Dr. Kate Epstein, a Professor of History, was awarded an ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship and membership at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where she is currently spending her sabbatical. While there, Dr. Epstein has been working on her second book about government secrecy, defense contracting, and intellectual property.

Additionally, Dr. Epstein’s article “Intellectual Property and National Security: The Case of the Hardcastle Superheater, 1905–1927” was published in History and Technology Volume 34.2 (2018). Below is the abstract of the article. 

This article explores the complex and changing relationship between technological development, intellectual property, and national security in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain. Its specific case study concerns an important invention developed by a naval officer. Technological innovations not only were vital to British security but also embodied commercially valuable intellectual property. The state’s interest in acquiring control of the intellectual property to maintain Britain’s naval supremacy was not automatically aligned with the interests of inventors. The alignment was especially fraught in the case of service inventors—that is, inventors in government service, rather than in the private sector. Service inventors, who played a crucial role in maintaining Britain’s naval-technological edge, were governed by special regulations, and they invariably utilized state resources for their inventive work. Exploring these issues sheds important light on the attitude of the British state toward innovation and technological development from the 1850s through the 1920s.

Dr. Epstein has also been appointed to the board of the Naval Historical Foundation.

Congratulations, Dr. Epstein! We look forward to hearing of your continued successes.