Matthew Shindell is a historian of science with a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego’s History Department and Science Studies Program. His work focuses on the intersection of science and religion in the American Cold War, the postwar development of nuclear geochemistry, and the growing importance of “scientific consensus” in contemporary policy making.
Shindell’s dissertation (UCSD 2011) is a social biographical study of the life and career of the American chemist Harold C. Urey. This project grew out of Shindell’s earlier work (recently published) on the history of planetary geology and the philosophical, ethical, and religious implications of astrobiology. The dissertation is as much a study of science and religion in the Cold War as it is a treatment of Urey’s geochemical contributions to mid- to late-20th century earth and planetary science.
Since completing his Ph.D., Shindell has held postdoctoral fellowships at University of California, San Diego, the University of Southern California, and Harvard University. In addition to revising his dissertation for publication, Shindell has begun work on his second major intellectual project, a historical and ethnographic study of expert assessment at the National Academy of Sciences.
Shindell is also a poet. He has published one book of poems, In Another Castle (3 Candles Press, 2008). His poetry has also appeared in anthologies and a host of literary magazines and journals.