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recognizes an original and unpublished article (articles that have been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

2020 Meira Gold (York University), “Shit Archaeology: Ancient Fertilizer
and the Manufacture of British Egyptology, 1877-1906”
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
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
2014 Iain Watts (Princeton University), “Philosophical Intelligence:
Letters, Print, and Experiment during Napoleon’s Continental
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,
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,
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
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
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
1998 Michael D. Gordin (Harvard University), “The Importation of Being
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,
1993 Paul Lucier (Princeton University), “Commercial Interest and
Scientific Disinterestedness: Geological Consultants in Antebellum
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 Dollond 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
and Scientific Styles in the Periphery: Andean Biology in
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
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
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
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
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
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
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”