Prof. Dr. Maria Rentetzi

Biographical Note

Maria Rentetzi is one of a handful of scholars working at the intersection of science and technology studies, nuclear diplomacy, and gender. Her research focuses on two intertwined areas of inquiry: the investigation of the politically and historically situated character of technoscience and the critical examination of gender as a major analytic category in technoscientific endeavors. She is an affiliate of the Max Planck Institute for History of Science (MPIWG) and was previously a guest professor at TU Berlin, a Silverman Professor at Tel Aviv University in Israel, and a professor at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). She joined FAU in January 2021.

Rentetzi has been trained as a physicist at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Greece. She received her MA in History of Science and Technology from NTUA, and a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Tech, USA. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow and guest scholar at MPIWG and a Lise Meitner Fellow of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). She has received multiple international awards for her scholarship, including the Gutenberg-e Prize of the American Historical Society and one of the most prestigious grants in Europe, the ERC Consolidator grant (HRP-IAEA, Grant agreement ID: 770548). Her ERC project focuses on the history of radiation protection and the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in setting radiation standards after World War II. Through her ERC project, she currently leads the development of a new strand of research: Diplomatic Studies of Science. Rentetzi is a corresponding member of the International Academy of History of Science; a member of AcademiaNet (nominated by FWF as an excellent female researcher); a council member of IUHPST/DHST; former president of the Commission of Gender and Women in STEM of the IUHPST/DHST (2013-2021); and a founding member and treasurer of the Association of ERC Grantees. She was a scientific advisor to the Greek alternate minister of foreign affairs on science diplomacy (2017-2018), is a member of FAU’s excellence committee, and leads FAU’s internationalization strategy.

Rentetzi has published widely on the history of radioactivity and the nuclear sciences, on gender and science, and on Greece’s history of tobacco culture and technology. Her books include Trafficking Materials and Gender Experimental Practices (2007, Columbia University Press); Boxes: A Field Guide (co-edited with S. Bauer and M. Schlünder, 2020, Mattering Press); and Seduced By Radium: How Industry Commodified Science in the American Marketplace (Pittsburgh University Press, forthcoming). She has also curated 101 Notes on Oriental Tobacco, a museum exhibition on tobacco technologies and gender practices in processing tobacco in early twentieth-century Greece. She is currently working on a book called The Gender of Things (co-edited with Aida Bosch) about the ways epistemic and technological objects become gendered. Together with Emily Winterburn, she is also editing The Cosmos, the first volume of Gender, Colonialism, and Science (1750-1950): A Cross-Cultural Compendium of Primary Sources (Routledge), a major project in gender science studies directed by Donald L. Opitz and Banu Subramanian.

Research Interests

  • science, technology and gender studies
  • diplomatic studies of science
  • history and sociology of modern physical sciences
  • history of radiation protection
  • history of tobacco

International Publications


  • Rentetzi, M. forthcoming. A Familiar Commodity: How the Radium Market Transformed Science and Society. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh University Press.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. forthcoming. The Politics of Radiation Protection. Special issue of NTM: International Journal of History and Ethics of Natural Sciences, Technology and Medicine.
  • Rentetzi, Maria and Emily Winterburn. 2023. Gender, Colonialism, and Science (1750-1950): A Cross-Cultural Compendium of Primary Sources, vol.I, The Cosmos, Donald L. Opitz and Banu Subramanian (general editors), Routledge.
  • Bosch, Aida and Rentetzi, Maria. (forthcoming) The Gender of Things: How Epistemic and Technological Objects Become Gendered, Heidelberg: Springer.
  • Rentetzi, Maria, and Kenji Ito. 2021. The Material Culture and Politics of Artifacts in Nuclear Diplomacy, special issue. Centaurus, vol. 63, no 2.
  • Ito, Kenji and Maria Rentetzi. 2021. The co-production of Nuclear Science and Diplomacy: Towards a Transnational Understanding of Nuclear Things, special issue, History and Technology , vol. 37, no. 1.
  • Bauer, Susanne, Martina Schlünder, and Maria Rentetzi, eds. 2020. Boxes: A Field Guide. Manchester: Mattering Press. doi:10.28938/9781912729012.
  • Plastas, Melinda, and Maria Rentetzi (eds). 2016. Tobacco Roads History: Science, Society and Technology, Advances in Historical Studies 5, no. 2. doi:10.4236/ahs.2016.52005.
  • Rentetzi, Maria, and Spiros Flevaris. 2014. Tobacco|101 notes on oriental tobacco. Athens: Benaki Museum.
  • Oertzen, Christine, Maria Rentetzi, and Elizabeth Watkins. 2013. Beyond the Academy: Histories of Knowledge and Gender. Special issue, Centaurus 55 no. 2.
  • Rentetzi, Maria, and Sally Gregory Kohlstedt. 2009. Gender and Networking in Physical Sciences. Special issue. Centaurus vol. 51, no. 1.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2007. Trafficking Materials and Gender Experimental Practices: Radium Research in Early Twentieth Century Vienna. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007. doi:10.1080/00033790903243407.

