Ruth Schwartz Cowan

CNS Person
Professor Emerita, Department of History and Sociology of Science
University of Pennsylvania
CNS Affiliation
National Advisory Board
Research Group: 

Ruth Schwartz Cowan is an historian of science, technology and medicine, with degrees from Barnard College (BA), the University of California at Berkeley (MA) and The Johns Hopkins University (PhD). She was a member of the History Department of the State University of New York at Stony Brook from 1967 to 2002, attaining the rank of Professor in 1984.  Between 1997 and 2002 she was the Chair of the Honors College at SUNY-Stony Brook; she also served as Director of Women's Studies from 1985-1990. As of October, 2002 she is Professor Emerita at Stony Brook.


Professor Cowan is active in two professional associations: the Society for the History of Technology (President, 1992-1994) and the History of Science Society and she serves on the editorial board of Social Studies of Science.  She has been a member of the Smithsonian Council, the IEEE History Committee,  the Advisory Board for the Lemelson Center for the History of Invention and Innovation, the MIT Corporation Visiting Committee for the Humanities, the Advisory Board of the University of California Santa Barbara Center for Nanotechnology in Society and the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Area Center for the History of Science.  For several years she was the Chair of the US National Committee, International Union for the History and Philosophy of Science.  Currently, she is a Fellow and Trustee of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.  In addition, she is the chair of the Community Advisor Board for Genetic Studies of the North Shore/Long Island Jewish Health System.