Hannah Marcus is an assistant professor in the Department of the History of Science. Her research focuses on the scientific culture of early modern Europe between 1400 and 1700. Marcus’s first book, Forbidden Knowledge: Medicine, Science, and Censorship in Early Modern Italy (University of Chicago Press, 2020), explores the censorship of medical books from their proliferation in print through the prohibitions placed on many of these texts during the Counter-Reformation. This account explains how and why the books prohibited by the Catholic Church in Italy ended up back on the shelves of private and public Italian libraries in the seventeenth century. Her second book, Methuselah’s Children: The Renaissance Discovery of Old Age, is a study of ideas about longevity and experiences of advanced old age in a period characterized by massive outbreaks of plague and an average life expectancy of 35. Her public writing on plague has appeared in The New York Times, Scientific American, and The Conversation, among other venues.
“Revisiting the Plague in the Age of Galileo,” Isis: A Journal of the History of Science, 111. 4 (Dec. 2020): 809-813.
“Galileo’s Lessons for Living and Working through a Plague,” Scientific American, April 30, 2020.
“Opinion: What the Plague Can Teach Us About the Coronavirus,” The New York Times, March 1, 2020. https://nyti.ms/2x24joL
Forbidden Knowledge: Medicine, Science, and Censorship in Early Modern Italy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020.