Arthur Norberg, Professor Emeritus in the Program in History of Science and Technology died September 9, 2021 at age 83.

Arthur earned bachelors and masters degrees in physics and taught undergraduate physics for nearly a decade. During this period he also spent a year working for Westinghouse in the nuclear reactors program. He received his doctorate in history of science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1974. In 1973, he joined The Bancroft Library of the University of California-Berkeley to direct a new project in the history of science and technology, with a focus on the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory and associated activities on campus and on the development of the electronics industry in the Silicon Valley Area around Stanford University. Here he began a long career conducting oral histories with major figures in these topical areas, an activity he continued and further developed at the Babbage Institute. After leaving Berkeley, he served two years as a program manager at NSF, directing the Program on Ethics and Values in Science and Technology.

In 1981 Arthur joined the University of Minnesota’s program in History of Science and Technology with a joint appointment in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and became the first director of the Charles Babbage Institute for the History of Information Technology. He served as CBI director from 1981 to 1993 and from 1999 to 2006. Arthur was the first holder of the Engineering Research Associates Land-Grant Chair in History of Technology. He published major studies on the early computer industry in the United States and (with J. E. O’Neill) on the computing research program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Through his founding directorship at CBI and his publications he played a crucial role in the development of the history of computing. Arthur also published a number of papers on 19th and 20th century American science and technology.

He devoted his teaching to the history of technology of the 19th and 20th centuries and computing in the 20th century. At various times he served the Program as Director of Undergraduate Studies, Director of Graduate Studies, and Acting Director of the Program. He retired from his academic positions in 2005.

Alan Shapiro is an emeritus professor and former director of the Program in History of Science and Technology. 

Norberg in CBI offices
Arthur Norberg inside the offices of
the Charles Babbage Institute.


Related links

CBI mourns the passing of founding director, Arthur Norberg

Arthur L. Norberg, Ph.D profile

Norberg Travel Fund


Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, HSTM & Dept. of Earth Sciences Professor published in Mobile Museums: Collections in circulation

Prof. Kohlstedt,'s essay entitled "Mobile Botany: Education, Horticulture, and Commerce in New York Botanical Gardens, 1890s to 1930s" has been included in the latest volume of Mobile Museums: Collections in circulation. Mobile Museums which has just been released is now available online as open access from University College London Press.


Mobile Museums presents an argument for the importance of circulation in the study of museum collections, past and present. It brings together an impressive array of international scholars and curators from a wide variety of disciplines – including the history of science, museum anthropology and postcolonial history - to consider the mobility of collections.



Mobile Museums


HSTM graduate student Bill Gurstelle published in Scientific American

William Gurstelle, a Ph.D. candidate in the HSTM program, recently published his article Beatrice Finkelstein, the Woman Who Fed the Astronauts in Scientific American. The article stems from his research methods paper on Beatrice Finkelstein which he wrote last spring. Along with working toward his Ph.D., Bill has also authored a dozen books on science and technology and serves as a contributing editor at Popular Science and Make magazines. Congratulations, Bill! 

headshot Bill Gurstelle


Cameron Lazaroff Puck's successfully defends his dissertation 

Congratulations to Dr. Cameron Lazaroff Puck who successfully defended his dissertation, "What Theories Are Made Of: How Industry and Culture Shaped Maxwell's Theories of Electromagnetism" on March 8. 

Cameron Lazaroff Puck


HST alum, Joe Cain's (Ph.D. 1995) work influenced University College London (UCL) to acknowledge its role in eugenics

Joe Cain, now a professor of history and biology at UCL, was quoted in a recent article published in The Guardian regarding the University's past role in, and subsequent apology for the propagation of eugenics. Read more.





University College London Quad