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Frederick Rowe Davis

Frederick Rowe Davis

Department Head // History

Professor // History

R. Mark Lubbers Chair in the History of Science // History

Professor // Cornerstone

Research focus:
History of Science, Environmental History

Curriculum vitae

Office and Contact

Room: BRNG 6104

Office hours:

  • Fall 2023
  • Tuesday and Thursday, 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM


Phone: (765) 494-4132


HIST 334: Science and Society II
HIST 394: Environmental History of the United States
HIST 350: Science and Society in the Twentieth Century


History of Science, Environmental History

Frederick Rowe Davis is the Department Head, Professor of History, and the R. Mark Lubbers Chair in History of Science. He studied the history of science and medicine at Harvard, the University of Florida, and Yale where he received his Ph.D. His research interests lie at the intersection of the history of environmental science, environmental health, and environmental history. Davis recently published “Banned: A History of Pesticides and the Science of Toxicology” (Yale University Press). He also wrote “The Man Who Saved Sea Turtles: Archie Carr and the Origins of Conservation Biology” (Oxford University Press).

His current research projects include “Making Silent Spring,” a study of how Rachel Carson wrote her bestselling exposé of the ecological and health risks of chemical pesticides. He is also writing on the continued role of the organism in biology as science has focused on the gene and the molecule as the key elements of life.

Davis has received numerous research grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine), and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (Fulbright).

He has taught a variety of courses in the history of science, the history of disease and public health, and environmental history. He has been nominated for multiple teaching awards including the Distinguished Teacher Award at Florida State University, and he received the Graduate Teaching Award at FSU in 2007. Four doctoral students and sixteen master’s students completed their degrees under his supervision. At Purdue his courses include “Science & Society in Western Civilization,” “Environmental History of the United States,” “Science & Society in the Twentieth Century,” and "Global Environmental History” (graduate seminar), as well as courses in Big History, the history of life sciences and the history of environmental sciences.

Davis spent 2016-17 at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award. He previously taught at Florida State University, where he co-created the Program for the History and Philosophy of Science.

Dr. Davis is currently accepting graduate students in the History of Science and Enviromental History and related fields.