Andrew Fiss

Education

Ph.D., M.A. Indiana University
B.A. Vassar College

Background

My research explores the history of American science education not only in classrooms, but also in museums, parlors, and society meeting halls. What especially interests me are responses to education, whether they are in the form of official reports or songs and doodles. I am currently writing a book about the widespread, recurring college ceremonies of burning and burying math textbooks, which featured parades, puns, songs, arcane incantations, and mock orations.

In my courses about science writing, students can expect to take an interdisciplinary approach: analyzing the rhetoric of scientific articles, developing podcasts that present recent scientific work to the general public, and considering scientists' memoirs in light of broader social trends. My students have gone on to careers not only in the sciences, but also in history, medicine, policy, law, and business. I am especially excited to talk to students about plans for postgraduate education, and I have written a little about my own experiences in the forthcoming book: GPS for Graduate School: Students Share Their Stories (Purdue 2014).

Teaching

WRI 101 Science and Its Publics
HIS 259 American Scientific Controversies, 1813-2013