Ted Davis' Research
Distinguished Professor of the History of Science
Unlike everyone else in the department, I’m not a biologist; I’m an historian of science who specializes in the history of Christianity and science. For many years I worked on the English chemist Robert Boyle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Boyle), editing with Michael Hunter (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/about-us/fellows/michael-hunter) The Works of Robert Boyle (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/boyle/researchers/works/boyle_works.html), 14 vols. (Pickering & Chatto, 1999-2000), and a separate edition of Boyle’s treatise on God and nature, A Free Enquiry into the Vulgarly Received Notion of Nature (http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/philosophy/philosophy-texts/robert-boyle-free-enquiry-vulgarly-received-notion-nature?format=PB) (Cambridge University Press, 1996). My current project, supported by the National Science Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation, examines the religious activities and beliefs of prominent American scientists from the period between the two world wars. An article about this was published in American Scientist (https://www.americanscientist.org/article/science-and-religious-fundamentalism-in-the-1920s), while several separate studies of five individual scientists, including Nobel laureates Robert Millikan and Arthur Holly Compton, have appeared in various venues. All together I’ve published dozens of articles about Christianity and science in the Scientific Revolution and modern America, including a study of modern Jonah stories that was featured on two BBC radio programs.
Students from Biological Sciences and other departments have been involved with most of these projects. The skills they acquired as my research assistants helped prepare them for graduate work at top universities, including Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Maryland.
In addition to traditional scholarship, I write biweekly columns about science and religion for the BioLogos Foundation (https://biologos.org/blogs/ted-davis-reading-the-book-of-nature) and direct The Central Pennsylvania Forum for Religion and Science (http://www.messiah.edu/godandscience). I’m also a former president of the American Scientific Affiliation (www.asa3.org), the oldest American organization for Christians in the sciences.