Full name Adrian Dominic Sinclair Johns
Date of birth
Address Department of History
Telephone 773 363 3324 (h); 773 702 2334 (o); 773 203 0809 (c)
Home pages http://home.uchicago.edu/~johns/
Allan Grant Maclear Professor
Department of History and the College
Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science
Death of a pirate: British radio and the making of the information age. W.W. Norton, 2010.
Piracy: The intellectual property wars from Gutenberg to Gates. University of Chicago Press, 2009.
Italian translation by M. Togliani and G. Mageri: Pirateria: Storia della Proprietà Intellettuale da Gutenberg a Google (Torino, Italy: Bollati Boringhieri, 2010).
[Translations into Spanish, Arabic, and Czech are in process.]
The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making. University of Chicago Press, 1998.
“False Modesty” (Essay review of S. Shapin, Never Pure.) Metascience October 2013 (DOI 10.1007/s11016-013-9846-7).
“The Information Defense Industry and the Culture of Networks.” Amodern 2 (2013): http://amodern.net/article/the-information-defense-industry-and-the-culture-of-networks/
“Gutenberg and the Samurai: Or, The Information Revolution is History.” Anthropological Quarterly 85:3 (Summer 2012), 859-83.
“Die Moral des Mischens: Audiokassetten, Private Mitschnitte und ein Neuer Wirstschaftszweig für die Verteidigung des Geistigen Eigentums” (“The Morals of Mixing: Cassettes, Home Taping, and the Emergence of the Intellectual Property Defense Industry”), Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft 6 (January 2012), 17-35 (a special issue edited by J.D. Peters and E. Schüttpelz).
“Historical Perspectives on the Circulation of Information,” American Historical Review 116:5 (December 2011), 1393-1435 [A conversation with P.N. Edwards, L. Gitelman, G. Hecht, B. Larkin, and N. Safier].
“London and the Early Modern Book,” in L. Manley (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of London (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 50-66.
“The Book in, and as, American History.” New England Quarterly 84:3 (September 2011), 496–511 (essay review of D.D. Hall, H. Amory, et al. (eds.), A History of the Book in America, 5 vols.).
“The property police.” In M. Woodmansee, P. Jaszi, and M. Biagioli (eds.), Making and Unmaking Intellectual Property: Creative Production in Legal and Cultural Perspective (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), 199-213.
“Language, Practice, and History.” In L. Bently, J. Davis, and J.C. Ginsburg (eds.), Copyright and Piracy: An Interdisciplinary Critique (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 44-52.
“The Piratical Enlightenment.” In C. Siskin and W. Warner (eds.), This is Enlightenment (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), 301-20.
“Ink.” In E. Spary and U. Klein (eds.), Materials and expertise in early modern Europe: Between Market and Laboratory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), 101-24.
“Changes in the World of Publishing.” In J. Chandler (ed.), The Cambridge history of English Romantic Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 377-402.
“Piracy as a business force.” Culture machine 10 (2009), 44-63. Online at culturemachine.net.
“Coleman Street.” Huntington Library Quarterly 71:1 (2008), 33-54. Online here.
“Truth and malicious falsehood.” Nature 451 (February 28, 2008), 1058-60.
“The identity engine: printing and publishing at the beginning of the knowledge economy.” In L. Roberts, S. Schaffer and P. Dear (eds.), The mindful hand: inquiry and invention from the late Renaissance to early industrialisation (Chicago, IL: Edita/University of Chicago Press, 2007), 403-28. Online at http://www.knaw.nl/cfdata/publicaties/detail.cfm?boeken__ordernr=20041102.
“Coffeehouses and print shops.” The Cambridge History of Science, III: Early Modern Science (ed. L. Daston and K. Park. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 320-40.
“Intellectual property and the nature of science.” Cultural Studies 20 (2006), 145-64; online here.
Arts of Transmission. Special issue of Critical Inquiry, 31:1 (Autumn 2004), edited by J. Chandler, A. Davidson, and A. Johns.
“Foreword.” In W.J. Ong, S.J., Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue: From the Art of Discourse to the Art of Reason (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004).
“Reading and Experiment in the Early Royal Society.” K. Sharpe and S. Zwicker (eds.), Reading, Society and Politics in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 244-71.
