Dr. Matthew Goodrum

Matthew Goodrum
Department of Science and Technology in Society
334 Lane Hall
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA  24061
(540) 231-9006

Matthew R. Goodrum holds a Ph.D. in the History of Science from Indiana University and since 2003 he has been a professor of the history of science in the Department of Science and Technology in Society at Virginia Tech.  His research explores the history of paleoanthropology, the history of prehistoric archaeology, and theories of human origins from the seventeenth to the twentieth century.  He is interested in the relationship between the natural sciences and the human sciences, as well as the broader connections between theories of human origins and the broader religious and cultural context of these theories.  He was the subject area editor for paleoanthropology for the New Dictionary of Scientific Biography (2008) and is the associate editor as well as a major contributing author for the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Human Evolution (2011).  He is currently working on a book on Raymond Dart and the background behind his idea that the South African australopithecines possessed an ‘osteodontokeratic culture.’  The book is tentatively titled Defending Australopithecus as a Human Ancestor: Raymond Dart, the Osteodontokeratic, and Tool-use as a Criterion for Establishing the Phylogenetic Status of Hominids.



"History."  In David R. Begun (ed.), A Companion to Paleoanthropology.  Oxford:  Blackwell Publishing, (forthcoming).

“The Idea of Human Prehistory:  The Natural Sciences, The Human Sciences, and the Problem of Human Origins in Victorian Britain.”  History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences (Special Issue on Human evolution: An agenda for history, philosophy, and social studies) 33 (2012): in press.

Associate editor and major contributing author (responsible for biographical and historical entries), Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Human Evolution.  Bernard Wood (editor).  2 vols. Chichester:  Blackwell Publishers, (2011).

Recovering the Vestiges of Primeval Europe:  Archaeology and the Significance of Stone Implements, 1750-1800.” Journal of the History of Ideas 72 (2011):  51-74.

 "Human Origins." In James Ciment (ed.), Discovery and Invention: A Historical Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Society.  4 vols.  M.E. Sharpe, (forthcoming).

 "The Creation of Societies for the Study of Prehistory and their Role in the Formation of Prehistoric Archaeology as a Discipline, 1867-1929."  Bulletin of the History of Archaeology 19 (2009):  27-35.

 "The History of Human Origins Research and its Place in the History of Science: Research Problems and Historiography," History of Science 47 (2009):  337-57.

with Cora Olson,"The Quest for an Absolute Chronology in Human Prehistory: Chemists, Anthropologists, and the Fluorine Dating Technique in Paleoanthropology," British Journal for the History of Science (2009):  95-114.

"Questioning Thunderstones and Arrowheads:  The Problem of Recognizing and Interpreting Stone Artifacts in the Seventeenth Century."  Early Science and Medicine 13 (2008):  478-504.

"Clark, John Desmond."  In New Dictionary of Scientific Biography vol. 2, New York:  Charles Scribner's Sons, (2008), pp. 123-127.

"Coon, Carleton Stevens."  In New Dictionary of Scientific Biography vol. 2, New York:  Charles Scribner's Sons, (2008), pp. 172-176.

"Dart, Raymond Arthur." In New Dictionary of Scientific Biography vol. 2, New York:  Charles Scribner's Sons, (2008), pp. 237-242.

"Prolegomenon to a History of Paleoanthropology: The Study of Human Origins as a Scientific Enterprise.  Part 1.  Antiquity to the Enlightenment." Evolutionary Anthropology  13 (2004):  172-180.

"Prolegomenon to a History of Paleoanthropology: The Study of Human Origins as a Scientific Enterprise Part II:  Enlightenment to the Twentieth Century." Evolutionary Anthropology  13 (2004):  224-233.

"Robert Gray." In Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century British Scientists.  Bristol:  Thoemmes Press, (2004).

"Edmund D. Montgomery." In Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century British Scientists.  Bristol:  Thoemmes Press, (2004).

