The Sounding of the Whale: Science and Cetaceans in the Twentieth Century
University of Chicago Press. January 2012.
How did whales become the poster organism for the modern environmental movement? A close study of the changing understanding of—and the changing meanings ascribed to—these strange beasts over the last century.
Princeton University Press. November 2007.
A study of classification and taxonomy in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, focused on the whale as an anomalous organism.
A Trial By Jury
Knopf. September 2001; Japanese edition, 2006.
A narrative non-fiction account of a trial in Manhattan.
Descartes and the Hyperbolic Quest: Lens-Making in the Seventeenth Century
American Philosophical Society, Transactions series. Vol. 95 (3): 2005.
A book-length study of optics, lens craft, and Cartesian thought.
Masters of All They Surveyed: Exploration, Geography, and a British El Dorado
University of Chicago Press. September 2000.
A history of geographical exploration in South America, and a study of the entanglements of science and imperialism.