11 May 2022

Niels Bohr Archive and Department of Science Education welcome Richard Staley

Richard Staley
Richard Staley

We welcome Richard Staley, professor in History of Science at the Department of Science Education, to Copenhagen. Professor Staley is pursuing projects on climate change and the history of AI as well as the making of modern physics in the twentieth century, and will conduct research based on the archival holdings of the Niels Bohr Archive (NBA). The intention with the position is to strengthen research into the life and work of Niels Bohr and to further increase collaboration between the Niels Bohr Archive and other parts of the university.

“Richard Staley is a remarkable scholar who has had a continuous impact on his field. He has many interesting ideas that can build bridges between several of the Department’s areas and expand on the connection between the department and the Niels Bohr Archive,” says Jan Alexis Nielsen, Head of Department of Science Education.

Richard Staley holds a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge University. He is currently Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, and has held research and teaching positions in Germany, Australia, and the United States.

“I am absolutely thrilled—not just for DSE and NBA, but also personally—that Richard Staley has agreed to come to Copenhagen”, says Christian Joas, Director of the Niels Bohr Archive.

“I very much look forward to collaborating with him. Richard is not just an outstanding historian of science of incredible breadth and creativity, he is also an innovative teacher and an incredibly skilled communicator. His presence will strengthen ongoing collaborations between NBA and DSE, it will provide a boost to our interdisciplinary activities bridging the sciences and the humanities, and it will help establish a strong liaison between one of the world centres in the history of science, Cambridge, and UCPH.”

The Board of Directors of the Niels Bohr Archive, and in particular its former chairman Vilhelm Bohr as well as its current chairman John Renner Hansen, were instrumental in creating the new position.

“The appointment of Richard Staley as professor in History of Science completes a longstanding wish to strengthen research in connection with the Niels Bohr Archive's extensive collections of material about Niels Bohr” says John Renner Hansen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Niels Bohr Archive.

“Professor Staley’s unique international position will make the Niels Bohr Archive an even more attractive place to visit for international scholars in History of Science as well as for students with emerging interest in the field. It will be exciting to follow the work of professor Staley and his collaborators at the Archive towards a new and better understanding of Niels Bohr’s exceptional contribution to science and society”.

Richard Staley started in his position on October 1st, 2021, and is now physically present in Copenhagen.

“Niels Bohr played such an important role in developing modern physics, and that is naturally of great cultural importance for physics in Denmark. And with its close association to the Niels Bohr Institute, the Niels Bohr Archive is also uniquely positioned to help find ways in which archives and research carried on with them can deepen our understanding of the past while looking ahead too,” says Richard Staley.

“As a historian I really like how DSE is concerned with how history and philosophy of science can improve science. This is also my vision for the Niels Bohr Archive, and I look forward to being a part of an archive that works together with Danish and international researchers for the future of physics.”

Richard Staley will continue his affiliation with Cambridge and share his time evenly between Copenhagen and Cambridge.

Corresponding news item on the homepage of the Department of Science Education in English and Danish.