Science and Technology Studies


STS offers degrees at each university level: undergraduate, masters, and PhD

Prof Simon Werrett

Prof Simon Werrett

Professor of the History of Science

Dept of Science & Technology Studies

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2012

Research summary

Werrett's work explores interactions between the arts and the sciences in the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. His first monograph Fireworks: Pyrotechnic Arts and Sciences in European History (University of Chicago Press, 2010) examined exchanges of skills and techniques between early modern pyrotechnists and natural philosophers in Britain, France and Russia. Werrett’s current research explores the history of what he calls "thrifty science" an experimental approach to natural inquiry foregrounding re-use, adaptation, repair and exchange. This project examines thrifty science in Britain and North America between the seventeenth century and the present, and contributes to a broader interest in relations of science and environmental history. Werrett also has a longstanding interest in Russian and Soviet sciences and has published numerous articles on this topic. He has also published articles on science, technology, and empire, including articles on Captain Cook, Russian voyages of exploration, and the development of the Congreve war rocket in India and Great Britain in the nineteenth century.

Teaching summary

Simon Werrett teaches modules in History and Philosophy of Science, and Science and Technology Studies, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Modules variously survey the history of science in the ancient and early modern world; the history of science in Russia and the Soviet Union; and global histories of science.



University of Cambridge
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2000
University of Cambridge
Other higher degree, Master of Philosophy | 1996
University of Leeds
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) | 1994


Simon Werrett trained in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science in Cambridge University before taking postdoctoral fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and the Getty Research Center in Los Angeles. From 2002 he was a member of the Department of History at the University of Washington, Seattle, before joining UCL in 2012.