Michael M. Sokal
Teaching and Research Interests
- History of American Science and Technology.
- History of Psychology.
- B.E. (Electrical
Engineering), The Cooper Union, New York, NY, 1966.
- M.A., Ph.D. (History of
Science & Technology), Case Western
Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 1968, 1972.
Courses Formerly Taught at WPI
- HI 1332: Introduction to the
History of Technology.
- HI 2331: American Science &
Technology to 1859.
- HI 2332: American Science &
Technology from 1859.
- HI 3333: Topics in American
- IS 1813: American History for
Projects Formerly Directed at WPI
- Major Qualifying Projects (MQPs) and Sufficiency Projects (IS/Ps)
in History of Science and Technology.
- Interactive Qualifying Projects (IQPs) through WPI's Living Museums Program.
Guidelines for Writing and Documenting Sources
Students who took my courses and
completed their projects under my direction found this linked set of Writing Guidelines and
this linked Statement on
Documenting Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism useful as they completed
their assignments and project documents.
Honors at WPI
- President's Award for Interactive Qualifying Project Advising, 1980.
- Trustees' Award for Outstanding Creative Scholarship, 1988.
- Paris Fletcher Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, 1993-95.
- Class of 1897 Award for Sufficiency Project Advising, 1998, 2004.
Recent Professional Activity
- Editor, History of Psychology, a scholarly journal published
quarterly by the American Psychological
Association for its Division, 26, the Society for the
History of Psychology (1997-2005).
- Vice-President (2002-2003) and President (2004-2005), History of Science Society.
- Program Director, Science & Technology Studies Program, Division of
Social & Economic Sciences, National Science
Foundation (NSF), 1998-2000.
- Committee of Visitors, Programs in Ethics & Value Studies, Research on
Science & Technology, and Science & Technology Studies, Division of
Social, Behavioral, & Economic Research, NSF, 1996.
- Visiting Program Officer, National
Endowment for the Humanities
(NEH), and Coordinator, "Integrating Science and Humanities in Undergraduate Education" Program,
jointly sponsored by NEH and NSF, 1995.
- Executive Secretary, History of
- Other Professional Activity.
- Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society; elected 1973.
- American Psychological Association Centennial Lecturer, 1979-80, 1991-92.
- Sigma Xi National Lecturer, 1979-81.
- Visiting Scholar, Department of the History of Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 1981-82,
- Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science; elected 1991.
- Chair-Elect, Chair, & Immediate Past Chair, Section on History and
Philosophy of Science, American Association for the Advancement of
- Wallace A. Russell Lecturer, Division of the History of Psychology,
American Psychological Association, August 2001.
- Vice-President (2002-2003) and President (2004-2005), History of
- (with others) NSF Program in History and Philosophy of Science, Major Grants for Conference on
Critical Problems and Research Frontiers in History of Science and Technology, 1989-92.
- Richard Lounsbery Foundation, Major Grant for History of Science Society Committee on Education,
- Pfizer, Inc., Small Grant for the History of Science Society Committee on Publications, 1990.
- Rockefeller Foundation, Major Grant for History of Science Society Quincentenary Fellowships for
Latin American Scholars, 1990-91.
- Richard Lounsbery Foundation, Major Grant for History of Science Society International Travel
- Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Major Grant for Russian Scholars at Conference on Critical Problems
and Research Frontiers in History of Science and Technology, 1991.
- NSF Program in Science and Technology Studies, Grant for Exploratory Research for the History of
Science Society Survey of Human-Genome-Project Documentation Policies and Practices, 1992.
- NSF Program in Science and Technology Studies, Major Research Grant, 1993-95.
- Other Grants and Fellowships
Recent Major Publications
- "Origins and Early Years of the American Psychological Association," American Psychologist
47 (1992): 111-122; reprinted in The American Psychological Association: A Historical
Perspective, edited by Rand B. Evans, Virginia S. Sexton and Thomas C. Cadwallader (American
Psychological Association, 1992), pp. 43-71.
- "Gestalt Psychology in America in the 1920s and 1930s," in Gestalt Psychology: Its Origins,
Foundations and Influence: An International Workshop, edited by Stefano Poggi (Firenze: Leo S.
Olschki, 1994), pp. 87-119.
- "James McKeen Cattell, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the American Psychological
Association, 1891-1902," in Aspects of the History of Psychology in America: 1892-1992, edited
by Helmut E. Adler and Robert W. Rieber (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol. 727,
1994), pp. 13-35.
- "Stargazing: James McKeen Cattell, American Men of Science, and the Reward Structure of the
American Scientific Community, 1906-1944," in Psychology, Science, and Human Affairs: Essays in
Honor of William Bevan, edited by Frank Kessel (Westview Press, 1995), pp. 64-86.
- "Baldwin, Cattell, and the Psychological Review: A Collaboration and Its Discontents," History
of the Human Sciences 10 (1997): 57-89.
- "Editorial: On History of Psychology's Launch," History of
Psychology 1 (1998): 3-7.
- (with Sally Gregory Kohlstedt and Bruce Lewenstein) The
Establishment of Science in America: 150 Years of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science (Rutgers University Press,
- "The History of Science Society, 1970-1999: From Subscription Agency
to Professional Society," Isis 90 (1999): S135-S181.
- "Practical Phrenology as Psychological Counseling in the 19th-Century
United States," in The Transformation of Psychology: Influences of
19th-Century Philosophy, Technology, and Natural Science, edited by
Christopher D. Green, Marlene Shore, and Thomas Teo (American
Psychological Association, 2001), pp. 21-44.
- "Thinking Inside the Box"; review of Henry Petroski, Small Things
Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design (New York: Knopf, 2003),
in Scientific American, October 2003, pp. 98-99.
- Other Major Publications
Recent Major Presentations
- "In the Beginning: The Origins and Earliest Years of the American Psychological Association,"
Distinguished Centennial Address, American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA, 16 August
- "James McKeen Cattell, The New York Academy of Sciences, and the American Psychological
Association," New York Academy of Sciences, New York, NY, 15 February 1992.
- "Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi: Two Centuries of Academic Achievement in America," Phi Beta
Kappa-Sigma Xi induction address, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 22 April 1992.
- "Cattell, Baldwin, and The Psychological Review: A Collaboration and Its Discontents," invited
address, Cheiron, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME, 23 June 1995.
- "Los Psicólogos de la Gestalt en la Ameríca Conductista," Spanish Society for the
History of Psychology, Barcelona, Spain, 7 May 1998.
- "James McKeen Cattell in 1917," Wallace A. Russell Lecture, Division
of the History of Psychology, American Psychological Association, San
Francisco, CA, August 2001.
- "James McKeen Cattell, Columbia University, and the Ironies of
Acadenic Freedom, 1891-1917," Guest Lecture, European Society for the
History of the Human Sciences, York, England, 29 August 2003.
- Other Major Presentations
Cartoons by Sidney Harris
Michael M. Sokal
Professor of History
Deartment of Humanities & Arts
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
100 Institute Road
Worcester, MA 01609
Telephone: (508) 831-5712
Fax: (508) 831-5932
Last modified: Saturday, 25 March 2006