Duygu Yıldırım studies early modern history of science and medicine within the intellectual cultures of the Ottoman Empire and the early modern Europe. Her dissertation entitled "Familiar Difference: Translating Faith and Science in the Early Modern Mediterranean, 1650-1730" offers the first in-depth analysis of the translation movement between Ottoman and European scholars in the early modern era. Drawing on various sources in multiple languages, it questions the limits of scholarly trust, and possibilities for scholarly engagements across religions in a world unsettled by religious polemics. Her project reveals how and why the translations of natural history and medicine influenced the ways in which early modern scholars understood faith, as well as the diversity of human bodies.
Her research has been recognized with multiple grants from the Social Science Research Council (DPDF 2016 and IDRF 2017), the Renaissance Society of America, the NEH Summer Institute, Rare Book School, the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) at Stanford, among others. During 2019-20, she is a Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow at Stanford Humanities Center.
She is also one of the researchers at Natural Things|Ad Fontes Naturae,a global natural history project based out of Stanford's Program in History & Philosophy of Science. In both her individual and collaborative research, she is dedicated to analyzing complex dynamics within cross-cultural scholarly interactions through digital methods.
Her special interests lie in the history of science and medicine from Antiquity to the 19th century, the intellectual and religious culture of the early modern Ottoman world and Western Europe, the Enlightenment with a focus on the idea of progress and human diversity, humanism and scholarly orientalism, and interactions between science and faith.