2023-24 Steering Committee

  • Andrew Burkett


    Professor of English

    Karp Hall 111
    (518) 388-6119

    Department/Program: English

    Research interests

    British Romantic Poetry and Prose; Victorian Poetry and the Novel; Literature and Science; Science and Technology Studies; Cinema and Media Studies; Digital Humanities.

  • Gregory Callaghan
    Gregory Callaghan headshot


    Assistant Professor of Classics
    Lamont House 206
    (518) 388-7147
    Classics, STS

    Research interests

    History of Archaic and Classical Greece, Hellenistic Aegean, and the Roman Republic; interstate relations; memory studies; social network analysis; digital humanities; Greek architecture and epigraphy.

  • Sohini Chattopadhyay
    Sohini Chattopadhyay


    Assistant Professor of History

    Lippman Hall 107
    (518) 388-6242

    Department/Program: History, STS

    Areas of expertise

    South Asia, History of Science and Technology

    Research interests

    I am a historian of South Asia. My research spans from colonialism to its aftermath, with particular interests in the political history of the region, urbanization, labor histories, caste and community histories, and the history of science and technology. My current book project studies the intersections between Science and Technology Studies and South Asian history, as they played out in transforming working class death rites in colonial Bombay and Calcutta. I am also revising two articles focused on anatomical education in colonial India.

  • Angela Commito


    Lecturer in Classical Archaeology

    Lamont House 104
    (518) 388-7186

    Department/Program: Classics

    Research interests

    Archaeology of the countryside, archaeological field survey, environmental archaeology, urban biography, social resilience, nostalgia.

  • Mark Dallas


    Associate Professor of Political Science
    Director, Asian Studies

    Lippman Hall 211
    (518) 388-6361

    Personal Website

    Department/Program: Political Science, Asian Studies

    Research interests

    Comparative and International Political Economy, China, Economic and Political Development and Public Policy, Trade, FDI and Foreign Economic Policy, High-tech Development and Policy, East Asian Regionalism, Security.

  • John Garver


    Professor of Geology

    F.W. Olin Center 317
    (518) 388-6517

    External Website: John I. Garver

    Department/Program: Geology, ESPE

    Areas of expertise

    Tectonics, sedimentation, Mohawk River, landslides, ice jams

    Research interests

    Primary interests are focused on low-temperature thermochronology, flood hazards, watershed analysis, the sediment record of environmental change, and the systematics of zircon and fission track dating. The main research focus in the area of tectonics is on the tectonic evolution of orogenic belts in the Pacific Rim using thermochronology, structural and basin analysis. In the last few years this research has focused on the thermochronologic evidence of the exhumation of orogenic belts. Research in the Mohawk watershed is directed at understanding hydrology, sediment budget, climate change in the watershed. Part of this focus has been in the timing and occurrence of landslides and on the effect of ice jams on flooding.

    Field Areas: Pacific Rim, including Alaska; Mohawk watershed

  • Ashraf Ghaly


    Carl B. Jansen Professor of Engineering

    F.W. Olin Center 102D
    (518) 388-6515

  • Melinda Goldner


    Professor of Sociology
    Chair of the Department of Sociology

    Lippman Hall 217
    (518) 388-6425/629

    Department/Program: Sociology, American Studies, Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies

    Research interests

    Professor Goldner studies a range of health care issues and health social movements, such as online health searching and the complementary and alternative medicine movement. Her work has been published in a variety of journals, including Sociology of Health & Illness, Information, Communication and Society, Research in the Sociology of Health Care and Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change. She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal. She teaches courses on medical sociology, public health, global health, social movements, sociological theory and gender.

  • Sarina Kuersteiner
    Sarina Kuersteiner head shot


    Assistant Professor of History
    Lippman Hall 103
    (518) 388-7066
    History, STS

    Areas of expertise

    Medieval History

  • Kim Plofker


    Associate Professor of Mathematics

    Bailey Hall 208A
    (518) 388-6674

    Areas of interest

    I study the historical development of math, astronomy and related subjects, mostly in Sanskrit, Arabic and Latin texts from before the twentieth century. Research travel takes me most often to India, where there are tens of thousands of manuscripts of little-known early scientific works that I use in piecing together this history. Topics I’ve published on include the early history of numerical approximation methods in Sanskrit texts, different approaches to spherical trigonometry in Islamic and Indian astronomy, and Euler’s study of Indian calendar computations. These days I’m collaborating with a colleague in New Zealand on a study of algorithms in Indian astronomical tables; we’re hoping to break out some of the work into undergraduate research projects (no Sanskrit knowledge required!).

  • Mark Walker


    John Bigelow Professor of History
    Director of General Education

    Lippman Hall 216
    (518) 388-6994

    Department/Program: History, General Education, Academic Affairs

    Research interests

    I research and publish on twentieth-century science, including in particular science and technology under National Socialism, and comparisons of science and technology in different political, cultural, and ideological contexts.

  • Nick Webb


    Associate Professor of Computer Science

    Steinmetz Hall 223
    (518) 388-6374

    External Website: website

    Department/Program: Computer Science, Data Analytics

    Areas of interest

    Natural language processing; social robotics; computer science education.

  • Kirk Wegter-McNelly


    Dona and Marshall Robinson Assistant Professor of Science, Philosophy and Religion Program in Religious Studies

    Lamont 203
    (518) 388-6214

    Department/Program: Religious Studies

    Areas of interest

    I am a theologian who studies how cultural developments, especially those related to the sciences, affects religious beliefs and behaviors. I have taught previously at Manhattan College and Boston University. My courses typically tend to focus on the relationship between the religious dimensions of life, on the one hand, and some prevalent aspect of contemporary culture, such as science, food, or literature, on the other hand. I am currently a Research Associate at the Institute for the Bio-Cultural Study of Religion, where I am working on a novel characterization of the relationship between religion and science through an investigation of the controverted nature of the discipline of economics.