Ada Palmer

Ada Palmer is a cultural and intellectual historian focusing on radical thought and the recovery of the classics in the Renaissance. She works on the history of science, religion, heresy, freethought, atheism, censorship, books, printing, and on patronage and the networks of power and money that enabled cultural creation in pre-modern Europe. 

Her first book, Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance (2014) explores the impact of the Renaissance rediscovery of ancient Epicurean atomist physics. Her current research focuses on censorship, especially patterns in the motives of censors across time and space, and how new information technologies stimulate new forms of censorship. She recently produced a video discussion series on censorship during information revolutions, comparing the print and digital revolutions, which you can watch streaming free online at 

In addition, Assoc. Prof. Palmer is a composer, and an award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy best known for her Terra Ignota novels.

Palmer Stories

What Historic Pandemics Could Teach Us About Coronavirus, with Ada Palmer (Ep. 48)

A historian explains what we can really learn about COVID-19 from the Black Death pandemic