profile picture of Kathryn Olesko

Kathryn Olesko

Visiting Scholar (Jun 2019)

PhD, Member, Program in Science, Technology, and International Affairs, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

Kathryn Olesko holds a joint appointment in the Program in Science, Technology, and International Affairs and the Department of History at Georgetown University where she currently teaches both policy-oriented and history lecture courses on nuclear matters and graduate reading courses on expertise and the state. Her major work-in-progress is on precision measurement, geopolitics, and Prussian state technocrats from Frederick the Great to the Great War. For the Working Group “History of Bureaucratic Knowledge” she is examining the role of a Prussian survey of towns acquired in the Second Polish Partition (1793)—known as the Indaganda, or things which must be hunted or tracked down—in consolidating the role of practical knowledge in state governance.

She is the recipient of several grants and awards, including the Dibner Distinguished Fellowship at the Huntington Library and grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1998) and the American Physical Society (2016).  She is former Editor of Osiris and former Associate Editor of Isis. She is the first woman elected Chair of the Main Campus Executive Faculty at Georgetown University (2019–2021).




No current projects were found for this scholar.

The Information Order of the Prussian Frontier, 1772–1806


Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

Conference, Looking Back as We Move Forward: The Past, Present, and Future of the History of Science, California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology

"Ludwik Fleck, Alfred Schütz, and the Social World: What They Mean for Us"

Conference, European Society for the History of Science / British Society for the History of Science Annual Meeting, University College London

"The Information Order of the Prussian Frontier: Data Collection and the Polish Partitions"

Conference, Beyond Data: Knowledge Production in Bureaucracies across Science, Commerce, and the State, German Historical Institute, Washington, DC

"Copenhagen: The Ethical Dilemma"

Talk, Theater Talkback Series, Perisphere Theater, Washington, DC

"Education in Science Diplomacy: The Gateway Course"

Conference, Science Diplomacy, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC