Curriculum Vitae of Dana A. Freiburger
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Research Interests

Broad interests in history of science and technology in the United States during the last two centuries. Additional interest in the study of scientific instruments and the physical sciences in Japan during the Meiji and Taishō periods.


Ph.D., History of Science, Medicine and Technology. University of Wisconsin-Madison (in progress). My dissertation examines the place of science in 19th-Century American Catholic higher education. Advisor: Ronald L. Numbers

M.E., Technical Japanese. University of Wisconsin-Madison (2005)

M.A., History of Science. University of Wisconsin-Madison (2002). Thesis: “We shall be able to beat those yattya hottya [pompous] people” - Building a Japanese Research Tradition in Physics: Hantaro Nagaoka and the Spectroscope. Advisor: Richard Staley

M.Sc., History of Science: Instruments, Museums, Science, Technology. University of Oxford (1999). Dissertation: 18th-Century Surveying Instruments of John Thompson. Advisor: Stephen Johnston

M.S., Engineering Management. Santa Clara University, California (1994)
B.S., Computer Science. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (1979)

Selected Publications

“‘To Any Degree’: Jesuit Medical Schools in the Nineteenth-Century United States” in Kyle B. Roberts and Stephen R. Schloesser, eds., Crossings and Dwellings: Restored Jesuits, Women Religious, American Experience, 1814-2014 (Leiden: Brill, 2017), 220-255

Review of Peter Heering; Roland Wittje: Learning by Doing: Experiments and Instruments in the History of Science Teaching, Isis 103:4 (2012), 767-769

“A History of Scientific Instruments at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, England,” Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society 106 (September 2010), 20-30

Review of Peter M. J. Hess; Paul L. Allen: Catholicism and Science, and Don O'Leary: Roman Catholicism and Modern Science: A History, Dana A. Freiburger and Ronald L. Numbers, Isis 100:3 (2009), 636-638

Report on some Scientific Instrument Collections in Japan,” Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society 83 (December 2004), 30-32

“Building a Japanese Research Tradition in Physics: Hantaro Nagaoka and the Spectroscope,” Nuncius 2 (2002), 673-689

Recent Papers Presented

“The ‘personal’ equations of American astronomer Joel Stebbins” given at the Scientific Instrument Commission meeting held at the 25th International Congress of History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (July 2017)

“The many universes of Seddie Bingham / Sister Aloysia (1873-1899),” a ‘picture-in-1000-words’ presentation at the Tenth Triennial Conference on the History of Women Religious at Santa Clara University, California (June 2016)

“’If well conducted’ - Teaching science to survive in early nineteenth-century American Catholic Colleges” given at HSS meeting, San Francisco, California (November 2015)

“Cattell’s Catholics: Who were these American Men of Science?” given at the American Catholic Historical Association Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. (January 2014)

“Sweater Girl Chickens – The rise and fall of the Chicken Breast Meter,” given at the Scientific Instrument Commission meeting held at the 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Manchester, England (July 2013)


“Lines of Faith,” a student exhibit at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford on Instruments and Religious Practice in Islam, open from March – June, 1998. A collective effort on the part of the seven students following the M.Sc. course based at this museum. (URL: (the exhibit poster)

Work Experience

January 2000 - present: Graduate Student Project Assistant at the History of Cartography Project, University of Wisconsin-Madison, holding the position of Illustrations Editor. It is my responsibility to order images from libraries and archives world-wide as needed for essays submitted for the upcoming volumes of the History of Cartography.

January 2008 - May 2008: Graduate Teaching Assistant for “History of Science 202: The Making of Modern Science” where I led four discussion sections for this 3 unit course.

1976 - January 2000: Computer professional working in operating system development, software design and test, and software configuration management. Most recent position was with Amdahl Corporation, Sunnyvale, California, as a Principal Software Engineer.
Last updated on 08/25/2017