MacArthur Fellows Program

Mott T. Greene

Historian of Science | Class of August 1983

Historian of Science
Saratoga Springs, New York
38 at time of award
Published August 1, 1983

About Mott's Work

Mott Greene is a historian of science with a particular interest in the earth sciences.

Greene's research concerns the tension in modern science between concrete demands for exact descriptions of natural phenomena, and the desire for formal and abstract representations of these same phenomena in the interest of generality and explanatory power.  He explored this particular theme in his book, Geology in the Nineteenth Century (1982), and has pursued it since in a study of the natural-scientific content of nature mythology in his book, Natural Knowledge in Preclassical Antiquity (1992).  Greene has recently completed a biography of the Arctic explorer and geophysicist, Alfred Wegener, and is currently researching such topics as the evolution of computer climate modeling and the history of naturalistic explanations of the origins of life.


Greene is the John B. Magee Professor of Science and Values in the History Department at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington, and the co-director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society.

Greene received a B.A. (1967) from Columbia University and an M.A. (1974) and a Ph.D. (1978) from the University of Washington.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

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