Joel A. Klein

Joel A. Klein

Lecturer in Discipline

B206 Heyman Center


Ph.D. – Indiana University 2014
M.A. – Indiana University 2008
B.S. – Oregon State University Honors College 2005

Interests and Research

Dr. Klein specializes in the history of science and medicine in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with a special emphasis on the interactions among chymistry, medicine and atomism in German universities. He has a particular interest in chymical and medical correspondence in the early Republic of Letters, and focuses on the development of experimental concepts and culture among a diverse group of physicians in Wittenberg and Breslau. Before coming to Columbia, he had several predoctoral research fellowships and also worked on the Chymistry of Isaac Newton Project, where he encoded Newton’s handwritten manuscripts and recreated several of his alchemical experiments in the laboratory. He is currently at work expanding his dissertation into a monograph and working on the Making and Knowing Initiative of the Center for Science and Society.


  • Craft and Science:
Objects and Their Making in the Early Modern World


  • Hanson Prize for Outstanding Graduate Student Paper, IU Hist. and Phil. of Science, 2014
  • Highly-Commended Essay, Partington Prize, Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry, 2014
  • Chemical Heritage Foundation, Research Fellowship, Philadelphia 2012-2014
  • Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Research Grant, Germany 2011-2012
  • Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Max Planck Institut Für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin 2011-2012
  • Fulbright Grant, Germany 2010-2011
  • National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, 2010-2011

Selected Publications

Joel A. Klein and Evan R. Ragland (eds.), Analysis and Synthesis in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Ambix (Special Issue) 61, No. 4 (2014).

Joel A. Klein, "Corporeal Elements and Principles in the Learned German Chymical Tradition,” Ambix, 61, no. 4 (2014), 345-365.

(Forthcoming) Joel A. Klein, “Daniel Sennert, the Philosophical Hen, and the Epistolary Quest for a (Nearly-)Universal Medicine,” Ambix (2015)

(Under Review) “Daniel Sennert and the Chymico-Atomical Reform of Medicine,” solicited article for volume (Ashgate Press).


  • History of Science Society
  • Renaissance Society of America
  • Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry