Thomas A. Stapleford

Associate Professor, Program of Liberal Studies
Associate Professor, Program of Liberal Studies
Concurrent Associate Professor, Department of History; Faculty member, Program in History & Philosophy of Science


Ph.D. (History of Science), Harvard University

M.Sc. (Artificial Intelligence) with distinction, University of Edinburgh

B.A. (Liberal Arts) summa cum laude, Liberal Arts; B.M.E. (Mechanical Engineering) summa cum laude, University of Delaware

Research and Teaching Interests

History of science, history of economics, American political economy, policy history, philosophy of science, virtue ethics


Tom Stapleford studies the human sciences, especially economics, where his work intersects American political history and the history of capitalism. He also has strong interests in virtue ethics, historical epistemology (the joint historical and philosophical study of ways of reasoning), and historiography (how one writes history).

Stapleford is the author of The Cost of Living in America: A Political History of Economic Statistics (Cambridge, 2009) and co-editor of Building Chicago Economics: New Perspectives on the History of America’s Most Powerful Economics Program (Cambridge, 2011), and he has published articles in a diverse set of journals including the Journal of American History, Isis: Journal of the History of Science Society, History of Political Economy, and Labor History. He is currently writing a book manuscript that uses virtue ethics to think about how to integrate expertise with democratic governance.

Stapleford has been awarded major grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Templeton Religion Trust, was a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and has served on the editorial board for Isis: Journal of the History of Science Society, and was Associate Editor for Studies in the History & Philosophy of Science Part A. He is on the Executive Committee of the History of Economics Society.

Phone: 574-631-7540
Office: 320W O'Shaughnessy Hall

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