Duygu Yıldırım studies early modern history of science within the intellectual cultures of Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire. Her dissertation entitled "Familiar Difference: Faith, Empathy, and Science in The Early Modern Mediterranean, 1650-1730" explores the complex relation between inter-religious conflict and scholarly engagements across religions. It shows how and why inter-religious conflict paradoxically led to a more sympathetic understanding of faith both in parallel Ottoman and European contexts. Ultimately, this reinterpretation of faith brought a necessity to build a universal history of knowledge through integrating foreign sources of knowledge.
Her research was awarded 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 history of Early Modern Europe and the Islamic world, the Enlightenment with a focus on the idea of progress and human diversity, humanism and scholarly orientalism, and interactions between science and faith.