Matthew Wiseman

Matthew Wiseman head shot

My research focuses on the history of science, technology, and medical research ethics in twentieth-century North America. With an eye to understanding the social dynamics of science, my published work examines the complex political and moral dimensions of state-sponsored research conducted at government, private, and academic institutions. In this light, I am currently studying the history of Canada’s National Research Council and gender-based discrimination encountered and overcome by women scientists in physics, biology, and chemistry between 1920 and 2000.

I have published extensively on the history of science and military-sponsored research in the context of Canada and the Cold War. My books include a forthcoming monograph on the history of science in northern Canada and the Canadian Arctic between 1945 and 1975, an edited collection of government policy papers written by the late nuclear physicist and military strategist George Lindsey, and a forthcoming co-edited volume on Canada’s defence economy and the military-industrial complex.

I hold a Ph.D. in History from Wilfrid Laurier University and the Tri-University Graduate Program in History. Before joining the Department of History at the University of Waterloo, I held successive postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Toronto (SSHRC), Western University (AMS), and St. Jerome’s University (Banting). In addition to my ongoing research, I am the Communications Director for the Canadian Science and Technology Historical Association and a Junior Fellow of the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History in the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto.


  • Ph.D. History, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • M.A. History, Lakehead University 
  • B.A. (Honours) and B.Ed. History and English, Lakehead University 

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Canadian History
  • U.S. History
  • History of Science
  • History of Medicine
  • Cold War History
  • History of Ethics
  • Social History
  • Gender History 

Courses Taught

  • HIST103 – Canada through Biography  
  • HIST205 – History of Western Sport
  • HIST389 – Canada in World Affairs
  • HIST422 – Cold War: Culture and Politics

Selected Awards and Honours



  • Frontier Science: Northern Canada, Military Research, and the Cold War, 1945–75. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. (Under contract; anticipated 2023).

Edited Collections

Journal Articles

  • “The Weather Factory: Biophysicist Alan C. Burton and Military Research at the University of Western Ontario, 1945–70.” Scientia Canadensis. (Forthcoming 2022).
  • “The Origins and Early History of Canada’s Cold War Scientific Intelligence, 1946-65.” International Journal. (Forthcoming 2022).

Book Chapters