Articles in Refereed Journals

  • Creager, Angela and Maria Rentetzi. (forthcoming) “The Paradox of Dual Use: The IAEA and Nuclear Regulation Through Standardization.” In Living in a Nuclear World: Order, Knowledge, and Normalization, edited by Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Soraya Boudia, and Kyoko Sato. New York: Routledge.
  • Rentetzi, Maria, and Loukas Freris. (under review). “Attaching Diplomatic Significance to Laboratories: The IAEA’s Mobile Laboratories Become Diplomatic Bags.”
  • Rentetzi, Maria. forthcoming. “Setting up a Global Experiment: The IAEA and its Dosimetry Programs in Early 1960s.” NTM: International Journal of History and Ethics of Natural Sciences, Technology and Medicine.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2021. “With Strings Attached: Gift-Giving to the International Atomic Energy Agency and US Foreign Policy.” Endeavour,  vol. 45, no. 1–2.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2021. “A Comment on Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection from a Historian of Science.” Cancer Studies and Therapeutics , vol. 6, no. 2: 1–2.
  • Rentetzi, Maria, Flavio D’Abramo, and Roberto Lalli. 2021. “Diplomacy in the Time of Cholera.” Sociology of Science and Technology 12, no. 1. 34-41. doi:10.24411/2079-0910-2021-11002. Preprint in Rentetzi, Maria, Flavio D’Abramo, and Roberto Lalli. Diplomacy in the Time of Cholera. Berlin: Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, 2020.
  • Kyrtsis, Alexandros, and Maria Rentetzi. 2021. “From Lobbyists to Backstage Diplomats: How Insurers in the Field of Third-Party Liability Shaped Nuclear Diplomacy.” History and Technology, vol. 37, no. 1. doi:10.1080/07341512.2021.1893999.
  • Ito, Kenji, and Maria Rentetzi. 2021. “The Co-Production of Nuclear Science and Diplomacy: Towards a Transnational Understanding of Nuclear Things.” History and Technology , vol. 37, no. 1. doi: 10.1080/07341512.2021.1905462.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2018. “Analogies that Shape the Recent History of Radiation.” Annals of Science 75, no. 1. 55–59.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2017. “Mme Curie and ‘the Perils in Radium’: The Early Days in Radiation Protection.” Physics Today, November 7.  DOI:10.1063/PT.6.4.20171107a
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2017. “Living with Radiation or Why we Need a Diplomatic Turn in History of Science.” Kjemi 6 (2017): 21–24.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2017. “Determining Nuclear Fingerprints: Glove Boxes, Radiation Protection and the International Atomic Energy Agency.” Endeavor 41, no. 2, 39–50.
  • Plastas, Melinda, and Maria Rentetzi. 2016. “Tobacco Roads: Histories of Technologies and a Transnational Economy.” Advances in Historical Studies 5, 1–4.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2014. “Going Postal: When Radiation Dosimeters Got Into a Box.” In Mapping Ignorance, June 13.