“Print and Public Science.” The Cambridge History of Science, IV: Science in the Eighteenth Century (ed. R. Porter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 536-60.
“Science and the Book.” The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain (7 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. General Editors: D.F. McKenzie, D.J. McKitterick, I.R. Willison), vol. IV (2003), 274-303.
“The Ambivalence of Authorship in early Modern Natural Philosophy,” in M. Biagioli and P. Galison (eds.), Scientific Authorship: Credit and Intellectual Property in Science (New York: Routledge, 2003), 67-90.
“How to acknowledge a revolution.” American Historical Review 107 (2002), 106-25 (part of an invited “Forum” with Elizabeth Eisenstein and Anthony Grafton).
“Pop music pirate hunters,” Daedalus 131:2 (Spring 2002), 67-77.
“Printing, Publishing and Reading in London, 1660-1720.” P. O’Brien (ed.), Urban Achievement in Early Modern Europe: Golden Ages in Antwerp, Amsterdam and London (Cambridge University Press, 2001).
“The Past, Present, and Future of the Scientific Book.” N. Jardine and M. Frasca-Spada (eds.), Books and the Sciences in History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 408-26.
“The Physiology of Reading.” N. Jardine and M. Frasca-Spada (eds.), Books and the Sciences in History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 291-314.
“Miscellaneous Methods: Authors, Societies and Journals in Early Modern England.” British Journal for the History of Science 33 (2000), 159-86.
“Identity, Practice, and Trust in Early Modern Natural Philosophy.” Historical Journal 42 (1999), 1125-45.
“Science and the Book in Modern Cultural Historiography.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 29 (1998), 167-94.
“Prudence and Pedantry in Early Modern Cosmology: The Trade of Al Ross.” History of Science 35 (1997), 23-59.
“Flamsteed’s Optics and the Identity of the Astronomical Observer.” In F. Willmoth (ed.), Flamsteed’s Stars (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 1997), 77-106.
“Natural History as Print Culture.” In N. Jardine, J. Secord, E. Spary (eds.), Cultures of Natural History: from Curiosity to Crisis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 106-24.
“The Physiology of Reading and the Anatomy of Enthusiasm.” In A. Cunningham, O. Grell (eds.), Religio Medici: Religion and Medicine in Seventeenth Century England (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1996), 136-70.
“The Physiology of Reading in Restoration England.” In J. Raven, H. Small, N. Tadmor (eds.), The Practice and Representation of Reading in England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 138-61.
“The Ideal of Scientific Collaboration: The ‘Man of Science’ and the Diffusion of Knowledge.” In H. Bots, F. Waquet (eds.), Commercium Litterarium: La Communication dans la République des Lettres, 1600-1750 (Amsterdam: APA-Holland University Press, 1994), 3-22.
“History of Science and the History of the Book.” In S. Cavaciocchi (ed.), Produzione e Commercio della Carta e del Libro Secc. XIII-XVIII (Firenze, Italy: Le Monnier, 1992), 881-90.
“History, Science and the History of the Book: the Making of Natural Philosophy in Early Modern England.” Publishing History 30 (1991), 5-30.
ii. In press and forthcoming
“Intellectual property.” In N. Thrift, A. Tickell, and S. Woolgar (eds.), Globalization in practice (Oxford: Oxford University Press). In press.
“Why We Need a History of Scientific Reading.” (In Spanish.) Ages of the Book (UNAM, Mexico City). In press.
“The Coming of Print to Europe.” In L. Howsam (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the History of the Book (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). In press.
“The Ecological Origins of Copyright Skepticism.” World Intellectual Property Organization Journal. Forthcoming.
“The Uses of Print in the History of Science.” Publications of the Bibliographical Society of America. Forthcoming.
iii. Short pieces
“Printing as a Medium.” International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences (26 vols. New York: Elsevier, 2001), 12050-12055.
“The Birth of Scientific Reading.” Nature 409:6818 (January 2001), 287.
“Printing: Invention of, Europe.” D. Jones (ed.), Censorship (4 vols. London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001), III, 1950-55.
