Nathan Reingold Prize

The Nathan Reingold Prize (formerly known as the Ida and Henry Schuman Prize) was established in 1955 by Ida and Henry Schuman of New York City for an original graduate student essay on the history of science and its cultural influences. The Schumans supported the prize for many years, up to Ida Schuman’s death in the ’70s, after which the History of Science Society funded the award. In 2004, thanks to the efforts of the friends and family of Nathan Reingold, the prize was fully endowed and renamed the Nathan Reingold Prize.

The ideal Reingold Prize paper should be original; historiographically sophisticated; based on primary sources, either published or archival; clearly argued; well written; and interesting. Successful papers in the past have come from parts of dissertations in progress or revised seminar papers. The prize recognizes an original and unpublished article (articles that have been accepted for publication are ineligible) on the history of science and its cultural influences written by a graduate student enrolled at any college, university, or institute of technology. Essays in the history of medicine are not eligible for the prize; however, papers dealing with the relations between medicine and the non-medical sciences are welcome. It is hoped, but not assured, that the winning article will merit publication in Isis. Essays submitted for the competition must be thoroughly documented, written in English, must not exceed 8,000 words in length (exclusive of footnotes), and should conform to the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.

Please use low resolution images. All information identifying the author by name or school should be removed from the document except for a cover sheet that is separate from the body of the paper (essays are read without knowledge of the author’s identity).

All entries must be accompanied by proof that the author is a graduate student in good standing at a school, college, or university during the year in which the prize is awarded. This proof can take the form of a dated school ID, transcript, or letter of support from an adviser on school letterhead. Proof is accepted via e-mail from a university e-mail address. Check the nomination form below for the deadline.