  • Oertzen, Christine, Maria Rentetzi, and Elizabeth Watkins. 2013. “Finding Science in Surprising Places: Gender and the Geography of Scientific Knowledge. Introduction to ‘Beyond the Academy: Histories of Knowledge and Gender’.” Special issue of Centaurus 55 no. 2, 73–80.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2011. “Packaging Radium, Selling Science: Boxes, Bottles, and Other Mundane Things in the World of Science.” Annals of Science 68, no 3. 375–99. doi:10.1080/00033790.2011.587999.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2010. “Genre, politique et radioactivite: Le cas de Vienne la rouge.” Travail, Genre et Sociétés vol. 23, 127–46. doi:10.3917/tgs.023.0127.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2010. ” ‘Reactor is Critical’: Introducing Nuclear Research in Postwar Greece.” Archives Internationales d’ Histoire des Sciences 60, no. 164, 137—54. doi:10.1484/J.ARIHS.5.101818.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2009. “The Tobacco Museum of the City of Kavala.” Technology and Culture 50, no. 3. 649–57. Exhibit review. doi:10.1353/tech.0.0292.
  • Rentetzi, Maria, and Sally Gregory Kohlstedt. 2009. “Gender and Networking in Physical Sciences.” Centaurus vol. 51, no. 1. 5–11.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2009. “Gender, Science, and Politics: Queen Frederika and Nuclear Science in Postwar Greece.” Centaurus 5, 63–87. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0498.2008.00132.x.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2008. “The U.S. Radium Industry: Industrial In-House Research and the Commercialization of Science.” Minerva 46, no 4. 437–62. doi:10.1007/s11024-008-9111-1.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2008. “Configuring Identities through Industrial Architecture and Urban Planning: Greek Tobacco Warehouses in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century.” Science Studies 21, no 1. 64–81. doi:10.23987/sts.55234.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2005. “The Metaphorical Conception of Scientific Explanation: Rereading Mary Hesse.” Journal for General Philosophy 36, no 2. 377–91. doi:10.1007/s10838-006-0091-2.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2005. “Designing (for) a New Scientific Discipline: The Location and Architecture of the Institut für Radiumforschung in Early 20th Century Vienna.” British Journal for the History of Science 38, no. 3. 275–306. doi:10.1017/S0007087405006989.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2004. “The City as a Context of Scientific Activity: Creating the Mediziner-Viertel in fin-de-siècle Vienna.” Endeavour 28, no. 1. 39–44. doi:10.1016/j.endeavour.2004.01.013.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2004. “Gender, Politics, and Radioactivity Research in Interwar Vienna: The Case of the Institute for Radium Research.” Isis 95, no. 3. 359–93. doi:10.1086/428960.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2004. “From Technological Design to Political Technology of the Body: The Case of Radium Dial Painters.” Women’s History Magazine 48. 4–12.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2004. “From Cambridge to Vienna: The Scintillation Counter in Female Hands.” Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza 2. 675–89. doi:10.1163/182539104X00421.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2001. “Women Physicists in the Institute for Radium Research in Vienna, 1920–1938: A Statistical Report.” Soziale Technik 2. 9–12. Republished in PCNEWS 81 (February 2001): 15–17.

