Press Release

History of Science Prize to Jenny Bulstrode: Awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences


The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has named Jenny Bulstrode the recipient of the 2018 Sarton Prize for History of Science in recognition of her achievement and promise as an emerging scholar in the field. 

Jenny Bulstrode is a doctoral student and researcher at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge (HPS) and National Maritime Museum, Greenwich (NMM). She was awarded the Singer Prize for her work on the relationship between archaeology, manufacture, and the industrial society of mid-Victorian Britain, which was published by The British Journal for the History of Science.

The Prize Committee at the American Academy was impressed with the breadth, depth, and relevance of Bulstrode’s work. Her range of subjects in the past few years includes the development of instrumentation and economic management in the context of mining, Victorian earth sciences and the geomagnetic survey, magnetic technique and the whaling industry, and the relation between innovation in the clock-trade and the changes in economic regulation in the age of reform. Her approach to every subject illuminates the science, the culture, and the way the two are connected. Bulstrode will begin a stipended Research Fellowship at Jesus College, University of Cambridge, in October 2019.

The Sarton Prize was established by May Sarton – a widely beloved poet, author of fifty books, and member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences – to honor the memory of her father, George Sarton, considered to be the founder of the discipline of the history of science. Presented for the first time in 1999, the Sarton Prize recognizes early-career historians of science of exceptional promise and distinguished achievement.

Through the Sarton Prize, the American Academy demonstrates its commitment to nurturing a new generation of scholars, and Jenny Bulstrode’s acumen and creativity make her a superb recipient,” noted David W. Oxtoby, President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. “Each time we award this prize we honor the memories of George and May Sarton and support the progress and promise of a rising talent.”

Simon Schaffer, Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge and former editor of The British Journal for the History of Science, noted that Jenny Bulstrode “possesses an outstanding background in history of science and technology and historical studies of material culture. She is one of the most exciting and intellectually engaged young researchers whom I have encountered in the past three decades.”

Previous Sarton Prize recipients include Melinda Baldwin, Books Editor at Physics Today and author of Making Nature: The History of a Scientific Journal (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and Cristina Chimisso, Senior Lecturer in European Studies and Philosophy at the Open University and author of Writing the History of the Mind: Philosophy and Science in France, 1900–1960s (Ashgate, 2008).

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, founded in 1780, honors excellence and brings together members and other leaders across disciplines, fields, and professions to pursue nonpartisan research and provide critical insight on issues of profound importance to the nation and the world. Areas of focus include the arts and humanities, democracy, education, global affairs, and science policy.