Announcing the Oral History Center’s Interim Director: Paul Burnett

Congratulations to Paul Burnett!

Paul Burnett
Paul Burnett in Budapest, Hungary, 2019

We are pleased to announce that historian Paul Burnett has been named the interim director of the Oral History Center upon the retirement of Martin Meeker last month. Paul joined the OHC staff in 2013 and has been a versatile historian with a focus on science, engineering, and UC Berkeley history. He has published a number of academic articles, and has developed and directed several large-scale oral history projects: on economics, paleontology, Czech physics, the San Francisco Opera, and engineering, among other subjects. Paul has also worked to reach a wider public with a series of blog posts, a curriculum for high schools on epidemics in history, and podcasts on the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the contribution of UC Berkeley to the rise of Silicon Valley.

Prior to joining the Oral History Center, Paul was an assistant professor with the Science and Technology Studies Programme at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, Canada. Before that, Paul researched and produced museum exhibits for the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. He completed his PhD at the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania in 2008, where he developed his research on the politics of expertise — how scientists and experts of all kinds establish their credibility, and how people choose between different kinds of expertise to try to solve complex social, political, scientific, and technical problems.

Please join us in welcoming Paul Burnett to his new role.

Read Martin Meeker’s retirement announcement