Book reviews for Annals of Science, British Journal for the History of Science, German History, History, Isis, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Journal of Modern History, Medical History, Metascience, Nature, Physis, Renaissance Quarterly, and Times Higher Education Supplement.
Contributor to the Dictionary of National Biography, New Dictionary of National Biography, Encyclopaedia of the Scientific Revolution (Routledge, 2000), and Reader’s Guide to the History of Science (Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001).
iv. Podcasts, Newspaper Articles, etc. (selected)
“Too Much Information”: WFMU:
Hearsay Culture (Stanford Law School/KZSU-FM): http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/podcasts/20101124_Levine_127_Johns.mp3
Surprisingly Free (George Mason University):
BBC World Service:
Out-law.com (UK legal podcast):
This Way Up (Radio New Zealand):
Briefing (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
WILL-AM (Illinois Public Radio):
Journal of Science Communication (Italy):
La Repubblica (Italy): http://www.bollatiboringhieri.it/pdf/RassegnaStampa_1341.pdf
[Note: all these are in their very early stages. It is not clear how many will ever be brought to completion. They are liable to change. I include them because colleagues have indicated that it would be useful to have something like a snapshot of my current thinking and ambitions.]
The Intellectual Property Defense Industry. This will take off from the last chapter of Piracy, which argued that what is distinctive about today’s IP world is the emergence of a coherence global industry devoted to policing intellectual property. We know almost nothing about this industry – its size, scope, culture, or history – but it is in fact a major influence deciding how information culture “works” and fails to work. This project – which has now attracted support from the Guggenheim Foundation and the ACLS – will seek to provide the first in-depth account, including both close-quarters studies of IP police in action and a historical analysis extending back perhaps 300 years.
An Historical Anthropology of Scientific Reading. I have it in mind to do a large-scale, comparative analysis of reading practices across the sciences, both in our own time and in history. This would have to be a collaborative exercise conducted on a large scale. It is clear that reading practices do differ across scientific disciplines, institutions, and media, and we are starting to realize that those differences are consequential for the claims of the sciences themselves. But we lack even the most rudimentary map of reading practices in these areas. All we have to date are case studies (some, to be sure, very rich). I hope to propose a major project to provide the first empirically researched and historically situated taxonomy.
A New Areopagitica. What are the responsibilities of reading? This was a question that the poet and polemicist John Milton addressed in his Areopagitica, the classic argument against censorship that he published at the height of the English Civil War. Much of Milton’s pamphlet was in fact devoted to arguing for the advent of a republic of readers, whose duties as well as privileges he set out to define. I think that in the current moment of transition to digital media, we need to return to Milton’s question once again. This project would seek to use the history of reading to articulate what the responsibilities of the reader are – and what they should be – in the new environment.
Pharmacopoeias: print, authenticity, and modernity. A project on half a millennium of efforts to police the identity of substances (medicaments, foods, colors, etc.) by deploying the power of print. The hypothesis is that pharmacopoeias, the genre of works that sought to guarantee substances by fixing their formulae in print, pose a fundamental problem about modernity itself. They have never really worked, except through the mediation of powerful but inscrutable policing practices. Their history enables us to see both where the power of print really resides and how the stability of both texts and substances came to be taken for granted in modern society.
Synoptics. There is a long-standing ambition in many cultures of seeking to capture all knowledge about a given field – and perhaps all knowledge tout court – in a single glance. “Synoptics” is the name I give to the endeavor to realize this ambition. Its history is intertwined in complex ways with the histories of psychological knowledge, aesthetics, communications technologies, and reading practices. I hope to provide an account of how synoptics have developed and changed over time, which will throw light on how knowledge is represented in our own digital culture.
Mr Smith goes to Tokyo. Erasmus Peshine Smith was an American political economist, lawyer, and (at one point) natural scientist who was recruited by the Meiji Emperor of Japan to become his advisor on trade and foreign affairs in the 1870s. Living in the imperial quarters at a time when other Westerners were largely restricted to Yokohama, Smith had unique access to the emperor’s household, and seems to have used it to advise policies in radical opposition to those preferred by Washington and London. The result was a scandal with repercussions that extended to the bases of colonialism, the slave trade, and economic liberalism. Smith’s private papers have survived unseen, and I hope to use them to tell this story for the first time.
