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Affiliated Postdoctoral Scholars and Researchers

Donna Bilak

Donna Bilak

Lecturer in Discipline

Donna Bilak’s research interests encompass early modern European history of science and alchemy, early modern emblem culture, as well as 19th-century jewelry history and technology. Dr. Bilak’s doctoral research reconstructed the life and times of a 17th-century Puritan alchemist who operated in England and America, and she was the 2013-14 Edelstein Postdoctoral Fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia where her research focused on analysis of the Atalanta fugiens (1618), an alchemical emblem book that encodes laboratory technologies using music and images. Dr. Bilak has lectured extensively on the topics of early modern alchemy as well as jewelry history throughout North America and Europe, abstracts of past presentations can be found at her website.

Email: dab2208@columbia.edu

Joel Klein

Joel A. Klein

Lecturer in Discipline

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.

Email: jak2259@columbia.edu

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Tianna Uchacz

Lecturer in Discipline

Tianna Uchacz is an art historian specializing in sixteenth-century Netherlandish art. She received her PhD in 2016 from the University of Toronto with Ethan Matt Kavaler on the role of the sensual nude in Netherlandish art and culture before Iconoclasm. Uchacz held the inaugural James Loeb Fellowship for the Classical Tradition in Art and Architecture at the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich from May to July 2016, where she addressed an experimental approach to masculinity in Maerten van Heemskerck’s male nudes. In August, she joined Professor Pamela Smith’s The Making and Knowing Project, one of the research clusters at the Centre for Science and Society; Uchacz is the project’s 2016–2017 liaison to the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia, where she is assisting with a collection digitization project. She is currently working on a book-length manuscript on the Netherlandish nude before Iconoclasm. She is also in the early stages of a new project on the art and intellectual culture of later Renaissance Bruges, with a particular focus on the work of Marcus Gheeraerts.

Email: thu2102@columbia.edu

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David Barack

Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience

David Barack is a neuroscientist and philosopher. His neuroscientific investigations target the neural circuits of foraging decisions in humans and nonhuman primates. He is particularly interested in how primates search for information, how information is encoded in the brain independently of reward, and how information guides inferences about the world. His philosophical research regards the conceptual foundations of cognitive neuroscience, especially the underlying dynamical basis for cognition. He is also interested in how foraging models from biology might provide novel normative grounds for reasoning and whether foraging models can adequately describe how primates reason in complex environments. David completed his PhD in philosophy in 2014 while at Duke University and was a postdoctoral researcher in the departments of neuroscience and philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Email: dlb2188@columbia.edu

 Ann-Sophie Barwich

Ann-Sophie Barwich

Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience

Ann-Sophie Barwich is a philosopher and historian of science with specialization in biology and chemistry. Her work is on current and past developments in olfactory research. She received her PhD at Exeter (Egenis/The Centre for the Study of the Life Sciences) under the supervision of John Dupré in 2013, before taking up a postdoctoral fellowship at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research. Her thesis examined classification and modeling strategies through which scientists have linked odors to a material basis (botanical, chemical, molecular-biological, neurophysiological), and her postdoctoral project concerned the role of methodology in measurement and wet-lab discovery. As a new Scholar in the Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience program, she will focus on the role of ‘research routines’ in scientific training and practice.

Email: ab4221@columbia.edu

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Andrew Goldman

Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience

Andrew Goldman is a pianist, composer, and cognitive scientist from San Diego, CA. Andrew completed his PhD in 2015 at the University of Cambridge with Prof. Ian Cross on the cognition of musical improvisation. He performs regularly as a classical pianist in solo and chamber music settings. His composition activities are currently focused on songwriting. Andrew’s original one-act musical entitled “Science! The Musical” was premiered in Cambridge, UK in 2014. Andrew joins the Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience program to conduct research that incorporates neuroscientific methods and theories into research on the cognition of musical improvisation.

