The London Review of Books; and on National Public Radio, BBC Radio, and NOVA television programs. In 2010, he was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society. Other honors include the Pfizer Prize for best book in the field (2007) and the Davis Prize for best book aimed at a general audience (2013) from the History of Science Society; and the LeRoy Apker Award for best undergraduate physics student from the American Physical Society (1993). In 2012 Kaiser was named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow, MIT's highest honor for excellence in undergraduate teaching. That same year, he also received the Frank E. Perkins Award for excellence in mentoring graduate students.