Submit a Nomination for the Reingold Prize

Past Winners of the Reingold (formerly Schuman) Prize

2019 Brad Bolman (Harvard University), “Pig Mentations: Race and Face in Radiobiology and Beyond”
2018 Ohad Reiss Sorokin (Princeton University), “The Early Biography of ‘Intelligence’ as a Scientific Object: Alfred Binet’s Experiments on his Daughters”
2017 Patrick Anthony (Vanderbilt University), “Natural History and Vertical Thinking in Germany’s Underground Enlightenment: Mining as the Working World of Humboldt’s Science”
2016 Adam Richter (University of Toronto), “Nature Doth Not Work by Election: John Wallis (1616-1703) on Natural and Divine Action”
2015 Evan Helpler-Smith (Princeton University), “‘A way of thinking backwards’: Chemists, computers, and a once and future method” 
2014 Iain Watts (Princeton University), “Philosophical Intelligence: Letters, Print, and Experiment during Napoleon’s Continental Blockade”
2013 No Award 
2012 Rebecca S. Onion (University of Texas at Austin), “Thrills, Chills and Science: Home Laboratories and the Making of the American Boy, 1918-1941”
2011 James Bergman (Harvard University), “Fighting Chance: The Science of Probability and the Forecast Controversy Between the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory and the U.S. Signal Service, 1884–1890”
2010 Helen Anne Curry (Yale University),“Vernacular Experimental Gardens of the Twentieth Century”
2009 Rachel N. Mason Dentinger (University of Minnesota), “Molecularizing Plant Compounds, Evolutionizing Insect-Plant Relationships: Gottfried S. Fraenkel and the physiological study of insect feeding in the 1950s” 
2008 Laurel Brown (Columbia University), “The Transmission of Arabic Astronomy to Europe and East Africa” 
2007 Hyung Wook Park (University of Minnesota), “`The Thin Rats Bury the Fat Rats’: Animal Husbandry, Caloric Restriction, and the Making of a Cross-Disciplinary Research Project” 
2006 Joy Rohde (University of Pennsylvania), “Gray Matters: Social Scientists, Military Patronage, and Disinterested Truth in the Cold War” 
2005 No Award 
2004 Alistair Sponsel (Princeton University), “Fathoming the Depth of Charles Darwin’s Theory of Coral Reef Formation: Humboldt, Hydrography, and Invertebrate Zoology” 
2003 Avner Ben-Zaken (UCLA), “Hebraist Motives, Pythagorean Itineraries and the Galilean Agendas of Naples: On the Margins of Text and Context” 
2002 Matthew Stanley (Harvard University), “‘An Expedition to Heal the Wounds and Desolation of War’: British Astronomy, the Great War and the 1919 Eclipse.” 
2001 Joshua Buhs (University of Pennsylvania), “The Fire Ant Wars: Nature and Science in the Pesticide Controversies of the Late Twentieth Century” 
2000 No Award  
1999 James Endersby (Cambridge University), “Putting Plants in their Place” 
1998 Michael D. Gordin (Harvard University), “The Importation of Being Earnest” 
1997 No Award 
1996 James Spiller (University of Wisconsin–Madison) “Re-Imagining Antarctica and the United States Antarctica Research Program: Enduring Representations of a Redemptive Science” 
1995 Helen Rozwadowski (University of Pennsylvania), “Small World: Forging a Scientific Maritime Culture” 
1994 James Strick (Princeton University), “Swimming against the Tide: Adrianus Pijper and the debate over Bacterial Flagella, 1946-1956” 
1993 Paul Lucier (Princeton University), “Commercial Interest and Scientific Disinterestedness: Geological Consultants in Antebellum America” 
1992 Sungook Hong (University of Toronto), “Making a New Role for Scientist Engineer: John Ambrose Fleming (1849-1945) and the “Ferranti Effect”” 
1991 Alex Soojung-Kim Pang (University of Pennsylvania), “The Social Event of the Season: Solar Eclipse Expeditions and 19th-century Scientific Culture” 
1990 Michael Aaron Dennis (Johns Hopkins University), “Reconstructing Technical Practice: The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Instrumentation Laboratory after World War II” 
1989 Richard J. Sorrenson (Princeton University), “Making a Living out of Science: John Dolland and the Achromatic Lens” 
1988 M. Susan Lindee (Cornell University), “Sexual Politics of a Textbook: The American Career of Jane Marcet’sConversations on Chemistry, 1806-1853” 
1987 Marcos Cueto (Columbia University), “Excellence, Institutional
Continuity, and Scientific Styles in the Periphery: Andean Biology in Peru”
1986 William Newman (Harvard University), “The Defense of Technology: Alchemical Debate in the Late Middle Ages” 
1985 Lynn Nyhart (University of Pennsylvania), “The Intellectual Geography of German Morphology, 1870-1900” 
1984 Pauline Carpenter Dear (Princeton University), “Richard Owen and the Invention of the Dinosaur” 
1983 Alexander Jones (Brown University), “The Development and Transmission of 248-Day Schemes for Lunar Motion in Astronomy” 
1982 Richard Gillespie (University of Pennsylvania), “Aerostation and Adventurism: Ballooning in France and Britain, 1783-1786” 
1981 Larry Owens (Princeton University), “Pure and Sound Government: Laboratories, Lecture Halls, and Playing Fields in Nineteenth-Century American Science” 
1980 Bruce J. Hunt (Johns Hopkins University), “Theory Invades Practice: The British Response to Hertz” 
1979 Geoffrey V. Sutton (Princeton University), “Electric Medicine and Mesmerism: The Spirit of Systems in the Enlightenment” 
1978 Robert Scott Bernstein (Princeton University), “Pasteur’s Cosmic Asymmetric Force: The Public Image and the Private Mind” 
1977 Thomas Jobe, M.D. (University of Chicago), “The Role of the Devil in Restoration Science: The Webster-Ward Witchcraft Debate” 
1976 Richard F. Hirsh (University of Wisconsin), “The Riddle of the Gaseous Nebulae: What Are They Made of?” 
1975 Lorraine J. Daston (Columbia University), “British Responses to Psycho-physiology” 
1974 Philip F. Rehbock (Johns Hopkins University), “Huxley, Haeckel, and the Oceanographers: The Case of Bathybius haeckelii” 
1973 Robert M. Friedman (Johns Hopkins University), “The Methodology of Joseph Fourier and the Problematic of Analysis” 
1972 John E. Lesch (Princeton University), “George John Romanes and Physiological Selection: A Post-Darwinian Debate and its Consequences” 
1971 Philip Kitcher (Princeton University), “Fluxions, Limits, and Infinite Littlenesse” 
1970 Daniel Siegel (Yale University), “Balfour Stewart and Gustav Kirchhoff: Two Independent Approaches to ‘Kirchhoff’s Radiation Law'” 
1969 Park Teter (Princeton University), “Bacon’s Use of the History of Science for Scientific Revolution” 
1968 Ronald S. Calinger (University of Chicago), “The Newtonian-Wolffian Controversy in St. Petersburg, 1725-1756” 
1967 Gerald Geison (Yale University), “The Physical Basis of Life: The Concept of Protoplasm 1835-1870” 
1966 Paul Forman (University of California, Berkeley), “The Doublet Riddle and Atomic Physics circa 1924” 
1965 Timothy O. Lipman (College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University), “Vitalism and Reductionism in Liebig’s Physiological Thought” 
1964 Jerry B. Cough (Cornell University), “Turgot, Lavoisier, and the Role of Heat in the Chemical Revolution” 
1963 Roy MacLeod (St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge), “Richard Owen and Evolutionism” 
1962 Robert H. Silliman (Princeton University), “William Thomson: Smoke Rings and Nineteenth-Century Atomism” 
1961 Frederic L. Holmes (Harvard University), “Elementary Analysis and the Origins of Physiological Chemistry” 
1960 H. L. Burstyn (Harvard University), “Galileo’s Attempt to Prove That the Earth Moves” 
1959 No Award 
1958 Robert Wohl (Princeton University), “Buffon and his Project for a New Science”
1957 No Award
1956 Chandler Fulton (Brown University), “Vinegar Flies, T. H. Morgan, and Columbia University: Some Fundamental Studies in Genetics”