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Melinda Baldwin


Professional affiliation

Associate Professor, University of Maryland College Park
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  • Cold War
  • History
  • Science and Technology
  • Society and Culture

Wilson Center Projects

"In Referees We Trust? Peer review and public policy in the US, 1945-1990."

Full Biography

Melinda Baldwin is the AIP Endowed Professor (Associate) in History of Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland College Park. She is the author of "Making 'Nature': The History of a Scientific Journal" (U. Chicago Press, 2015) and has been interviewed about her work on scientific publishing and peer review for The Atlantic, Austrian National Radio’s ORF-Radiothek, Germany’s Deutschlandradio, BBC Radio’s The Naked Scientists, and Science Friday’s Undiscovered. She holds a BS from Davidson College, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD from Princeton University.

Major Publications

  • Melinda Baldwin, “Scientific autonomy, public accountability, and the rise of ‘peer review’ in the Cold War United States,” Isis 109 no. 3 (2018): 538–558.
  • Melinda Baldwin, “Credibility, peer review, and Nature, 1939-1990,” Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science 69 no. 3 (2015): 337–352.
  • “To reform peer review, we need to understand its past,” Nature Reviews Physics 3 (2021): 600–601.