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Scott Knowles

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Professors

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Scott Knowles
  • Professor
  • Ph. D. in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Johns Hopkins University, 2003
  • Disaster, History, Anthropocene, Risk, Policy, Technology, COVID
  • sgknowles@kaist.ac.kr

Biography

Scott Gabriel Knowles is a historian of disaster worldwide. He focuses on the historical processes that make disasters possible, and the application of history to reduce future disasters. Since March of 2020 Knowles has hosted #COVIDCalls every weekday, a live podcast discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is publication series co-editor (with Kim Fortun) of "Critical Studies in Risk and Disaster" with the University of Pennsylvania Press.

He was (2019) a research fellow of the Interuniversity Centre for the History of Science and Technology, NOVA University of Lisbon.  He has previously been a research fellow or visiting faculty member of CIGIDEN/Catolica Chile (2018), the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (2016), the Rachel Carson Center (2016), and the University of Tokyo (2015).

His work on the history of risk and disaster has appeared in the Natural Hazards Observer, History and Technology, Journal of Policy History, American Scientist, Technology and Culture, and Engineering Studies—he has also written for the The Hankyoreh, New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post,  Slate, Conservation Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Hill.  Knowles is completing two new books: The United States of Disaster; and, Slow Disaster.

Website: https://slowdisaster.com/

CV Download

Selected Publications

  • Books

    Knowles, Scott Gabriel, Cleveland, Kyle, and Shineha, Ryuma, eds., Legacies of Fukushima: 3.11 in Perspective (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021).

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  • Knowles, Scott Gabriel and Molella, Art, eds. Worlds Fairs in the Era of the Cold War (Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh University Press, 2019).

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  • Kendra, James, Knowles, Scott Gabriel, and Wachtendorf, Tricia, eds. The Second Environmental Crisis (New York: Springer, 2019).

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  • Knowles, Scott Gabriel and Dilworth, Richardson, eds., Building Drexel: A University and Its City, 1891-2016 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2016).

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  • Knowles, Scott Gabriel, The Disaster Experts: Mastering Risk in Modern America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011).

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  • Knowles, Scott Gabriel, ed., Imagining Philadelphia: Edmund Bacon and the Future of the City (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).

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  • Research Papers

    Scott Gabriel and Stanton, Bucky, “History in the Making: COVIDCalls and the COVID-19 Pandemic,” History Now 58 (Fall 2020). https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-now

     Download

  • *Knowles, Scott Gabriel, “Slow Disaster in the Anthropocene: A Historian Witnesses Climate Change on the Korean Peninsula,” Daedalus (Fall 2020).

     Download

  • Knowles, Scott Gabriel, “The Other Uncertainty: The View from Disaster History,” Social Science Research Council, July, 2019.

  • Tironi, Manuel, Bacigalupe, Gonzalo, Knowles, Scott Gabriel et. al., “Figuring Disasters: An Experiment on Thinking Disruptions as Methods,” Resilience (12 February 2019): 1-20.

  • Kuo Chun-Chih, Khaerun Nisa, Atma Jaya Yogyakarta, Masami Suigura, Emmanuel M. Luna, Scott Gabriel Knowles, and Dang Thi Thanh Huyen, “Casebook of Infrastructure Build Back Better from Natural Disasters: Enhancing Rural Disaster Resilience through Effective Infrastructure Investment,” Asian Disaster Reduction Center, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Secretariat, (2018).

  • *Knowles, Scott Gabriel, “Underwriters Laboratories, the Voluntary Standards System, and American Safety Engineering,” Historia Scientiarum 27-1 (July 2017).

     Download

  • *Gardebo, Johan, Knowles, Scott Gabriel, and Marzecova, Agata, “The Orbital Technosphere: The Provision of Meaning and Matter by Satellites,” Anthropocene Review 4:1 (2017): 44-52.

  • Knowles, Scott Gabriel, “Learning from Disaster? New Directions in Disaster Investigations,” Natural Hazards Observer 39:5 (2015): 16-20.

  • *Knowles, Scott Gabriel, “Engineering Risk and Disaster: Disaster-STS and the American History of Technology,” Engineering Studies 6:3 (2014): 227-248.

     Download

  • Knowles, Scott Gabriel, “Learning from Disaster? The History of Technology and the Future of Disaster Research,” Technology and Culture 55:4 (October, 2014): 773-784.

     Download

  • *Knowles, Scott Gabriel and Kunreuther, Howard C., “Troubled Waters: The National Flood Insurance Program in Historical Perspective,” Journal of Policy History 26:3 (2014): 327-353.

     Download

  • *Knowles, Scott Gabriel, “Defending Philadelphia: A Historical Case Study of Civil

  • Defense in the Early Cold War,” Public Works Management and Policy (January, 2007): 1- 16.

  • Knowles, Scott Gabriel, “Lessons in the Rubble: The World Trade Center and the History of Disaster Investigations in the United States,” History and Technology (Spring, 2003): 9-28.

  • *Kargon, Robert H. and Knowles, Scott Gabriel, “Knowledge for Use: Science, Higher Education, and America’s New Industrial Heartland, 1880-1915,” Annals of Science (January, 2002): 1-20.

  • *Knowles, Scott Gabriel and Leslie, Stuart W., “Industrial Versailles: Eero Saarinen’s Corporate Campuses for GM, IBM, and AT&T,” Isis (March, 2001): 1-33.

Courses

Disaster Science and Policy