Beckman Institute faculty member Lillian Hoddeson has been named as the first Thomas M. Siebel Chair in the History of Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Hoddeson is a Professor of History, a Research Physicist, a Campus Honors Program Professor, and an affiliate faculty member at the Institute. She is collaborating on a Beckman seed proposal with NeuroTech group member Thomas Anastasio that looks at analogies between social systems and neural systems in an effort to provide new perspectives for understanding both systems.
Antoinette Burton, Chair of the Department of History, said Hoddeson was the ideal choice for the first-ever Siebel Chair in the History of Science.
"Professor Hoddeson is internationally known and well-respected, not just among historians of science and but among physicists themselves a rare enough accomplishment in the field," Burton said. "She has a global reputation, much of which has been linked to historicizing the production of scientific knowledge at Illinois and in the state more generally."
A faculty member in the Department of History at UIUC since 1989, Hoddesons specialty is the history of twentieth-century science and technology, including topics such as modern physics, electronics, atomic weapons, the invention of alternative energy technologies, and oral history. She has written or edited seven books and more than 50 articles on the history of science or technology, including two prize-winning books, one on the history of the transistor (Crystal Fire, 1997) and another on the life of two-time Nobel Prize winner John Bardeen (True Genius, 2002).
Hoddeson has a Ph.D. in Physics from Columbia University and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Center for Advanced Study at Illinois, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.