Lawrence is a historian of science with a global focus. Within this large frame, he has specific expertise in the histories of the natural sciences and the history of environmental thought. He conducts resarch on scientific expeditions (particularly the exploration of Africa and Scottish explorers); the history of museum collections and in histories of scientific knowledge in relation to colonial empires.
Scottish collectors and collecting in central Africa, 1870–1930 (Principal Investigator)
Funded by Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. You can learn more about this project at National Museums Scotland.
Investigating Networks of Zoonisis Innovation (Associate Researcher)
Funded by European Research Council. PI: Prof James Smith. Currently writing articles on the British Colonial Office's Tsetse Fly and Trypanosomiasis Committee 1940 to 1960.
I am happy to supervise research students interested in the history of science in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, particularly topics related to global history, exploration, travel, imperialism and colonialism. Please feel free to contact me directly.
Find out more about the programmes that I am involved with:
Current PhD Students
Kate Bowell: Narratives on Display: the History of Science and Technology Exhibit Labels at the National Musuem of Scotland
Completed PhD Students
Janelle Winters: Constructing Success in Global Health: The World Bank and the Onchocerciasis Control Programme in West Africa
Sergio Orozco-Echeverri: How do planets find their way? Laws of nature and the transformations of knowledge in the scientific revolution
Dayana Ariffin: American Imperialism, Anthropology and Racial Taxonomy in the Philippines, 1898-1946
Daniel Thorpe: Unbundling 'Indigenous Space Capability': Actors, Policy Positions and Agency in Geospatial Information Science in Southwest Nigeria
Vera Mugittu: Meeting the Social cost of Building Systems to Enable Innovation in Subsistence-based Agriculture: an Analysis of a DFID-funded Commercialisation Process of the Indigenous Poultry Inductry in Tanzania
Eva Hoffmann Computer Science and Higher Education in Afghanistan
Kevin Bardosh Public Health at the Margins: Local Realities and the Control of Neglected Tropical Disease in Eastern Africa
Shishusri Pradhan From Green Revolution to Green Gold: the evolution of the Indian National Mission on Biodiesel
Shaun Ruysenaar The Genesis and Anatomy of the Industrial Biofuels Strategy of South Africa.
Annalisa Urbano Imagining the Nation, Crafting the State: the politics of nationalism and decolonisation in Somalia
Liz Ng'ang'a (The Open University) Scientific Leadership in Developing Countries: A case study of the Academy of Sciences for Developing World (TWAS)
Lawrence Dritsas began his studies in the United States (BA, Penn State; MS, Virginia Tech) and has interdisciplinary training in the humanities and natural sciences. He volunteered as a secondary school biology teacher with the US Peace Corps in Malawi in the late 1990s. In 2005 he completed his PhD at the Centre of African Studies in Edinburgh with a study of the scientific exploration of Africa in the mid-nineteenth century. He is a Senior Lecturer in Science and Technology Studies.
He is a member of the H-Net server on Mastodon
I am course organiser or contribute lectures to the following undergraduate courses
Science, Nature and Environment (STIS08007)
Environmentalism: Past and Present (STIS08010)
Science and Empire: from Enlightenment to Decolonisation, 1750-1965 (HIST10434)
Those interested in my areas of research may also want to look at the following taught MSc programme:
MSc in Science and Technology in Society