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Jon Agar

jon agar portrait

I am a Professor of Science and Technology Studies. I write on contemporary technologies (mobile phones, ID cards) and the history of modern science and technology. I am the author of Science in the Twentieth Century and Beyond published by Polity Press. I am also editor of the British Journal for the History of Science.

Here's a podcast of me talking about Science in the 20th Century and Beyond. It's about 30 mins long and covers topics such as the challenges of writing about both the history of life and physical sciences, cross-disciplinary and global histories, accounting for the rise of American science, why 1900 is not a bad time to start a history of science, science and warfare, and the 'working worlds' argument.

Science in the 20th Century and Beyond
  • jonathan.agar (at) ucl.ac.uk
  • phone: 020 7679 3521
  • office: 22 Gordon Square, room 3.3
  • recent publications (UCL database)
  • twitter: @jon_agar

Modules

Past courses taught at STS include:

  • HPSC 1011 History of Modern Science
  • HPSC 2014 Science and Global Citizenship
  • HPSC 2015 Technology and Global Citizenship
  • HPSC 2017 Action for Global Citizenship
  • HPSC 3002 Science, Warfare and Peace
  • HPSCGA01 Introduction to Historical, Social and Philosophical Studies of Science, Medicine and Technology
  • HPSCGA40 Science in the Twentieth Century and Beyond

Books

2012. Science in the Twentieth Century and Beyond
2003. The Government Machine: a Revolutionary History of the Computer
2003. Constant Touch: a Global History of the Mobile Phone (2nd edition 2004; 3rd edition 2013)
2001. Turing and the Universal Machine
1998. Making Space for Science: Territorial Themes in the History of Science
1998. Science and Spectacle: the Work of Jodrell Bank in Post-war British Culture


Prof Jon Agar

Prof Jon Agar

Address

Room 2.2
STS
UCL, Gower Street
London
WC1E 6BT

Appointments

  • Professor of Science and Technology Studies
    Dept of Science & Technology Studies
    Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL

2007-09-01

Award year Qualification Institution
1994 PhD
Doctor of Philosophy
History of Science
University of Kent
1990 BA
Bachelor of Arts
Mathematics
University of Cambridge

Professor in Science and Technology Studies. Jon writes on contemporary technologies (mobile phones, ID cards) and the history of modern science and technology. He is the author of Science in the Twentieth Century and Beyond for Polity Press. He was the editor of the British Journal for the History of Science, and is now editor of the new open-access journal BJHS Themes.


Media

I have appeared on several radio programmes discussing history of science and technology, on diverse programmes such as:

Material World (Radio 4)
Struggle for Supremacy (Radio 4)
Good Morning Scotland (BBC Radio Scotland)
You and Yours (Radio 4)
Wiring the World (BBC World Service)
Five Live Drive (Radio 5)
Five Live Breakfast (Radio 5)
The Long View (Radio 4)
In Our Time (Radio 4)
Night Waves (Radio 3)

I have appeared on television discussing science and technology, including:

Hard Drive Heaven (BBC 4)
News at One (BBC 1)
BBC News 24 on ID cards (BBC News 24)
Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity (BBC4)

In 1992 I (with Ben Marsden and Yakup Bektas) set up and ran Mersenne, the electronic mail discussion list and bulletin board. The aim of Mersenne is to facilitate the rapid communication of events and research, and act as a forum for discussion for history/philosophy/sociology of science/technology/medicine. It has grown rapidly. There are currently 496 members, from 30 countries

Prizes

Dean’s award for teaching, Harvard University, 2007

An essay, expanding on research I carried out after my first year of postgraduate study, won the Singer Prize of the British Society for the History of Science (BSHS). The prize is awarded for the best essay by a young scholar in the subjects of history of science, technology or medicine

In 1997, my thesis was awarded the UKC Development Trust’s prize for the best thesis in the Faculty of Humanities