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Dániel Margócsy

Reader in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine


Dániel Margócsy studies the cultural history of early modern science, medicine and technology. He has taught at Northwestern University and at Hunter College, the City University of New York, and has held fellowships at the New York Public Library's Cullman Center, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and the Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities. He received his PhD in the History of Science from Harvard University in 2009.

His latest book, The Fabrica of Andreas Vesalius: A Worldwide Descriptive Census, Ownership, and Annotations of the 1543 and 1555 Editions, studies the reception history of the first major atlas of anatomy from its moment of publication to today. It is based on a comprehensive survey of the annotations, underlinings and marks of ownership that readers left in the over seven hundred surviving copies of the first two editions.

His first book, Commercial Visions: Science, Trade and Visual Culture in the Dutch Golden Age (Chicago, 2014) examined the impact of global trade on cultural production in the 17th and 18th centuries. It explores how commercial networks played a crucial role in the growth and transmission of empirical knowledge; and how commercial secrecy and marketing transformed the public sphere and the Republic of Letters.

His current projects include a study of the reception of Machiavelli in World War II, the impact of Stradanus' Nova reperta on early modern science, a collaborative project on the relationship between transportation technologies and the circulation of knowledge, and a study of the relationship between stables and museums in the Renaissance.

Research interests

History of early modern natural history, history of early modern medicine, the global history of science, commerce and science, the history of the book, visual studies of science, animal studies.


Books and edited volumes

The Fabrica of Andreas Vesalius: A Worldwide Descriptive Census, Ownership, and Annotations of the 1543 and 1555 Editions, co-authored with Mark Somos and Stephen N. Joffe, Leiden: Brill, 2018.

'Breaking Scientific Networks', a special issue of Social Studies of Science 47/3, 2017, 307–438, co-edited with Bill Rankin and Sergio Sismondo.

Commercial Visions: Science, Trade and Visual Culture in the Dutch Golden Age, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014.

'States of Secrecy', a special issue of the British Journal for the History of Science 45/2, 2012, co-edited with Koen Vermeir, with contributions by M. Biagioli, P. Galison, S. Hilgartner, V. Keller, D. Margócsy, and K. Vermeir.

Journal articles and book chapters

'Elephants, Horses, and the Proportions of Paradise', Public Domain Review, 5 November 2018.

'Sex, Religion and a Towering Treatise on Anatomy', co-authored with Mark Somos and Stephen N. Joffe, Nature 560/7708 (13 August 2018), 304–305.

'How Eager Pre-20th-Century Readers Mined Anatomical Texts for Information about Sex', co-authored with Mark Somos and Stephen N. Joffe, Slate Vault, 2 April 2018.

'A Pécsi Fabrica (=The Fabrica in Pécs)', co-authored with Mark Somos and Stephen N. Joffe, Per Aspera ad Astra (June 2018), 110–118.

'Pirating Mare Liberum (1609)', co-authored with Mark Somos, Grotiana 38 (2017), 176–210.

'A Long History of Breakdowns', Social Studies of Science 47/3 (2017), 307–325.

'Vesalius' Fabrica: A Report on the Worldwide Census of the 1543 and 1555 Editions', co-authored with Mark Somos and Stephen N. Joffe, Social History of Medicine 30/1 (2017), 201–223.

'Jacques de Gheyn II and Vesalius', co-authored with Mark Somos and Stephen Joffe, Print Quarterly, 33 (2016), 293–295.

'Petrus Paaw's Sources', co-authored with Mark Somos and Stephen Joffe, Print Quarterly, 33 (2016), 295.

'Szatírok a természetrajzban a Reneszánsztól Darwinig: A mítosz és a tudományos hálózatok' (= Satyrs in Natural History from the Renaissance to Darwin: Myth and Scientific Networks), 2000 (April 2015), 60–68.

'Certain Fakes and Uncertain Facts: Jan Jonston and the Question of Truth in Religion and Natural History', in: Marco Beretta and Maria Conforti, Fakes!? Hoaxes, Counterfeits and Deception in Early Modern Science, Sagamore Beach: Science History Publications, 2014, 190–225.

