Since arriving at Stanford in the fall of 2008, my research has been aimed at clarifying complex scientific, technical, and medical issues-from cigarette filter inefficacy to evolutionary theory-through historical analysis. In my dissertation, I illuminate a broad history of concerns about unsustainable natural resource exploitation in general, with a focus on petrochemical engineering in particular. Featured in my narrative are the prominent shifts in the major plastics feedstocks, from bio-based materials through about 1940 to petroleum through the turn of the twenty-first century, with a current shift back to bio-based materials. Resource logistics, policy, and profit projections have all influenced these shifts, and my dissertation is likewise designed to appeal to historians and engineers, policymakers and businesspeople.
History of Science
B.A. English, Duke University, cum laude; M.A. History, Stanford University