David Pantalony

David Pantalony

Visiting Scholar (Aug 2019)

PhD, Curator, Physical Sciences and Medicine Ingenium - Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation, Ontario, Canada

Since 2006, I have been Curator of Physical Sciences and Medicine at Ingenium: Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation. We recently renovated the entire Canada Science and Technology Museum, where I was part of a diverse team that reimagined the science and medicine sections. We based the medical exhibit on the role of the five senses in medical practice, past and present. In a shift from traditional Western perspectives of science, we co-curated the astronomy exhibit with Indigenous partners, a collaboration that has now grown into an international exhibition and symposium on Indigenous Star Knowledge. At Ingenium, we are also currently developing a National Research Institute in our new Collections, Research and Conservation Centre. In addition to these curatorial roles, I am an Adjunct Professor in History at the University of Ottawa, where I teach a collection-based seminar.

My background was originally in experimental neuropsychology, followed by an MA and PhD at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto. Based on my dissertation and subsequent research in collections throughout North America and Europe, I wrote Altered Sensations: Rudolph Koenig’s Acoustical Workshop in Nineteenth-Century Paris (Springer, 2009), which won the Paul Bunge Book Prize.

At the MPIWG I am part of the research group “Epistemes of Modern Acoustics,” where I am exploring scientific instrument collections in Germany in order to map and better understand the material foundations of acoustics. The long-term goal is to apply these findings in the development of an exhibition on acoustics that brings together material traditions in science and music. I am also working on a broader study of the history of instruments and provenance in science collections.


No current projects were found for this scholar.

Exploring the Material Culture of Acoustics in German Collections


Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

Tracing the origins of physics on the Canadian Prairies: Skills, materials, and instruments on the move.

Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, Geschichte der Physik (GP), Munich, Germany

Cross-fertilisation between musical and scientific instrument makers in nineteenth-century Paris, co-presented with Anne Houssay (Musée de la musique, Paris)

Scientific Instrument Symposium, Rijksmuseum Boerhaave  & Teylers Museum

Sound and Instruments on the Move

Max Planck Institute for the History of Science