W. R. Laird


Degrees:B.A. (Concordia), M.A. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Toronto)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2833
Office:419 Paterson Hall

Research Interests

Ancient, medieval, and renaissance science, especially mechanics and the science of motion

Honours and Awards

2015 Renaissance Society of America – Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies Visiting Research Fellow, Victoria College, University of Toronto
2012 Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellow and Affiliate Associate Professor, History of Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
2009 Dibner Research Fellow, The Huntington, San Marino, CA
2007-08 Member, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ
2005 Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Research Award, Carleton University
2000-03 SSHRCC Research Grant

Select Publications

“Heron of Alexandria and the Principles of Mechanics.” In The Frontiers of Ancient Science: Essays in Honor of Heinrich von Staden, ed. Brooke Holmes and Klaus-Dietrich Fischer. Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 338. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015. 289-305.

“Change and Motion.”  In The Cambridge History of Science, Volume 2:  Medieval Science, ed. David C. Lindberg and Michael Shank.  Cambridge:  Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013.

“Guidobaldo del Monte and Renaissance Mechanics.”  In  Antonio Becchi, Domenico Bertoloni Meli, and Enrico Gamba (eds), Atti del convegno in occasione del 400° anniversario della morte di Guidobaldo del Monte.  Editions Open Access.  Berlin:  Max Planck Institute, 2013, 35-51.

“Stillman Drake on Salviati’s Proof.” Centaurus 54 (2012), 177-181.

“The Sources of Francesco Maurolico’s Ex Heronis et aliorum spiritalibus,” Bollettino di Storia delle Scienze matematiche  XXX, 1 (2010), 9-21.

“The Scholastic Mechanics of Blasius of Parma,” in Sabine Rommevaux and Joel Biard (eds), Mathématiques et connaissance du monde réel avant Galilée, CNRS-MESR.  Montreuil:  Omniscience, 2010, 221-242.

Walter Roy Laird and Sophie Roux (eds), Mechanics and Natural Philosophy before the Scientific Revolution.   Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science.  Dordrecht/Boston:  Kluwer/Springer Verlag, 2008.

“Nature, Mechanics, and Voluntary Movement in Giuseppe Moletti’s Lectures on the Mechanical Problems.”  In Mechanics and Natural Philosophy before the Scientific Revolution.   Ed. W. R. Laird and Sophie Roux.  Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science.  Dordrecht/Boston:  Kluwer/Springer Verlag, 2008.

“Renaissance Mechanics and the New Science of Motion.”  In José Montesinos and Carlos Solís Santos, eds., Largo campo di filosofare.  La Orotava:  Fundacíon Canaria Orotava de Historia de la Ciencia, 2001,  255-267.

The Unfinished Mechanics of Giuseppe Moletti: An Edition and English Translation of his “Dialogue on Mechanics”. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000.