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Mario Biagioli

Distinguished Professor of Law and Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Director, Center for Science and Innovation Studies


Undergraduate Studies, Computer Science, University of Pisa, Italy 1978

M.F.A. Museum Studies, History of Photography, Rochester Institute of Technology 1984

M.A. History of Science, University of California, Berkeley 1986

Ph.D. History of Science, University of California, Berkeley 1989


Mario Biagioli is a Distinguished Professor of Law and Science and Technology Studies (STS), and Director of the Center for Science and Innovation Studies. At the Law School, he teaches courses on intellectual property in science, and on the history and philosophy of intellectual property.

Prior to joining King Hall, he was Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University, specializing in intellectual property in science.  He has also taught at UCLA, Stanford, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Science Sociales (Paris), and the University of Aberdeen (Scotland).  For more than a decade, Professor Biagioli has been studying problems of authorship and priority attribution in contemporary "Big Science," editing (with Peter Galison), Scientific Authorship (Routledge, 2003).  He has subsequently published on the history of patenting in the sciences, the development of specifications requirements, the peer review of patent applications.  With Pater Jaszi and Martha Woodmansee, he has edited Making and Unmaking Intellectual Property (Chicago, 2011) and is working on The Author as Vegetable, a book on the role of environmental concepts in contemporary discussions of the knowledge commons.  Other current research interests include definitions of patentable subject matter and the role of secrecy in science. 

A former Guggenheim Fellow, he is a founding member of the International Society for the Theory and History of Intellectual Property (ISTHIP).  After studying computer science at the University of Pisa (Italy) and receiving an MFA in photography from the Visual Studies Workshop and the Rochester Institute of Technology, he was awarded a PhD in history of science from UC Berkeley in 1989.  He is also the author of Galileo Courtier (Chicago, 1993 - translated in German, Greek, Spanish, and Portuguese), Galileo's Instruments of Credit (Chicago, 2006)), and the editor of The Science Studies Reader (Routledge, 1998).   

Subject Areas

Law And Science, Intellectual Property, Legal History, Ethics, Patent Law, Law And Cultural Studies, Science and Technology Studies

Selected Career Highlights

  • Professor, Department of History of Science, Harvard University (1995-2010)
  • Honorary Professorial Fellowship, School of the Social and Political Sciences, University of Edinburgh (2009)
  • Visiting Sixth Century Chair of Modern Thought, History of Science, and Law, University of Aberdeen (2007-2008)
  • Directeur d'Etudes Associe’, Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris (April 1998 and May-June 1993)
  • Associate Professor, Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles (1992-1995)
  • Visiting Associate Professor, Department of History of Science, Harvard University (Spring 1993)
  • Visiting Professor, Program in History of Science, Stanford University (Winter 1992)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles (1989-1992)
  • Lecturer, Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles (1988-1989)

Selected Publications

Making and Unmaking Intellectual Property, edited volume (with Martha Woodmansee and Peter Jaszi), (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011).

Nature Engaged, edited volume (with Jessica Riskin), (New York: Palgrave-MacMillan Publishers, 2012).

Galileo’s Instruments of Credit: Telescopes, Images, Secrecy, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006)

Scientific Authorship: Credit and Intellectual Property in Science, edited volume, with Peter Galison, (New York: Routledge, 2003).

The Science Studies Reader, edited volume (New York: Routledge, 1999).

Galileo, Courtier, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993; paperback 1994); Galilei, Hoffling, (Frankfurt: Fischer Verlag, 1999) (German translation); Galileu Cortesao (Porto: Porto Editora, 2003) (Portuguese translation); Galileo, Courtier (Athens: Katoptro Publications, 2006) (Greek translation); Galileo Cortesan (Madrid: Katz Editores, 2008) (Spanish translation)

"Recycling Texts or Stealing Time?: Plagiarism, Authorship, and Credit in Science", International Journal of Cultural Property, 19: 453-476 (2012).

"Between Knowledge and Technology: Patenting Methods, Rethinking Materiality", Anthropological Forum, 22: 285-300 (2012).

"Productive Illusions: Kuhn's Structure as a Recruitment Tool", Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, 42: 479-484 (2012).

"From Ciphers to Confidentiality: Secrecy, Openness and Priority in Science", British Journal for the History of Science, 45: 213-233 (2012).

"Witnessing Astronomy: Kepler on the Uses and Misuses of Testimony", in Biagioli and Riskin (eds.), Nature Engaged (New York: Palgrave), pp. 103-123 (2012).

"Genius Against Copyright: Revisiting Fichte's Proof of the Illegality of Reprinting", Notre Dame Law Review 86: 1847-67 (2011).

"Did Galileo Copy the Telescope?" , Albert Van Helden et al. (eds.), The Origins of the Telescope (Amsterdam: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Press, pp. 203-230, 2010).

Post-Disciplinary Liaisons: Science Studies and the Humanities", Critical inquiry 35: 816-833 (2009).

"Nature and the Commons: The Vegetable Roots of Intellectual Property", in Living Properties: Making Properties and Controlling Ownership in the History of Biology (Ed.) Jean-Paul Gaudilliere, Daniel J. Keyles, Hans-Jorg Rheinberger, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Preprint 382 pp. 241-250 (2009).

"Bringing Peer Review to Patents", First Monday 12 (6) Special issue on "Cyberinfrastructure for Collaboration and Innovation" (2007).

"Patent Republic: Specifying inventions, Constructing Authors and Rights", Social Research 73: 1129-1172 (2006).

"From Print to Patents: Living on Instruments in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800", History of Science 44:139-86 (2006).