Dave Nelson’s path to science historian

Last week the Daily Cardinal published a fantastic profile about biochemistry emeritus professor Dave Nelson, giving an overview of his career and explaining how he ended up functioning as a historian for the department and CALS. In the article Nelson explains how he first inherited some old scientific instruments from a retiring UW professor and then came around to see their beauty and started collecting more. Now Nelson is known on campus for his collection, and the instruments are an important feature of Inter-Ag 375, a CALS history course called Groundbreaking Research in Life Sciences at UW: Past and Present that he co-teaches with others. The class, Nelson says, has inspired him to consider authoring a book on the history of science at UW-Madison.