2000 Software installation demonstrating the use Peter Apian’s Astronomicum Caesareum (1540) for the Huntington Library’s Star Struck exhibition on the history of astronomy.
1998-2003 Project design and pilot modules for “The Universal Laboratory,” a multimedia initiative in the history and sociology of the sciences (funded by NEH as Microcosmos).
2000-01 Associate Professor, Humanities Division
1998-2000 Professor (formerly Assistant Professor) of Sociology
University of California,
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093.
1996-8 Senior Research Fellow in History
1994-6 Lecturer [=Assistant Professor] in History of Science
1991-4 Research Fellow
1990-1 Munby Fellow
2013-14 (projected) “Science, Culture, and Society II.”
“The History of Information.”
“Introduction to Science Studies.”
“Intellectual Property in History.”
2012-13 On leave.
“Introduction to Science Studies” (with K. Knorr Cetina).
“History and Historiography of Science.”
“Science, Culture, and Society II.”
2010-11 “Science, Culture, and Society I: The Scientific Revolution.”
“Early Modern Britain.”
“An Introduction to Science Studies” (with Karin Knorr).
2001-10 “Early modern Britain.”
“Introduction to science studies” (with J. Evans and with Karin Knorr Cetina).
“A history of reading.”
“Natural Philosophy 1200-1800.”
“Piracy and intellectual property.”
“Science, Culture, and Society II: the Scientific Revolution.”
“Science, Culture, and Society III: Newton to the present.”
“The book in early modern Europe.”
“Favorite readings in the history of science” (with R.J. Richards, A. Winter).
2000- Caltech “Early Modern Europe.”
2001 “Intellectual Property and Piracy from Gutenberg to Gates.”
“Science and Society.”
1998- UCSD “Introduction to Science Studies” (Graduate: with G. Doppelt).
2000 “Science and Society” (Introductory course to new minor in science and society).
“Sociology of Technology.”
“Humanities 2: Rome, Christianity, and the Middle Ages.”
“Media and Society from the Book to the Internet.”
“Introduction to Science Studies” (Graduate: with N. Oreskes).
1996-8 California Institute of Technology:
“British History 1500-1700” (part one of a new three-course sequence in British history).
“The Scientific Revolution” (solo and with K. Knox).
“Early Modern Europe.”
“The History of the Book.”
“Early Modern Europe.”
Tutor in TIDE (a pedagogic initiative in multimedia).
1994-6 University of Kent:
Convenor, lecturer, and seminar leader, “Development of the Social Sciences.”
Seminar leader, “Introduction to Literature and Science.”
Convenor, new MA program: “Writing the History of Science.”
Convenor, new Part II course: “The Making of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe.”
Lecturer, new Part I course: “The History of the Book.”
Tutorial Co-ordinator, School of History (with responsibility for progress of all students in years 2 and 3 of a 3-year degree program).
1992-96 University of Cambridge:
Part II course: “Magic in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe.”
M.Phil. in History and Philosophy of Science: supervision and assessment.
“Natural Philosophy in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, c.500-1600.”
“Natural Philosophy and the History of the Book, c.1450-1850.”
Faculty of Modern History: “Social and Natural Order in Early Modern England.”
Acting Director of Studies in History, Downing College (Lent Term.)
Supervision (1987-94): Scientific Ideas and Practice from Antiquity to the Renaissance; The
Scientific Revolution; History of Science since the Enlightenment.
2012 Gordon J. Laing Award, University of Chicago Press (for Piracy).
2012 Guggenheim Fellowship.
2012 ACLS Fellowship.
2010 Book of the Year. American Society for Information Science and Technology.
2010 Best Foreign Book From Inhouse Bestsellers award, Sharjah International Book Fair.
2005 National Science Foundation sabbatical award.
2001 American Philosophical Society sabbatical award.
1999 Leo Gershoy Award, American Historical Association.
1999 John Ben Snow Prize, North American Conference on British Studies.
1999 Louis Gottschalk Prize, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.
1999 SHARP Prize (for best book on the history of authorship, reading, and publishing).
1999 Research grant, Commmittee on Research, University of California.
1996-7 Various research and travel funds from Caltech.
