Born in Visalia, California, the son of a salesman, Carroll Pursell currently ranks among the foremost American historians of science and technology. His research and writing has focused on the role of science and technology in shaping national policy in the United States. Pursell was educated at the University of California at Berkeley, receiving a B.A. in 1956 and a Ph.D. in 1961, and at the University of Delaware, where he earned a Master's degree in history in 1958. From 1963 to 1965, he taught history at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Then he was appointed professor of history at the University of California at Santa Barbara, remaining there for more than 20 years. In 1988 he returned to Case Western Reserve University, where he is currently the Adeline Barry Davee Distinguished Professor of History. Pursell has received widespread recognition for his contributions to the history of science and for the quality of his scholarly research. Appointed Visting Research Scholar at the Smithsonian Institution in 1970, he has also served as Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Lehigh University (1974--76) and Research Professor at the University of Wisconsin (1977). A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Pursell has also served as president of the Society of History and Technology (1990--92). In 1991 he was awarded the Leonardo da Vinci medal for his contributions in his field.