Simon Schaffer bigraphy, stories - British academic

Simon Schaffer : biography

1 January 1955 -

Simon J. Schaffer (born 1 January 1955 in Southampton) is a professor of the history and philosophy of science at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at University of Cambridge and was until recently editor of The British Journal for the History of Science.


Schaffer was born in Southampton and educated at Varndean Grammar School for Boys in Brighton. He went onto study at Trinity College, Cambridge, gaining a DPhil in 1980.

Awards and honours

In 2005 he shared the prestigious Erasmus Prize with Steven Shapin for Leviathan and the Air-Pump. This Dutch prize was handed over by the Dutch crown prince Willem-Alexander and can be regarded as a token of appreciation for the intrinsic value of his work for the history of science in general.


After completing his DPhil, Schaffer went to Harvard University as a Kennedy Scholar. In 1974 he was captain of the Trinity College team which won University Challenge. He previously taught at Imperial College London and the University of California, Los Angeles. Schaffer has been a Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge since 1985.

Schaffer has authored or co-authored numerous books, including Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life with Steven Shapin. In addition to his work at Cambridge, he has been a presenter on the BBC, in particular the series Light Fantastic broadcast on BBC Four in 2004.


Schaffer is a supporter of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.. He pronounces the letter T as a D in all circumstances.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine