Professor Liba Taub

BA (Tulane), MA (Chicago), PhD (Oklahoma)

Fellow Emerita, Postgraduate Mentor

Picture of Liba Taub

College Roles

  • Fellow Emerita
  • Postgraduate Mentor

University Roles

  • Professor of History and Philosophy of Science
  • Director and Curator of Whipple Museum of the History of Science


Telephone: +44 (0) 1223 335790


Picture of Liba Taub


I came to Cambridge in 1995, as Curator of the Whipple Museum of the History of Science, part of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, and became a Fellow of Newnham College in 1996.

I was thrilled to come to Newnham, not least because as a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma in the 1980s, I had studied history of chemistry using a book published by Newnham’s College Lecturer in Chemistry (1893-1912), Ida Freund: The study of chemical composition. An account of its method and historical development, with illustrative quotations (CUP, 1904).

I was, and continue to be, inspired by the women of Newnham College.

Research Interests

History of early science, particularly ancient Greek and Roman astronomy, physics and meteorology; history of scientific instruments and the preservation of material relating to scientific heritage. I am currently studying the sharing of scientific, mathematical and medical ideas at Greek and Roman dinner and drinking parties (symposia).

My most recent monograph, Science Writing in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2017), investigated different genres used to communicate about scientific ideas and mathematics (including poetry, letters, encyclopaedia, commentaries and biographies). My previous monographs include: Aetna and the Moon: Explaining Nature in Ancient Greece and Rome (2008), Ancient Meteorology (2003), and Ptolemy’s Universe: The Natural Philosophical and Ethical Foundations of Ptolemy’s Astronomy (1993). My edited volumes include The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek and Roman Science (2020),The Whipple Museum of the History of Science: Objects and Investigations, to Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of R.S. Whipple’s Gift to the University of Cambridge (2019) and The Cambridge History of Science, volume 1: Ancient Science (2018).