The Catholic University of America

Sept. 18, 2014

CUA Alum Joins Prestigious List of MacArthur Fellows

  Pamela Long
  Pamela Long

Catholic University alumna Pamela O. Long, M.S.W. 1971, was among 21 “geniuses” named to the 2014 class of MacArthur Fellows. The announcement came from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation on Sept. 17.

The foundation recognizes exceptional individuals doing transformative, creative work with a track record of achievement in their field and the potential for even more significant contributions in the future.

Each of the fellows will receive a no-strings attached stipend of $625,000 — commonly referred to as a “genius grant” — paid out over five years.

Long is an independent historian of science and technology whose work demonstrates how technologies and crafts are deeply enmeshed in the broader cultural fabric. Through meticulous analysis of textual, visual, antiquarian, and archival materials from across Europe, Long investigates how literacy, language, authorship, trade secrecy, and patronage regulated the interactions of scholars, artisans, architects, and engineers of the early modern period.

Her prize-winning book, Openness, Secrecy, Authorship: Technical Arts and the Culture of Knowledge from Antiquity to the Renaissance (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), presents groundbreaking analysis of the co-evolution of artisans as writers and technological openness as an ideal in scientific inquiry. Her second book, Artisan/Practitioners and the Rise of the New Sciences, 1400–1600 (Oregon State University Press, 2011), revisits a central issue in the history of science: the influence of artisans, craftsmen, and engineers on the introduction of empirical methodologies into science.

Her work in progress is a cultural history of engineering in Rome between 1557 and 1590. Long connects the humanistic study of ancient texts and artifacts by sixteenth-century Romans to their development of innovative approaches to engineering problems like flood control — a linkage not commonly recognized among historians and philosophers.

In addition to her master’s degree in social work from Catholic University, Long holds a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

The MacArthur Fellows work in diverse fields and often across multiple disciplines. Members of this year’s class join 897 other MacArthur Fellows recognized since the program began in 1981. Fellows are selected through a rigorous process that has involved thousands of expert and anonymous nominators, evaluators, and selectors over the years.



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