Research Interests

  • History of Science and Technology
  • History of Mountaineering
  • History of the Oceans



  • PhD, History of Science and Technology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1999
  • University of Mississippi, Department of Physics, 1991-1992
  • BA, Program of Liberal Studies, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, 1991

Awards, Honors, and Affiliations

  • President's Excellence in Teaching Award, 2012
  • National Science Foundation, Collaborative Research Grant, Science and Technology Studies. PI, “John Tyndall and Nineteenth-Century Science.” (2009)
  • Charles & Nora L. Wiley Faculty Award for Meritorious Research, (2009)
  • Co-PI, National Science Foundation Small Grant for Training and Research, "Mile High, Mile Deep: Imagining and Modifying Topographical and Subterranean Environments" (2004)

Select Publications

Michael Reidy


  • Tides of History: Ocean Science and Her Majesty’s Navy (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2008).
  • Exploration and Science (New York: ABC-CLIO, 2006). First author, with Erik Conway and Gary Kroll.
  • Communicating Science: The Scientific Article from the 17th Century to the Present (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2002; Parlor Press (paperback), 2009). Third author, with Alan G. Gross and Joseph E. Harmon.

Edited Volumes

  • The Age of Scientific Naturalism: Tyndall and His Contemporaries. With Bernard Lightman. (London: Pickering & Chatto Press, 2014).
  • Co-General Editor, The Correspondence of John Tyndall, 16 vols. Under contract with the University of Pittsburgh Press.  First two volumes have appeared.

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Mountaineering, Masculinity, and the Male Body in Victorian Britain,” in Robert Nye and Erika Milam (eds.), “Scientific Masculinities,” Osiris, Vol. 30 (November, 2015).
  •  “Oceans through Islands to Mountains: Creating the ‘Correspondence Principle’,” pp. 192-210, in John Gillis and Franziska Toma (eds.), Fluid Frontiers: New Currents in Marine Environmental History (Cambridge, UK: White Horse Press, 2015). 

  • “The Spaces In-Between: Science, Ocean, Empire,” Isis, Vol. 105, no. 2 (June, 2014), pp. 338-351.  Co-authored with Helen Rozwadowski.
  • “Scientific Naturalism on High:  The X-Club Sequesters the Alps,” in Bernard Lightman and Gowan Dawson (eds.), Victorian Scientific Naturalism: Community, Identity, Continuity  (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2014), pp. 55-78.
  • “From Oceans to Mountains: Constructing Space in the Imperial Mind,” in Knowing Global Environments: New Historical Perspectives on the Field Sciences, edited by Jeremy Vetter (Rutgers University Press, 2010), pp. 17-38. 
  • “John Tyndall’s Vertical Physics: From Rock Quarries to Icy Peaks,” Physics in Perspective 12 (2010), pp. 122-145.

Short Essays

  • “Coming Down, or How Mountaineering Changed Science,” The Alpine Journal: A Record of Mountain Adventures and Scientific Observations Since 1863, Vol. 116 (September, 2013), pp. 53-62. (150th Anniversary Edition)
  • “Cosmic Emotion,” Alpinist Magazine (Summer, 2012), pp. 93-96.  
  • “The Rucksack of Joseph Dalton Hooker,” Alpinist Magazine (Winter, 2010-2011), pp. 83-86.

Current Research Project

  • Mountains and Minds: Verticality and the Rise of Modern Science. Book manuscript examining the history of British science and mountaineering in the age of empire.  It contains seven chapters covering seven different sciences on seven different mountain ranges. In preliminary discussions with University of Chicago Press.