David Galaty

Assistant Professor with Term of Humanities

Miller Center 434, MSC: 41

David Galaty is an intellectual and cultural historian specializing in the history of science and technology. A National Merit Scholar, he received his BA degree in English from Trinity College, and his PhD in history of science from the Johns Hopkins University. He served in the Peace Corp in Ghana as a secondary school mathematics and physics professor. Most of his career he spent at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where he taught in an interdisciplinary humanities program. While at the University of Wisconsin, he worked with his colleagues to develop several interdisciplinary courses that incorporated intellectual history, literature, philosophy, art, and music. He developed a highly successful January abroad program in Yucatan, Mexico, and was twice an exchange professor in Kassel, Germany, and Leon, Spain. His grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities brought together professors from several disciplines. Dr. Galaty also served twice as humanities division chair and once as chair of Social Services. He served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the University faculty, campus representative to the UW system, and Speaker of the Faculty Senate.

Since coming to Portland, Dr. Galaty has taught at Lewis & Clark College, Portland State University, and Washington State University, Vancouver. He has taught a wide variety of history courses involving science, technology, art society, and politics. Dr. Galaty is presently interested in the use of metaphors in scientific language and the interaction of metaphors in science and religion. He is delighted to be teaching in theExploration and Discovery program.

David Galaty is also a world traveler and photographer. He has spent extensive periods of time living and traveling in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the United States. He is an accomplished photographer whose prints hang in three continents. He searches for situations, gestures, expressions, and patterns that may open doors of understanding between cultures. He is also fascinated by the asymmetric patterns in natures. Above all he seeks to find flowing beauty in the world so that he can show it to others. Dr. Galaty is also a writer who has published newspaper columns, articles, and books.


History of Science and Technology

Academic Credentials

PhD 1971 Johns Hopkins University, BA 1964 Trinity College


David Galaty’s teaching and scholarly interests revolve around finding connections and building bridges.  The history of science and technology clearly bridges the sciences and the humanities, but within his discipline Dr. Galaty has also focused on intersections, such as the mutual influences among biology, physics, and philosophy (seen in his doctoral dissertation The Emergence of Biological Reductionism).  Because of his focus on connections, he has broadened his field to include social and cultural history in several different eras.  A few decades ago Dr. Galaty secured a large grant to bring nine scholars from different disciplines together to teach one another and produce a study Revolutions in Art and Ideas at the Turn of the Twentieth Century.  His role was to investigate the beginnings of genetics, relativity theory, and quantum theory, but the project also included a musicologist, an art historian, two literary critics, two historians, and two philosophers who studied the revolutions in their fields.  Dr. Galaty has also done serious investigative work in scientific language (especially as compared to religious language), the methodology of investigating the Maya, the worldviews of scientists in the scientific revolution, and several other historical problems.  With grant support Dr. Galaty was able to build several documentaries on Mayan culture that were aimed at classroom use.  He has served as an exchange professor in Spain, Germany, and Mexico where he taught in German and Spanish.  For decades Dr. Galaty led a travel course to the Yucatán in Mexico.  He has also led travel courses to Germany and China. 

In the History program at Lewis and Clark Dr. Galaty has taught both Early and Modern European History.  He has also taught German History and Science, Technology, and Culture, and Science and Christianity (for Religious Studies).  He also teaches in the Core program, and for several years he has taught Understanding How We Understand the Maya.

Professional Experience

David Galaty is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where he twice served as Division Chair for the Humanities, Chaired Social Services with a mandate to build an accredited program, served as Chairman of the faculty, UW System representative and Speaker of the Faculty Senate.  At UW-GB Dr. Galaty won all-university teaching awards twice. After an early retirement from the University of Wisconsin System he began teaching at Lewis & Clark College in 2002.  He also teaches history at Portland State University.

Location: Miller Hall