Cyrus Mody (C.C.M.)

Prof. Mody is an historian of recent science and technology, specifically the applied physical sciences in the United States since 1965.  He studies the commercialization of academic research, the longue durée of responsible research and innovation (RRI), and the technopolitics of scarcity in the long 1970s.

For 2020-2025, Prof. Mody is the principal investigator for an NWO (Netherland Organisation for Scientific Research) Vici grant, "Managing Scarcity and Sustainability: The Oil Industry, Environmentalism, and Alternative Energy in the Age of Scarcity" ( Other team members are Odinn Melsted (postdoc), Michiel Bron (PhD candidate, oil and nuclear energy project), and Jelena Stankovic (PhD candidate, oil and solar energy project).

In parallel, Prof. Mody is a co-PI in the ERC Synergy grant "Nanobubbles" along with colleagues @_Nano_Bubbles ( This project seeks to understand why the scientific record is so difficult to correct and how scientists are able to ignore contradictory evidence. The aim is to foster a healthier scientific dialogue in which contradictory evidence can be debated and errors corrected without fear of repercussions.

Click on "Files" below to access Prof. Mody's CV.


History and sociology of recent science and technology.

Focus on histories of: applied physics and engineering science; commercialization of academic research; microelectronics; university-industry-government partnerships; countercultural science and responsible innovation; energy humanities.

Career History

Associate Professor, Department of History, Rice University, 2014-2015

Assistant Professor, Department of History, Rice University, 2007-2014

Program Manager, Nanotechnology and Innovation Studies, Center for Contemporary History and Policy, Chemical Heritage Foundation, 2005-2007

Ph.D., Cornell University, in Science and Technology Studies, August 2004

M.A., Cornell University, in Science and Technology Studies, January 2001

A.B., Harvard University, (magna cum laude) in Engineering Sciences, June 1997



Research Profile

Prof. Mody teaches and researches the history of science, technology, and innovation.  He is the author of Instrumental Community: Probe Microscopy and the Path to Nanotechnology (2011, MIT Press), The Long Arm of Moore's Law: Microelectronics and American Science (MIT Press, 2017), and The Squares: US Physical and Engineering Scientists in the Long 1970s. He is PI of the NWO Vici project "Managing Scarcity and Sustainability," on the oil industry's complex relationship with environmentalism and alternative energy during the peak years of the resource scarcity debate (1968-1986). He is also co-PI of the ERC Synergy project "NanoBubbles," which takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding when, why, and how scientists attempt to correct the scientific record.

Research Projects

NWO Vici "Managing Scarcity and Sustainability," VI.C.191.067 (

ERC Synergy "NanoBubbles," award 951393 (


Work for third parties

  • advies geven over biografieën at Oxford University Press American National Biography

Other activities

Contributing editor, Technology and Culture, 2009-present.

Member of the advisory board, History of Science, 2016-present.

Member of editorial board, History and Philosophy of Technoscience series (Taylor & Francis, publisher; Alfred Nordmann, series editor), 2013-present.

External collaborator, Center for Nanotechnology in Society, University of California – Santa Barbara, 2005-2016

Fellow, Center for Contemporary History and Policy, Chemical Heritage Foundation, 2007-present

Fellow, Center for Interdisciplinary Research group “Science in the Context of Application,” Universität Bielefeld, in residence June-July 2007

Gordon Cain Fellow in Technology, Policy, and Entrepreneurship, Chemical Heritage Foundation, in residence September 2004-June 2005

Fellow, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History, in residence June-August 2002


Additional roles & tasks

Professor in the History of Science, Technology, and Innovation

Director, Maastricht University STS program (as of September 1, 2021)

PI, Managing Scarcity and Sustainability project, Dutch Research Council (NWO) VI.C.191.067

Co-PI, Nanobubbles, ERC Synergy