Ronald E. Doel

Membership:  2020

Member Bio

Ron Doel is associate professor of history (history of science, technology, and environmental history) at Florida State University. He has long been fascinated by the influence of military patronage on the rise of the physical branches of the environmental sciences after World War II, as well as the international relations of science in the twentieth century and beyond (full confession: he is also deeply interested in what historical photographs of scientists and scientific activities can tell us about the social and intellectual practices of modern science). Between 2008 and 2013 he served as Project Leader of a 9-member, 7-nation internationally collaborative study (“Colony, Empire, Environment: A Comparative International History of Twentieth Century Arctic Science”), initiated by the European Science Foundation BOREAS initiative—and his team was the only history-based group funded by this competition. That effort led to a dedicated edition of the Journal of Historical Geography (April 2014, vol. 14) that yielded transnational insights into global Arctic developments. A question he asks his undergraduate students isso… just when did the Pentagon first became interested in polar warming?


  • with Kristine C. Harper, and Matthias Heymann, eds. Exploring Greenland: Cold War Science and Technology on Ice (New York: Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2016).
  • with Suzanne Zeller and Urban Wråkberg, “Science, Environmental Knowledge, and the New Arctic.” Introduction to special edition of Journal of Historical Geography, 44 (2014): 2-14. (Doel, Zeller, Wråkberg, eds., special edition).
  • Quelle place pour les sciences de l’environment physique dans l’histoire environmentale?” Revue d’histoire modern et contemporaine, vol. 56, no. 4 (2009): 137-164.
  • Solar System Astronomy in America: Communities, Patronage, and Interdisciplinary Research (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996; reissued as paperback July 2009).
  • with Thomas Söderqvist, eds. The Historiography of Recent Science, Technology, and Medicine: Writing Recent Science (London: Routledge, 2006).
  • Constituting the Postwar Earth Sciences: The Military’s Influence on the Environmental Sciences in the USA After 1945.” Social Studies of Science 33, 5 (2003): 635-666.