Ivano Dal Prete

Ivano Dal Prete's picture
Lecturer, History and HSHM; Director of Undergraduate Studies, HSHM
EM 310
Fields of interest: 

Earth sciences (ca. 1300-1800); generation in the long eighteenth century; the material culture of astronomy; science, religion and society in early modern Italy.


Ivano Dal Prete’s research explores various aspects of the interaction of science, religion and the European society between the late Middle Ages and the early 19th century. His interests include astronomical instruments trade and the elaboration of planetary images in the 18th and 19th centuries; the cultural and social history of science in early modern Venice, the digital edition of scientific correspondence networks. He is working on the interaction between theology and embryology during the 18th century, the redefinition of the status of human embryos and its implications for the social control of pregnancies and abortions in Catholic countries. He is also writing a book that reappraises the history of deep time in medieval and early modern Europe, arguing that beliefs in an ancient world circulated freely and were not regarded as problematic by religious authorities. Ivano Dal Prete is an active amateur astronomer with a soft spot for Saturn and Mars. He is the co-discoverer of several asteroids.


Scienza e società nel Settecento veneto (“Science and Society in 18th-century Republic of Venice”; in Italian), Milano, FrancoAngeli, 2008.

Antonio Vallisneri. Miglioramenti e correzioni, d’alcune esperienze, ed osservazioni del signor Redi (ed., introduction and notes), Florence, Olschki, 2005 (in Italian).

Selected articles and book chapters:

“‘Being the World Eternal’. The Age of the Earth in Renaissance Italy”, Isis, June 2014.

“Brokering Instruments in Napoleon’s Europe. The Italian Journeys of Franz Xavier von Zach (1807-1814)”, Annals of Science, 2014.

“The Gazola Family’s Scientific Cabinet. Politics, Society and Scientific Collecting in the Twilight of the Republic of Venice”, in Jim Bennett, Sofia Talas (eds.), Making Science Public in 18th-Century Europe: the Role of Cabinets of Experimental Philosophy, Brill, 2013.

Forthcoming articles and book chapters:

“Cultures and Politics of Preformism in 18th-century Italy”, in Ray Stephenson, Darren Wagner (eds.) The Secrets of Generation: Reproduction in the Long Eighteenth Century, University of Toronto Press, 2014.

“The Medieval Sources of Renaissance Vernacular Meteorologies”, in Simon Gilson (ed.), Philosophy and Knowledge in the Renaissance: Interpreting Aristotle in the Vernacular, The Warburg Institute Series, 2014.