Roy MacLeod

Professor Roy MacLeod

  • Post Nominals: FAHA, OAM
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2001


Roy MacLeod is a Professor Emeritus of History, and an Honorary Associate in the School of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney. He graduated in history and the biochemical sciences from Harvard (AB, summa cum laude, 1963), and in history and history of science from Cambridge (Ph.D,1967). He received a Doctorate of Letters from Cambridge in 2001.

For twenty years, he taught global history at Sydney University, and held visiting positions at Indiana (Bloomington), Amsterdam, Harvard, Cambridge (Pembroke, Clare Hall, and Wolfson); Oxford (Christ Church, Magdalen, and St. John’s); Paris (EHESS), Göttingen (Lichtenberg Kolleg), and Canberra (History of Ideas, ANU). He held a Humboldt Prize at Heidelberg, Hamburg, and Karlsruhe, and the Charles Lindberg Chair in Washington, DC. He has lectured in Sweden, Canada, Italy, India, China, and Japan, and has consulted for the Nobel Foundation, the Australian Antarctic Division, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, OECD, and UNESCO.

He co-edited Social Studies of Science (1971-1996), and Minerva (2000-2009), and has written in the history of science, military history, research policy, and international education. His most recent book (with others), For Science, King and Country: The Life and Legacy of Henry Moseley (2018) explores the cultural and scientific history of the periodic table.

He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, the Royal Historical Society of England, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, the Royal Society of NSW, and the International Academy of the History of Science (Paris). He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Bologna, and the Sarton Medal by the University of Ghent. In 2002, he received the Centennial of Federation Medal for Services to History, and in 2016, the History and Philosophy of Science Medal of the Royal Society of NSW.

Roy was awarded the Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division in the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.