James Byrne

James Byrne came to Quest after five years in the Princeton Writing Program, where he taught writing seminars on topics ranging from Darwinism to medieval magic. He earned his BA in history and mathematics at Columbia University, where his interest in history, math, and science sparked a passion for studying the history of science. He pursued graduate studies in the history of science at Princeton, where he earned his PhD in history in 2007.

James has a lifelong interest in medieval history, and his research focuses on the history of medieval and early modern science, especially astronomy, cosmology, and physics. He’s written essays on topics including commentaries on medieval astronomical manuscripts and medieval ideas about the physics of angels. James is also currently working on a book on the teaching and practice of astronomy at medieval universities. His broader intellectual interests include the relationship between science and religion, ancient and medieval literature and philosophy, theories of evolution, and the history of apocalyptic thought.

When he’s not teaching, researching, or writing, James enjoys cooking, skiing, biking, reading trashy science fiction novels, and playing, watching, and arguing about sports.