1987-93 Various research grants from Downing and Corpus Christi Colleges, the British Academy, and the Royal Society.
1987-90 British Academy Major Studentship, Cambridge University.
1988 Caldwell Scholarship, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
1987 Bronowski Prize for best dissertation in the history of science, Cambridge University.
1987 Bacon Prize, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
1985 Caldwell Scholarship, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
1985 Bacon Prize, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
Admissions Committee, Department of History (2014)
Tenure Review Committee (chair), Department of History (2013)
Search Committee, postdoctoral fellowship in Disciplines and Technologies (2011-12)
Ad hoc search committee in Department of History (2011)
Chair, Search committee in History of Medicine (2010-11)
Chair, Teaching committee, Department of History (2009-present)
Chair, Fellowships and placement committee, Department of History (2007-8)
Chair, CHSS (2001-present)
Chair of the Board of University Publications, University of Chicago Press (5/04-7/06)
Chair, Search committee in British History (2006-07)
Member, Board of the Library (2009-12)
Member, Bamboo advisory board (2010- )
Member, Divisional dissertation prize committee (2008)
Member, University Committee on Intellectual Property (2007-10)
Member, committee to appraise the undergraduate program in Environmental Studies (2005)
Member, Fellowships Committee, Department of History (2003-6)
Member, Search committee in Latin American history (2004-05)
Organizer (with Richard Epstein, UC Law School): Cultural Policy Workshop series, 2004, on Intellectual Property
Beyond UC (selected)
Advisory board, History of Cartography vol. 5, University of Chicago Press.
Program chair for History of Science Society annual meeting, 2004 (with Angela Creager, Princeton)
Advisory board member, Isis (2003-06)
Referee for submissions to Historical Journal, Canadian Journal of History, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Huntington Quarterly, University of Chicago Press, Harvard University Press, Yale University Press, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Ashgate Press
Referee for proposals submitted to National Science Foundation
Referee for Macarthur Foundation
Referee for CNRS, Paris
Referee for American Council of Learned Societies
Tenure referee for various institutions (not listed here as the process involves anonymity)
Board member, Society for Critical Exchange
Committee, ASECS Gottschalk Prize: member, 1999-2000; chair, 2000-01
1987-92 Corpus Christi College, Ph.D. 1992
Cambridge University, UK.
M.A. (Cantab.) 1990
1984-7 Corpus Christi College, B.A. (Hons.), Natural Sciences 1987
Cambridge University, UK. Class I
Conferences and Presentations (2006- )
2011-12 “Ecology, Empire, and the Origins of Anti-Copyright Ideology.” Loyola University, Chicago
“Imperialism, Ecology, and the Origins of the Anti-Copyright Movement.” The New School, New York
Commentary, Society for the History of Technology annual conference, Cleveland
Commentary on Bruno Strasser, MIT [Cancelled because of illness]
“The Intellectual Property Defense Industry and the Crisis of Information.” University of British Columbia, Vancouver
“Making Waves: Pirate Radio.” Chicago Humanities Festival
“Pirate Media.” Social Sciences Division Visiting Committee Presentation, University of Chicago
“The Intellectual Property Defense Industry.” Yale University Law School
“Piracy.” University of Oklahoma
Participant in roundtable on prints and science in early modern Europe, Northwestern University
“Piracy.” University of California, Berkeley
“Medicine and the Crisis of Intellectual Property.” Entin Lecture in the History of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal
“The Invention of Scientific Reading.” University of North Carolina
“The Information Defense Industry and the History of Networks.” Keynote, conference on Network Archaeology, Miami University, Ohio
“The Invention of Scientific Reading.” Brown University.
2010-11 “Imperialism, Ecology, and the Origins of the Anti-Copyright Movement in the Nineteenth Century.” Coffin Lecture in the History of the Book, Senate House, London
“The Information Revolution is History.” HoTT Visiting Lecture, Florida State University
“For and Against Universal Libraries.” University of Chicago Library Group, Law School, University of Chicago
Commentary, International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property, annual meeting, Washington, DC
“How Readers became Poachers: Modern Media and the Sciences of Reception.” Annual lecture for the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture, University of Wisconsin, Madison,.
