Cogut Institute for the Humanities
Center for the Study of the Early Modern World

Harold Cook

John F. Nickoll Professor of History
Research Interests Early Modern Europe, Dutch Republic, Science Medicine, CommerceTranslation


Hal Cook comes from the American Midwest, although he is now a British as well as U.S. citizen, having devoted almost a decade to his work as Professor of the History of Medicine and Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL. He previously taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Harvard University, and has served the communities of the history of medicine and science, as well as history in general, through various professional society committees and editorial work. He takes an interest in global history, science and capitalism, and the history of medicine, especially in the early modern period; his research has been mostly on the 17th century, in recent years focusing on the relationships between commerce, medicine, and science in the Dutch Golden Age. His recent book on the young Descartes, who could have walked out of the pages of the Three Musketeers, was published in 2018. He has held several fellowships and has been the recipient of a number of honors and awards, including two book prizes: the Welch Medal of the American Association for the History of Medicine (1997) and the Pfizer Prize of the History of Science Society (2009).