Interest and areas of expertise
In both teaching and research, I emphasize the human side of science, especially the interaction of Christianity and science from the Church Fathers down to the present day. My scholarly publications mostly deal with aspects of the Scientific Revolution (the period from Copernicus to Newton), especially the life and work of the great chemist Robert Boyle, or with science and religion in modern America, especially in the period between the two world wars. Projects in both areas have been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation. Students serving as scholar interns have often assisted in my research and received appropriate credit at the time of publication. I also write about science and religion for print magazines and web sites, including biweekly columns for the BioLogos Forum.
My training crosses the gap between the sciences and the humanities. Originally I studied physics, intending to become an astrophysicist. However, as I learned more about science and Christianity after college, I decided to do graduate study in the history of science, in order to turn my growing fascination with that subject into a career as a college professor.
- B.S. Physics (Drexel University)
- M.A. and Ph.D. History & Philosophy of Science (Indiana University)
Classes I teach
- First Year Seminar ("Galileo and the Church")
- Capstone: Natural Sciences
- Science, Technology, and the World (various topics, including "The Origins Controversy in America," "History of Modern Science," "Social Aspects of Modern Science," and "Issues in Science and Religion")
Examples of Published Work (recent articles)
“Science Falsely So Called: Fundamentalism and Science.” In The Blackwell Companion to Christianity and Science, edited by J. B. Stump and Alan G. Padgett (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2012), pp. 48-60.
“Altruism and the Administration of the Universe: Kirtley Fletcher Mather on Science and Values.” Zygon 46.3 (Sept 2011): 517-35.
“Prophet of Science: Arthur Holly Compton on Science, Freedom, Religion, and Morality.” Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 61.2 (June 2009): 73-83, 61.3 (September 2009): 175-90, and 61.4 (December 2009): 240-53.
“Robert Andrews Millikan: Religion, Science, and Modernity.” In Eminent Lives in Twentieth-Century Science & Religion, edited by Nicolaas A. Rupke (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2009), pp. 253-74.
“Michael Idvorsky Pupin: Cosmic Beauty, Created Order, and the Divine Word.” In Eminent Lives in Twentieth-Century Science & Religion, edited by Nicolaas A. Rupke (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2009), pp. 295-316.
“Fundamentalist Cartoons, Modernist Pamphlets, and the Religious Image of Science in the Scopes Era.” In Religion and the Culture of Print in Modern America, edited by Charles L. Cohen and Paul S. Boyer (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2008), pp. 175-98.
“Science and Religious Fundamentalism in the 1920s: Religious Pamphlets by Leading Scientists of the Scopes Era Provide Insight into Public Debates about Science and Religion.” American Scientist 93.3 (May-June 2005): 254-60.
Examples of Published Work (editions of historically important sources)
Michael Hunter and Edward B. Davis, editors, The Works of Robert Boyle, 14 volumes. London: Pickering & Chatto, 1999-2000.
Edward B. Davis and Michael Hunter, editors, Robert Boyle, A Free Enquiry into the Vulgarly Received Notion of Nature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.