Cyrus C. M. Mody
Assistant Professor of History
Email: Cyrus.Mody@rice.edu Phone: X2553 Office: 309 Humanities
- Ph.D. Cornell University, 2004
- A.B. Harvard University, 1997
Areas of Interest
Research and Teaching
Professor Mody teaches the history of science, technology, and engineering in the modern era (~1600 to the present). His own research focuses on the physical and engineering sciences in the very modern era (~1970 to the present), with particular emphasis on the creation of new communities and institutions of science in the late Cold War and the post-Cold War periods. His book, Instrumental Community: Probe Microscopy and the Path to Nanotechnology (MIT Press, 2011) explores the co-evolution of an experimental technology (the scanning tunneling microscope and atomic force microscope and their variants) and the community of researchers who built, bought, used, sold, theorized, or borrowed these instruments. Currently, he is working on a monograph entitled The Long Arm of Moore’s Law: Microelectronics and American Science which explores the changes in US university-government-industry partnerships since 1970 driven by changes in the structure of the global semiconductor industry. He is also researching a third monograph, Through Change and through Storm: American Physical and Engineering Scientists in the Long 1970s, which will examine US
scientists’ and engineers’ varied and creative responses to the crises faced by their nation and their disciplines in the Vietnam era. Mody collaborates extensively with colleagues at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia, and here at Rice.
Prof. Mody has served on dissertation committees for doctoral candidates in History and Anthropology. He has taught the History department’s graduate prospectus seminar and co-taught (with Carl Caldwell) the graduate pedagogy seminar. He is available to advise graduate students interested in the history of science or technology (or science and technology studies more generally), and can offer graduate seminars in those
- with Hyungsub Choi, “From Materials Science to Nanotechnology: Institutions, Communities, and Disciplines at Cornell University, 1960-2000,” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 43.2 (2013):121-161.
- with Andrew J. Nelson, “‘A Towering Virtue of Necessity’: Computer Music at Vietnam-Era Stanford,” Osiris 28 [Music in the Laboratory] (2013): 254-277.
- “Molecular Electronics in the Longue Durée: The Microelectronics Origins of Nanotechnology” (withHyungsub Choi). Social Studies of Science, forthcoming.
- “Universities, Corporations, and Instrumental Communities: Commercializing Probe Microscopy, 1981-1996.” Technology and Culture 47, no. 1 (2006): 56-80.
- “The Sounds of Science: Listening to Laboratory Practice.” Science, Technology, and Human Values30, no. 2 (2005): 175-198.
- “Small, But Determined: Technological Determinism in Nanoscience.” Hyle/Techne (special joint issue on nanotechnology) 10, no. 2 (2004): 99-128.
- “A Little Dirt Never Hurt Anyone: Knowledge-Making and Contamination in Materials Science.” Social Studies of Science 31, no. 1 (2001): 7-36
|“‘A Towering Virtue of Necessity’:
Computer Music at Vietnam-Era Stanford,”
Osiris 28 [Music in the Laboratory] (2013): 254-277.
|“From Materials Science to Nanotechnology:
Institutions, Communities, and Disciplines
at Cornell University, 1960-2000,” Historical
Studies in the Natural Sciences 43.2 (2013): 121-161.
- Professor Mody’s current CV
Professor Mody's personal web site.