Email: ajg2232@columbia.edu

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Matteo Farinella

Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience

Matteo Farinella is a neuroscientist, cartoonist and illustrator. After completing a PhD in neuroscience at University College London in 2013, Matteo has been creating comics and illustrations to make science accessible to a wider audience. He is the author of Neurocomic (Nobrow 2013) a scientific graphic novel published with the support of the Wellcome Trust, and he has collaborated with universities and educational institutions to visualize academic research. As a Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience, Matteo will investigate the role of ‘visual narratives’ in science communication. Working with science journalists, educators and cognitive neuroscientists, his project aims to understand how these tools may affect the public perception of science and increase scientific literacy.

Email: mf3094@columbia.edu

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Nori Jacoby

Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience

Nori Jacoby is a computational neuroscientist specializing in audition. His research examines auditory perception from a cross-cultural perspective using computational and experimental methods. Additional interests include studying rhythmic entrainment in ensemble synchronization and the application of machine-learning techniques to model aspects of musical syntax. He received his Ph.D. from the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and was a postdoc at Josh McDermott’s Computational Audition Lab in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at MIT, and a visiting postdoctoral researcher at Tom Griffith’s Computational Cognitive Science Lab at UC Berkeley. Nori is also active as a composer/performer, and has written music for various ensembles including Mongolian overtone singers. In 2009, he released a CD with his band Tafillalt on John Zorn’s Radical Jewish Culture Label, Tzadik.

Email: kj2413@columbia.edu

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Lan A. Li

Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience

Lan Li is a historian of the body and filmmaker. She received her PhD in Science Technology and Society Studies from the HASTS program at MIT. There, she explored a comparative history of body mapping among practitioners in China and Britain throughout the 20th century. Her work centers on how representations of peripheral sensation through hand-drawn maps cohered and conflicted with different understandings of health and disease. As a documentary filmmaker, Lan has also collaborated with integrative practitioners in India, Brazil, and China. She seeks to expand these collaborations across disciplinary and geographic spaces. Lan is an alumna of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, and as a  Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience program, will take on a cultural history of numbness.

Email: ll2419@columbia.edu

Affiliated Graduate Students

Desiree Abu-Odeh PhD student; Sociomedical Sciences
George Aumoithe PhD student; United States History
Roy Bar Sadeh PhD student; Middle East History
Ian Bradley-Perrin PhD student; Sociomedical Sciences
Eunsung Cho PhD student; PhD student; East Asian History
Sarah Cook Runcie PhD student; African History
Sau-yi Fong PhD student; East Asian History
Laura Foote PhD student; Sociomedical Sciences
Angela Giordani PhD student; Middle East History
Devon Golaszewski PhD student; African History
Charles Halvorson PhD student; United States History
Eric Herschthal PhD student; United States History
Yanjie Huang PhD student; East Asian Languages and Cultures
Alma Igra PhD student; British History
Abram Kaplan PhD student; Early Modern European History
Jordan Katz PhD student; Early Modern/Jewish History
Michael (Mookie) Kideckel PhD student; Environmental History
Ulug Kuzuoglu PhD student; International/Global History
Owain Lawson PhD student; Middle East History
Lei Lei PhD student; Chinese Literature
Shing-ting Lin PhD student; East Asian History
Wallace Scot McFarlane PhD student; Environmental History
Antonio Mendoza PhD student; United States History
Melissa Morris PhD student; United States History
Victor Petrov PhD student; Modern Western Europe
Aaron Plasek PhD student; History of Science
Robin Reich PhD student; Medieval Europe
Tristan Revells PhD student; Chinese History
Peter Roady PhD student; United States History
Nataly Shahaf PhD student; East Asian Languages and Cultures
Shulamit Shinnar PhD student; Jewish History
Pierre-Etienne Stockland PhD student; Early Modern European History
Divya Subramanian PhD student; International and Global History
Yoki Tomita PhD student; Sociomedical Sciences
Yijun Wang PhD student; Chinese History
Lan Wu PhD student; East Asian History
Yuan Yi PhD student; Chinese History
Wenrui Zhao PhD student; Early Modern European History

Graduate Students from Prior Years

Kyoungjin Bae 2016; International/Global history
Shehab Ismail 2016; Middle Eastern History

@The Center of Science and Society at Columbia University 2016
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