'Govert Bidloo's Liver: Human Symmetry Reflected', The Lancet (383/9918, Feb. 22, 2014), 688–689, co-authored with Rachel Guest and Steven J. Wigmore.

'The Fuzzy Metrics of Money: The Finances of Travel and the Reception of Curiosities in Early Modern Europe', Annals of Science 70 (2013), 381–404, special issue In Kind: Species of Exchange in Early Modern Science and Philosophy, edited by James Delbourgo and Justin E.H. Smith. Hungarian translation published as 'Mindennek mértéke a pénz: Az utazás ára és a ritkaságok fogadtatása a kora újkori Európában', 2000 (February 2014), 37–54.

'States of Secrecy: Introduction'. British Journal for the History of Science 45 (2012), 153–164, co-authored with Koen Vermeir.

'The Camel's Head: Representing Unseen Animals in Sixteenth-Century Europe', Netherlands Yearbook of Art History 61 (2011), 62–85.

'A Museum of Wonders or a Cemetery of Corpses? The Commercial Exchange of Anatomical Collections in Early Modern Netherlands', in: Sven Dupré and Christoph Lüthy (eds), Silent Messengers: The Circulation of Material Objects of Knowledge in the Early Modern Low Countries, Berlin: LIT, 2011, 185–216.

'"Refer to folio and number": Encyclopedias, the Exchange of Curiosities and Practices of Identification before Linnaeus', Journal of the History of Ideas 71/1 (2010), 63–89.

'A teve feje: ismeretlen állatok ábrázolása a tizenhatodik századi Európában', 2000 (July-August 2010), 97–108 (a modified and shorter version of 'The Camel's Head' in Hungarian).

'Advertising Cadavers in the Republic of Letters: Anatomical Publications in Early Modern Netherlands', British Journal for the History of Science 42/2 (2009), 187–210.

'A hiteles zsiráf: az egzotikum ábrázolása a Reneszánszban' (= The Credible Giraffe: Imaging the Exotic in the Renaissance), in: Judit Ambrus et al. (eds), Margonauták, Budapest: MTA Rec.iti, 2009, 494–503.

'A Komáromi Csipkés Biblia Leidenben' (= The Hungarian Bible of György Komáromi Csipkés in Leiden), Magyar Könyvszemle 124/1 (2008), 15–26.

'Csöd, Tömeg, Csödtömeg: The Semantic History of the Hungarian Equivalents of Crowd', in: Jeffrey Schnapp and Matthew Tiews (eds), Crowds, Stanford University Press, 2007, 300–303.

Articles for a broader audience

'Networking with a Book, or How Vesalius Gave away his Complimentary Copies of the Fabrica', co-authored with Mark Somos and Stephen Joffe, Origins of Science as a Visual Pursuit, published on 27 October 2015.

'Utószó', afterword to Jessie Burton, A babaház úrnöje (=The Miniaturist), Budapest: Libri, 2015, 496–503.

'Spin a 3D Representation of a Beautiful 17th-Century Globe', Slate Vault, 12 December 2014.

'How One 17th-Century Artist Produced a Good Painting of an Animal He'd Never Seen', Slate Vault, 21 November 2014.

'The Mysterious Geometry of Swordsmanship, Gorgeously Illustrated', Slate Vault, 25 September 2014.

'You Want That with Pictures? How To Publish Images in a Scholarly Book'Dissertation Reviews Talking Shop, published on 28 February 2014.

'A Philosophy of Wax: The Anatomy of Frederik Ruysch', in: Joanna Ebenstein and Colin Dickey (eds), The Morbid Anatomy Anthology, New York: Morbid Anatomy Press, 2014, 82–99.

'Texts Matter, Minds Don't: An Interview with Mario Biagioli'Szabad Változók, 2007.

Dániel Margócsy

Photo credit: Sage Ross / CC BY-SA 3.0.