Douglas O'Reagan

Historian of Industry, Technology, and National Security. Economic Consultant. Programmer.

Taking Nazi Technology
Allied Exploitation of German Science after the Second World War

Out now from the Johns Hopkins University Press!

"[U]tterly rooted in scholarly rigor ... [F]ascinating. ... [R]eaders with very little prior knowledge [can] engage with the narrative. ... [A] story that has not been widely told before" -Science magazine.

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PhD, History – University of California, Berkeley - 2014
BS, Physics; BA, History – University of Virginia - 2007

Research Interests
History of Science / Technology
Business History / History of Capitalism
Legal History (especially re: technology, licensing, intellectual property)
History of Espionage (especially industrial espionage)
Diplomatic and International History

I am a historian, writer, programmer, and economic consultant based in Boston, Massachusetts. As my undergraduate dual-majors in Physics (BS) and History (BA) from the University of Virginia attest, I have long been interested in both qualitative and quantiative research. My PhD in History from the University of California, Berkeley focused on the history of science and technology, and along the way I developed programming projects and quantitative research skills that advanced those skills.

As a historian, my research focuses on industrial science and technology in the context of the Cold War. I consider myself a historian of industry, technology, and national security. My first book, Taking Nazi Technology: Allied Exploitation of German Science after the Second World War (2019), is a comparative history of America, British, French, and Soviet programs to take German science and technology as a kind of "intellectual reparations" from the defeated nation. Someday I hope to write books about the histories of industrial espionage, trade secrets, and how economics, business, and law have dealt with the difficult problem of tacit knowledge, or "know-how."

As a programmer, my most recent project is The Disrespect Index, a ranking metric for college basketball teams based on how frequently they beat the spread. Several years ago I teamed up with a top management studies / economics scholar on a tool that uses patent data to illustrate the social networks of who has co-invested a patent with whom, over time: The Patent Co-Inventor Social Network Tool. I also have older, deprecated projects like FamilyGiftLister, a site for families to register and reserve gifts off of each other's Christmas lists to avoid duplication or annoying logistics.

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