My name is Michael Egan; I’m an associate professor in the Department of History at McMaster University. My teaching and research interests revolve around the histories of science, technology, environment, and the future. I am the author of Barry Commoner and the Science of Survival: The Remaking of American Environmentalism (MIT Press, 2007) and co-editor (with Jeff Crane) of Natural Protest: Essays on the History of American Environmentalism (Routledge, 2008).
I’m currently at work on two book projects. The first is a short history of sustainability, tentatively titled “The History of Now: Decoding Environmental Sustainability,” and examines the historical antecedents of the contemporary sustainability movement. The second project examines mercury pollution since World War II, concentrating on the relationship between science and policy. It has the working title: “Modern Alchemy: Science, Policy, and Mercury Pollution in the Toxic Century.” In addition to these two bigger projects, I’m dabbling in a number of other directions. I remain fascinated with the history of the future—how technology has shaped our imagination of the future and how, in turn, imaginings have transformed technological directions, especially in an environmental context. I’m also developing an edited volume on the environmental history of the bicycle and mulling a new project on the history of toxic fear.
Contact me at egan (at) mcmaster.ca or find my on Twitter at @EganHistory.