Book Chapters

  • Rentetzi, Maria, and Efthymios Nikolaidis. 2020. “The Observatory of Athens during the Otto Regime.” In Compendium of the Greek-German Relations, edited by Alexandros-Andreas Kyrtsis and Miltos Pechlivanos.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2020. “The Epistemology of the Familiar: A Hymn to Pandora.” In Boxes: A Field Guide, edited by Bauer, Susanne, Martina Schlünder, and Maria Rentetzi, 35–44. Manchester: Mattering Press.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2020. “Cardboard Box: The Politics of Materiality.” In Boxes: A Field Guide, edited by Susanne Bauer, Martina Schlünder, and Maria Rentetzi, 443–58. Manchester: Mattering Press.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2020. “Black-boxing Knowledge: Glass Dosimeters and Governmental Control.” In Boxes: A Field Guide, edited by Susanne Bauer, Martina Schlünder, and Maria Rentetzi, 481–92. Manchester: Mattering Press.
  • Rentetzi, Maria, and Spiros Flevaris. 2018. “Envisioning a New European Metropolis: The Athens Observatory, Greek Astronomy and the Imposed Path to Modernization.” In Urban Peripheries, edited by Oliver Hochandle and Agusti Nieto-Galan, 16–36. London: Routledge, 2018. doi:10.4324/9781315228549-2.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2014. “Creating a Niche for Women Chemists in Cosmetics Industry.” In Women in Industry, edited by Renate Tobies and Annette Vogt, 115–18. Wissenschaftskultur um 1900, edited by Olaf Breidbach. Stuttgart: Steiner.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2011.”Box.” In A Natural History of the 21st Century for Hans-Joerg Rheinberger, edited by Safia Azzouni, Christina Brandt, Bernd Gausemeier, Julia Kursell, Henning Schmidgen, and Barbara Wittmann, 36–38. Berlin: Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2011. “Stephania Horovitz.” In European Women in Chemistry, edited by Livia Simon Sarkadi, 75–80. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH Verlag.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2011. “Berta Karlik.” In European Women in Chemistry, edited by Livia Simon Sarkadi, 161–64. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH Verlag. doi:10.1002/9783527636457.ch39.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2010. ” ‘I Want to Look Like a Woman Not Like a Factory Worker’; Rose Rand: A Woman Philosopher of the Vienna Circle.” In European Philosophy of Science 2007, edited by M. Dorato, M. Rédei, and M. Suárez. Vol 1, General Philosophy and Methodology of Science, 233–44. Dordrecht: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-90-481-3263-8_20.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2008. “Trafficking Materials in Tin Boxes, Glass Bottles, and Lead Cases: Radium in Early Twentieth Century Science, Medicine, and Commerce.” In Precarious Matters: The History of Dangerous and Endangered Substances in the 19th and 20th Centuries, edited by Viola Balz, Alexander Schwerin, Heiko Stoff, and Bettina Wahrig, 99–112. Preprint 356. Berlin: Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2007. “Tobacco Warehouse: A Lost Culture.” In Kapnomagaza (Tobacco Warehouses), edited by Kamilo Nolla, 18–39. Athens: Scandinavian Tobacco Hellas and Kastaniotis Press.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2007. ” ‘Scientist in the Picture’ Such As ‘Artist in the Picture’.” In The Picture of Scientist in Greece, 1900-1980, edited by Anastasia Lada, 113–38. Thessaloniki: Aristotelian University Press and Thessaloniki Museum of Photography.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2004. “Women Radium Dial Painters as Experimental Subjects or What Counts as Human Experimentation.” In Twentieth Century Ethics of Human Subjects Research: Historical Perspectives on Values, Practices, and Regulations, edited by Volker Roelcke and Giovanni Maio, 275–91. Stuttgart: Steiner. Republished in Internationale Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Ethik der Naturwissenschaften, Technik und Medizin-NTM 12 (2004): 233–48. doi:10.1007/s00048-004-0201-3.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2004. “Introduction in Women Pioneers in Radioactivity Research.” In Women Scholars and Institutions, edited by Sonia Strbanova, Ida Stamhuis, and Katerina Mojsejova, 581–89. Prague: Proceedings of the International Conference: Women Scholars and Institutions, Commission Women in Science of the IUHPS/DHST.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2004. “Gender and Radioactivity Research in Vienna, 1910–1938.” In Women Scholars and Institutions, edited by Sonia Strbanova, Ida Stamhuis, and Katerina Mojsejova, 611–38. Prague: Proceedings of the International Conference Women Scholars and Institutions, Commission Women in Science of the IUHPS/DHST.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2002. “Feminist Epistemology: How a Case Study from History of Science Undermines Harding’s Standpoint Theory.” In Yearbook 2002 of the Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society, edited by Arno Bammé., Guenter Getzinger, and Bernhard Wieser, 103–19. Munich: Profil.

