Kristen M. Schranz
Kristen M. Schranz is a PhD candidate at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST) at the University of Toronto, Canada. Originally trained as a history and chemistry teacher, she spent several years in Indonesia teaching at an international school near Jakarta. Through her MA and current PhD at the IHPST, Kristen has been able to combine her interests in history and chemistry.
Her dissertation project, Chemical Texts, Copper Alloys and Sound Advice: James Keir’s Mindful Practice of 18th Century Chemistry, investigates the intersection of philosophical and practical chemistry in the work of Scottish-born chemist and industrialist James Keir. Her thesis analyzes the multi-faceted nature of chemistry in this era by examining Keir’s writing, manufacturing, and consulting.
James Watt has also factored into her research recently. Watt and Keir were members of the Lunar Society and both collaborated alongside Matthew Boulton on Watt’s copying machine scheme. Watt was also a vital correspondent between Keir and Joseph Black. Kristen is currently writing up a paper based on her recent presentation at the James Watt Symposium (July 2016): “Catalyzing Chemical Correspondence: James Watt and the Case of Joseph Black and James Keir”.