 "The Meaning of "Ceraunia": Archaeology, Natural History, and the Interpretation of Prehistoric Stone Artifacts in the Eighteenth Century."  British Journal for the History of Science 35 (2002): 255-269.

"Atomism, Atheism, and the Spontaneous Generation of Human Beings:  The Debate over a Natural Origin of the First Humans in Seventeenth Century Britain."  Journal of the History of Ideas (2002):  207-224.

"Biblical Anthropology and the Idea of Human Prehistory in Late Antiquity."History and Anthropology 13 (2002):  69-78.

"The History of Twentieth Century Paleoanthropology: A Bibliographic Survey." History of Anthropology Newsletter, 27/2 (2000):  10-15.

"Prehistory: Archaeology and Anthropology" in Reader's Guide to the History of Science. Arne Hessenbruch (ed.). London:  Fitzroy Dearborn, 2000.

"Denison Olmsted" in American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.


Book Reviews:

Brown, B. Ricardo, Until Darwin: Science, Human Variety and the Origin of Race (2010), in British Journal for the History of Science 45 (2012):  135-6.

Constance Areson Clark, God or Gorilla:  Images of Evolution in the Jazz Age  (2008) in Annals of Science 68 (2011):  575-577.

Marianne Sommer, em>Bones and Ochre:  The Curious Afterlife of the Red Lady of Paviland (2007) in Social Studies of Science 40 (2010):  155-8.

David N. Livingstone, Adam"s Ancestors:  Race, Religion, and the Politics of Human Origins (2008) in Annals of Science 67 (2010):  296-8.

Sigrid Schmalzer, The People"s Peking Man:  Popular Science and Human Identity in Twentieth-Century China (2008) in British Journal for the History of Science 43 (2010):  132-134.

Anne O"Connor, Finding Time for the Old Stone Age:  A History of Palaeolithic Archaeology and Quaternary Geology in Britain, 1860-1960 (2007) in Anthropos 105 (2010):  296-7.

Peter Rowley-Conwy, From Genesis to Prehistory:  The Archaeological Three Age System and its Contested Reception in Denmark, Britain, and Ireland (2007) in Isis 100 (2009):  936-7.

Ann Gibbons, The First Human:  The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors (2007) in British Journal for the History of Science (2009).

Richard G. Delisle, Debating Humankind's Place in Nature 1860-2000:  The Nature of Paleoanthropology (2007) in British Journal for the History of Science 41 (2008): 451-2.

Kim Sloan, A New World:  England's First View of America (2007) in Early Science and Medicine 13 (2008):  210-211.

David Boyd Haycock, William Stukeley:  Science, Religion and Archaeology in Eighteenth-Century England (2002), in Isis 97 (2006): 556-7.

Raymond Corbey, The Metaphysics of Apes:  Negotiating the Animal-Human Boundary  (2005), in Anthropos 101 (2006):  593-4.

Rosemary Sweet, Antiquaries:  The Discovery of the Past in Eighteenth-Century Britain (2004), in British Journal for the History of Science 39 (2006):  448-449.

Terry A. Barnhart, Ephraim George Squier and the Development of American Anthropology  (2005), in Isis 97 (2006):  164-5.

Brian Fagan, Grahame Clark: An Intellectual Biography of an Archaeologist (2001), in Journal of Human Evolution 48 (2005):  433-4.

G. Urton, Signs of the Inka Khipu:  Binary Coding in the Andean Knotted-String Records (2003), in Isis 95 (2004):  484-5.

W. Stoczkowski, Explaining Human Origins:  Myth, Imagination and Conjecture, tr. by Mary Turton (2002), in Journal of Human Evolution 46 (2004):  642-3.

R. Corbey and W. Roebroeks (eds.), Studying Human Origins:  Disciplinary History and Epistemology (2001), in Journal of Human Evolution 44 (2003): 395-6.

Frank Spencer, History of Physical Anthropology: an Encyclopedia, (1997) in Isis 89 (1998):  116-7.