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Deborah Rachel Coen

Professor of History, Barnard College
  • Member, Committee on Global Thought

Deborah Coen is Professor of History, Barnard College. Professor Coen is the Curriculum Director for the Columbia Center for Science & Society. She is also a member of Columbia’s Presidential Committee on Society & Neuroscience, European Institute, and Harriman Institute. Prior to coming to Barnard, Professor Coen was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows.

Professor Coen has taught such courses as “Bodies and Machines, 1750-1939,” “History of Environmental Thinking,” “Gender and Knowledge in Modern History,” “Vienna and the Birth of the Modern,” and “Central Europe: Nations, Cultures, and Ideas.”

Professor Coen’s research centers on the history of the physical and earth sciences and the cultural history of central Europe. Her current book project, Climate in Word and Image: Science and the Austrian Idea, explores how climate came to be understood in terms of the exchange of energy among systems at a spectrum of scales, from the molecular to the hemispheric.

Curriculum Vitae

· Deborah R. Coen CV

Selected Publications

· The Earthquake Observers: Disaster Science from Lisbon to Richter (University of Chicago Press, January, 2013)

· Vienna in the Age of Uncertainty: Science, Liberalism, and Private Life (University of Chicago Press, 2007; paperback 2011)

· Editor, Witness to Disaster: Earthquakes and Expertise in Comparative Perspective, Science in Context volume 25, issue 1 (2012)

· Co-Editor, with James R. Fleming and Vladimir Jankovic, Intimate Universality: Local and Global Themes in the History of Weather and Climate (Science History Publications, 2006)

· “The Common World: Histories of Science and Domestic Intimacy,” Modern Intellectual History 11 (2014): 417-438.

Select Honors and Awards

· Guggenheim Fellowship (2017)

· NYPL-ACLS Fellowship, Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers (2014-15)


· PhD, History of Science, Harvard University

· MPhil, History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge University

· AB (magna cum laude), Physics, Harvard University

Research & Other Works
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