Loren R. Graham (born June 29, 1933, in Hymera, Indiana) is a noted American historian of science, particularly science in Russia.
He has taught and published at Indiana University, Columbia University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University, where he is currently a research associate. He was a participant in one of the first academic exchange programs between the United States and the Soviet Union, studying at Moscow University in 1960-61.
He wrote a popular book on Native American history (A Face in the Rock) and a memoir (Moscow Stories) which describes his youth in the United States and his adventures in Russia. He has also been a strong supporter of human rights and scholarship. He was a member of the board of trustees of the Soros Foundation.
For many years he has been a member of the Governing Council of the Program on Basic Research and Higher Education, which supports the combining of research and teaching in Russian universities and is financially supported by the MacArthur Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, the Russian Ministry of Science and Education, and local groups in Russia. He is a member of the advisory council of the U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation, which supports international scientific collaboration.
For many years he was a member of the board of trustees of the European University at St. Petersburg and still serves on the board of a body raising money for that university. He donated several thousand books from his library to the European University which has established a special collection in his name.
In much of his work in the history of science, Graham has demonstrated the influence of social context on science, even its theoretical structure. For example, in his Science and Philosophy in the Soviet Union (which was a finalist for a National Book Award) he delineated the influence of Marxism on science in Russia — in some cases, such as the Lysenko Affair, deleterious, but, in other cases, particularly in physics, psychology, and origin of life studies, positive.
In addition to writing on the history of scientific theories, Graham has written much on the organization of science in Russia and the Soviet Union, including a book on the early history of the Soviet Academy of Sciences (The Soviet Academy of Sciences and the Communist Party) and a more recent one on the situation of science in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union (Science in the New Russia; co-written with Irina Dezhina).
Graham earned his B.A. in chemical engineering at Purdue University and his M.A. and doctorate degree in history at Columbia University.
In 1996 he received the George Sarton Medal of the History of Science Society and in 2000 he received the Follo Award of the Michigan Historical Society for his contributions to Michigan history.
Graham is a member of a number of honorary societies, both American and foreign, including the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Russian Academy of Natural Science. His books have been published in English, Italian, German, Russian, Spanish, French, Japanese, Greek, Persian, Korean and Chinese. In 2012, he was awarded a medal by the Russian Academy of Sciences at a ceremony in Moscow for "contributions to the history of science".
Among his doctoral students have been Michael Gordin, Kendall Bailes, Linda Lubano, Douglas Weiner, Karl Hall, and Slava Gerovitch.
Graham's wife Patricia Graham is a prominent historian of education and a former dean at Harvard University.
Biographical material and professional details for Loren Graham may be found in:
Naming God, Naming Infinity; a talk by Loren Graham