Assistant Professor of History
Director of the First-Year Seminar Program
12 Hubbard Hall
Current teaching schedule available on the public course finder.
B.A. Brandeis University, History
Ph.D., Yale University, History of Science (2005)
David K. Hecht is a historian of science, focusing on the modern United States. His particular interest is in public images of science, and he has published on the phenomenon of "scientific celebrities." His book Storytelling and Science: Rewriting Oppenheimer in the Nuclear Age will be published in May 2015 (University of Massachusetts Press), and he is currently researching a second book project, Rachel Carson and the Challenge of Environmentalism. Other scholarly interests include the history of energy, as well as the role that popular rhetoric about science plays in reinforcing (and sometimes challenging) the status quo. His courses including "The Nuclear Age," "The History of Energy," "Image, Myth, and Memory," and "Science and Society." In 2011 he was awarded the Sydney B. Karofsky prize, Bowdoin's annual teaching prize for junior faculty.
Storytelling and Science: Rewriting Oppenheimer in the Nuclear Age. (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2015)
“How To Make a Villain: Rachel Carson and the Politics of Anti-Environmentalism,” Endeavour 36 (December 2012): 149-155.
“Constructing a Scientist: Expert Authority and Public Images of Rachel Carson,” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 41 (Summer 2011): 277-302.
“A Nuclear Narrative: Robert Oppenheimer, Autobiography, and Public Authority,” Biography 33 (Winter 2010): 167-184.
“The Atomic Hero: Robert Oppenheimer and the Making of Scientific Icons in the early Cold War,” Technology and Culture 49 (October 2008): 943-966.