Stephen P. Weldon

Associate Professor

B.A., Science, Technology, and Society, Cornell University, 1985Stephen P. Weldon
M.A., History of Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990
Ph.D., History of Science and History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1997 

I am a member of the University of Oklahoma’s Department of History of Science faculty and edit the Isis Bibliography of the History of Science, a 100-year-old reference resource. Since 1915 this project is available as an open access search service containing citations going back to the early 1970s: IsisCB Explore. In addition, the digitized volumes of the Isis Cumulative Bibliography of the History of Science covering the period 1913 to 1975 can be found at Isis CB Cumulative.

 My primary historical interests lie in the ways that science and society have intersected in the modern era, especially with regard to religion and irreligion. My extensive study of the history of American humanism (sometimes called religious humanism, scientific humanism, or secular humanism) has forced me to think about what it means to be religious in the modern world and to what extent being scientific is also a religious-like endeavor for some people. My manuscript, The Scientific Spirit of American Humanism, is under contract with Johns Hopkins Press.

I have studied both Western and non-Western religious forms, and I have paid close attention to the intersection between Western science and the religious and philosophical thought of the East. Recently, I have also begun a more detailed study of religion and the environment from different religious perspectives. My classes on religion and science explore especially resonant moments at that intersection, points at which scientists, philosophers, and religious thinkers all come together in an effort to understand the human condition.

My years at OU have introduced me to a number of exciting interdisciplinary collaborations. In 2007, I chaired a faculty planning group to organize campus-wide lectures and exhibits during the 2009 commemorative year celebrating the birth of Charles Darwin and his influence, past and present. Recently, I have participated in a study group composed of faculty from across the university in a discussion about human habitation and the Anthropocene Era.

I also study the transformation of scholarship in what is being called the digital humanities. My work on the Isis Bibliography has helped me to discovery, as a practitioner, how new technologies are transforming scholarship, enabled by the ease of worldwide communication, massive data retrieval tools, and unprecedented computing power.

In 2014, I and two co-PIs, received an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant to transform the Isis Bibliography into a cutting-edge research and discovery tool. As part of this effort, I am learning how to build and use new data analysis tools in order to conceptualize new sorts of scholarship that will utilize this data.

I live in Norman, Oklahoma. In addition to my academic work, I also manage a website ( that features the work of my grandfather, an illustrator and painter, who lived in Xenia, Ohio.



 Isis Current Bibliography vol. 93 (2002) – vol. 105 (2014)













The Scientific Spirit of American Humanism: Science, Human Nature, and the Reconstruction of Religion in the Twentieth Century (approx. 100,000 words). Book manuscript.

“Historians and Their Data,” for the conference publication of CESIMA ANNO XX: Crossing Oceans: Exchange of Products, Instruments, Procedures and Ideas in the History of Chemistry and Related Sciences, São Paolo, Brazil, August 27, 2014, edited by Ana M. Alfonso-Goldfarb, Marcia Ferraz (in press).

“"Monkey Business,” Essay review of Trying Biology: The Scopes Trial, Textbooks, and the Antievolution Movement in American Schools by Adam R. Shapiro. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 48 (2014): 115-118.

“Ordering the Discipline: Classification in the History of Science,” introduction to a Focus Section, Isis (September 2013): 537-539. Open Access URL:

“Bibliography Is Social: Organizing Knowledge in the Isis Bibliography from Sarton to the Early Twenty-First Century,” part of a Focus Section, Isis (September 2013), pp. 540-550. Open Access URL:

“History of the World History of Science Online Project,” Acta Baltica Historiae et Philosophiae Scientiarum (2013). Open Access URL:

“Recent Trends in Research in the Field of the History of Science,” Webinar Presentation for the Collections Forum on Science, Technology, and Engineering, Center for Research Laboratories, Annual Council Meeting, April 19, 2013. URL:;presentation begins at 35:00 and runs to1:17:00. URL of slides by themselves: h%20in%20the%20Field%20of%20the%20History%20of%20Science.pdf.

“‘La classification des sciences n’a jamais cessé d’évoluer’: A Century of Effort at Putting Science in Its Place,” pp.307-328, in Ana M. Alfonso-Goldfarb et al., eds. Centenário Simão Mathias: Documentos, Métodos e Identidade da História da Ciência (São Paulo: PUC-SP; Imprensa Oficial, 2009). Link to Table of Contents of volume: