Skip to main content

Tal Golan

Tal Golan holds a Ph.D from the University of California at Berkeley (1997) in the History of Science. His areas of specialization are: history of science in the 18th and 19th centuries, history of Israeli science; history of science policy, and the relations between science, technology and law.  He is currently engaged in two research projects:  Zionism and science, and the history of statistical evidence.  


  • Laws of Man and Laws of Nature: A History of Scientific Expert Testimony, (Harvard University Press, spring 2004).
  • Co-Editor, History of Israeli Science, Special Volume of Science in Context , (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  • Editor, Science, Technology and Israeli Society, Special Volume of Israel Studies, (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2004).
  • Editor, Science and Law, Special Volume of Science in Context , (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).

Book Chapters:

  • “Science and Law,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Scientific, Medical, and Technological History (Oxford, Oxford University Press, forthcoming)
  • “William Morton’s Photography of the Invisible and Its Value in Surgery, in Hidden Treasure of the  National Library of Medicine (Bethesda, Md: National Library of Medicine, 2012)
  • “The History of Epidemiological Evidence in the Twentieth-Century American Courtroom,” in Jessica Riskin and Mario Biagioli, eds., Nature Engaged: Science in Practice from the Renaissance to the Present (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012)
  • “Bildbesprechung : Hirndarstellungen vor Gericht,” in Bildwelten des Wissens. Kunsthistorisches Jahrbuch für Bildkritik (Berlin, Akademie Verlag, Dec 2008). 
  • “Aus der Seele sprechen: Recht, Psychologie und das Beweismaterial vom Schauplatz der Psyche um 1900”, in M. Cuntz, B. Nitsche and I. Otto, eds., Die Listen der Evidenz. (Cologne: Herbst, 2005)
  • “Law and Science,” in J. L. Heilbron, ed., The Oxford
  • Companion to the History of Modern Science (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 455 – 457.
  • “Sichtbarkeit und Macht: Maschinen als Augenzeugen,” in Peter Geimer, ed., Ordnungen de Sichtbarkeit: Fotografie in Wissenschaft, Technologie und Kunst (Berlin: Kluwer, 2002), 171-210.

Journal Articles:

  • “The Kishon Affair: Science, Law, and the Politics of Causation in the Israeli Context,” Science in Context (2010) 23(4):535–569
  • “Visual Images in the Courtroom: a Historical Perspective, Parallax (2008) 14 (4): 77-89.
  • Revisiting the History of Scientific Expert Testimony,” Brooklyn Law Review (2008) 73 (3):879-942
  • “The Emergence of the Silent Witness: The Legal and Medical Reception of X-rays in the USA,” Social Studies of Science (2004) 34: 469-499.
  • “History of Scientific Expert Testimony in the English Courtroom,” Science in Context (1999) 12:5-34.
  • Tal Golan, “Learning to See: The Origin of Visual Technologies in Medicine and Law,” Plilim (Tel-Aviv University Law Review) (2003) 3:59-88.
  • Tal Golan, “Blood will Out: Distinguishing Humans from Animals and Scientists from Charlatans in the Nineteenth-Century Courtroom,” Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences (2000) 31:93-124.
  • Tal Golan, “The Authority of Shadows: The Legal Embrace of the X-Ray,” Historical Reflections (1998) 24:437-458. 
  • The history of scientific expertise in various public arenas.
  • The history of science policy
  • The relations between science and law in 19th century USA.
  • The history of Israeli science
  • HISC 107. The Emergence of Modern Science (Lecture course)
  • HISC 131.  Science, Techonology and Law (Lecture course)
  • LAWS 101. Contemporary Legal Issues (Lecture course)
  • HISC 177/277.  Science and the Enlightenment (Seminar)
  • HISC 180/280. History of Public Policy (Seminar)
  • HIGR 236A+B. Science and the Public Sphere (Seminar)
  • HIGR 239.  Scientific Evidence (STS seminar)
  • HISC 161/261. Newton & Newtonianism (Seminar)
  • HITO 87. Biology and Society (Freshman Seminar)