Rachel Rothschild’s research and teaching focus on the history of environmental science and technology, particularly their intersection with international politics and global affairs. She is currently at work on a manuscript that examines the history of acid rain pollution, entitled A Poisonous Sky: Acid Rain and the Emergence of Environmental Science and Diplomacy. It analyzes how acid rain raised new debates about measuring future environmental damage against the more easily calculated economic costs of reducing fossil fuel pollution as well as how the problem shifted concerns about environmental risk from visible, local threats to invisible, chemical dangers on a worldwide scale. She was awarded a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation in 2010, and her work has also received support from the American Meteorological Society, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the MacMillan Foundation, and the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry. Previously, she has published on the history of ecology and nuclear technology, and is now in the early stages of a new global history of environmental monitoring and regulation of toxic chemical hazards.
Teaching and Research Interests
history of science, technology and medicine; environmental history; global and transnational history; international relations