Panel presentation, “The History of the Book: Promise and Limits.” “The Immaterial Renaissance,” New England Renaissance Conference, Yale University
“The Use and Abuse of Universal Libraries.” “Why Books?” conference, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Historical Functions of Piracy.” Scuola per Librai Umberto e Elisabetta Mauri,
“The Promise and Peril of Universal Libraries.” California International Antiquarian Book Fair, San Francisco
“The Invention of Intellectual Property.” Joint CCHS/University Library public lecture series on the History of the Book, Northwestern University. Podcast here.
“Inscriptions and Mechanisms in the Invention of Intellectual Property.” Keynote address, “Inscriptions: The Material Contours of Knowledge” conference, UC Riverside, March 2011. Podcast here.
“The Use and Abuse of the Universal Library.” Huntington Library, San Marino, California
“The Morals of Mixing: Cassettes, Home Taping, and the Emergence of the Intellectual Property Defense Industry.” Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Lecturer, University of Iowa
and Machines in the Constitution of Intellectual Property.”
the Universal Library: The Morals of Massive Research Collections, 1810-2010.”
“Media Histories” conference,
History and Politics of Policing Intellectual Property.” Chicago Cultural
Introduction, CDI Project meeting on “Five New Projects.” Franke Center, University of Chicago
“The Mechanizing of the Word: Texts and Machines in the Constitution of Intellectual Property.” Walter J. Ong, S.J., Memorial Lecture, St. Louis University
“Imperialism, Ecology, and the Globalization of Copyright in the Nineteenth century.” Bongiorno Lecture, Oberlin College
“Creativity, Copyright, and the Universal Library: Romanticism and Writing at Times of Media Revolution.” Center for Law, Technology, and the Arts/Center for the Study of Writing, Case Western Reserve University
Crisis of Intellectual Property.” Center for Global Humanities,
Debate over Google’s Universal Library in Historical Perspective.”
2009-10 “For and against universal libraries.” Bennington College.
“For and against Universal Libraries.” UCSD.
“Death of a Pirate.” History Dept., University of Chicago.
“The IP defense industry.” Midwest Faculty Forum.
“Historicizing Google.” Keynote, Center for Library Initiatives Conference.
“The future of Books.” UC Alumni Club.
“The Piratical Enlightenment.” UIUC.
Keynote, OCLC conference, Chicago.
2008-09 “God goes to Grub Street.” Beinecke Library, Yale University.
“Reading, listening, and viewing: social practices and the problem of public knowledge.” UCSB.
2007-08 “The authenticity engine.” Society for Scholarly Publishing, Boston, MA.
“Pirate principles: information, monopolies, and media in the modern age.” Yale University.
“Pharmaceuticals and the origins of modernity: adulteration, piracy, and credit in the early Enlightenment.” University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
“Babbage and the book: information, modernity, and media at the origin of the knowledge economy.” University of Chicago.
“Death of a Pirate: Murder and Media in the 1960s.” University of Michigan.
“Pirate Listeners and the Political Economy of Broadcasting, 1920-1950.” History of Science Society, Washington, DC.
“Babbage and the Book: Printing in the Creation of an Information Society.” Breslauer Lecture, UCLA.
2006-07 “The open source campaign in Victorian England.” Mossman Lecture, McGill University.
“The future of the history of science.” McGill University.
“The printing counter-revolution.” Conference on “mediating Enlightenment,” NYU.
“The identity engine: printing and publishing in the development of the knowledge economy.” UC Irvine.
“The identity engine: printing and publishing in the creation of the knowledge economy.” SHARP conference keynote, Minneapolis.
“Inventors, Schemers, and Men of Science: Intellectual Property and its Enemies in Victorian England.” Nicholson Center, University of Chicago.
“The politics of patenting and the nature of science.” HPSS Workshop, University of Chicago.
Round table on “Intellectual Property, policy, and public culture.” Society of Fellows, Chicago.
“When All Intellectual Property was Theft: The Nineteenth-Century Assault on Patenting and Copyright.” University of California, Berkeley.
“Science, industry, and empire in the invention of intellectual property.” University of Notre Dame.