Book reviews

  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2018.“Forum on David Holloway and Leopoldo Nuti, eds. Aspects of the Global Nuclear Order in the 1970s.” The International History Review, vol. 40, no. 5. October. 14-17, H-Diplo Review.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2017. Review of The Woman who Knew Too Much: Alice Stewart and the Secrets of Radiation, by Gayle Greene.  British Journal for History of Science , Vol. 52, no. 1. 176-178. doi:10.1017/S000708741900013X
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2015. Review of Love, Literature, and the Quantum Atom (Niels Bohr’s 1913 Trilogy Revisited), by Finn Aaserud and John Heilbron. Isis, 106, no. 4. 972–73.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2015. Review essay of Women Scientists in America (three volumes), by Margaret Rossiter. Centaurus 57, no. 1. 33–35.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2014. Review of Mad on Radium: New Zealand on the Atomic Age, by Rebecca Priestley. H-Net Humanities and Social Sciences online.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2012. Review of Trading Zones and Interactional Expertise: Creating New Kinds of Collaboration, by Michael Gorman. Isis 103, no. 3. 623–24.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2012. “Evocative Objects, Inner Histories and the Love Stories of the ‘Bricoleur’ ” (co-author Spyros Petrounakos). Review essay of Evocative Objects: Things We Think With, by Sherry Turkle; review essay of The Inner History of Devices, by Sherry Turkle and review essay of Falling for Science: Objects in Mind, by Sherry Turkle. ICON 18. 214–20.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2010. Review of The Pleasure of a Surplus Income: Part-Time Work, Gender Politics, and Social Change in West Germany, 1955–1969, by Christine von Oertzen. Aspasia: The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women’s and Gender History 4, 211–13.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2007. Review of More Than Pupils: Italian Women in Science at the Turn of the 20th Century, by Valeria Babini and Simili Raffaella (eds.). History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 29. 517–18.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2006.Review of Right Stuff, Wrong Sex: America’s First Women in Space Program, by Margaret Weitekamp. Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology 63, no. 3. 383–85.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2005. Review of Gender and Technology: A Reader, by Nina Lerman, Ruth Oldenziel, and Arwen Mohun. Sehepunkte, Resensionsjournal für die Geschichtswissenschaften 5, no 10.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2001. Review of Deadly Glow: The Radium Dial Worker Tragedy, by Ross Mullner. Science, Technology, and Human Values 26, no. 1. 106–108.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2000. Review of Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics, by Peter Galison. The British Journal for the History of Science 33, no. 3. 369–71.



Greek Publications


  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2012.  The Gender of Technology and the Technology of Gender. Athens: Ekkremes Press.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2010. The Space of the Scientific Laboratory, 16th–20th century: Architectural and Sociological Perspectives. Iraklio: Crete University Press.


  • Schiebinger, Londa. The Mind Has No Sex? Women in the Origins of Modern Science. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989. Translated and edited by Maria Rentetzi. Athens: Katoptro, 2006.

Articles in Refereed Journals

  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2009. “Constructing High Energy Physics in Postwar Greece: The Greek Atomic Energy Commission and the Center for Nuclear Research Democritus.” Neusis: Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, vol. 18: 88–110.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2009. “When Science and Politics are Intertwined: Queen Frederika, the Nuclear Research Center Democritus, and the Postwar Greece.” Contemporary Issues [Synchrona Themata] vol. 104: 53–62.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2008. “Invisible Female Technicians in the Greek Nuclear Research Center Democritus.” Kritiki, vol. 6: 47–69.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2006 “Gender and the Physical Sciences: Educational Strategies for Undermining Gender Stereotypes.” Themes in Education [Themata stin Ekpaideusi] 7, no. 1: 97–120. Republished in Issues of Theory of the Natural Sciences, Kostas Skordoulis (ed.), 129–50, Athens: Topos, 2008. Republished also in History, Philosophy, and Didactics of Natural Sciences, edited by Kostas Skordoulis and Efthymios Nikolaidis, 122–26. Athens: Greek Letters, 2005.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. “Mapping the History of Women in the Sciences.” Contemporary Issues [Synchrona Themata] 94 (September 2006): 50–61.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2005. ” ‘Radium Girls’: The Political Technology of the Female Body in the USA in the 1920s.” Dini (special issue), Martha Michailidou and Alexandra Halkia (eds.), Social Body, Athens, 86–113.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2003. “Gender in Science and Technology: An Introduction.” Pyrforos, vol. 7: 109–11.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 1998. “A Description and an Evaluation of an Experiment: Teaching History of Science in a Private Elementary and High School.” Contemporary Education [Synchrone Ekpaideusi] vol. 98: 45–53.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 1997. “The Role of Teaching History of Science in High School.” Contemporary Education [Synchrone Ekpaideusi] vol. 94: 79–82.

Book chapters

  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2018. “Gender and Science: An Adventurous Relation.” In Conceptualizations and Practices of Feminism: Beyond the Period of Political Transition, in Dina Vaiou and Aggelika Psara,105-120, Athens: The Hellenic Parliament Foundation.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2009. “Gender and Science.” In History and Philosophy of Science, edited by Biron Kaldis, 187–98. Patra: Hellenic Open University.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2007. “The Laboratory of High Energy Physics at Democritus (NRS): A Highly Gendered Space.” In History, Philosophy, and Teaching of Natural Sciences, edited by Dimitris Koliopoulos, 123–31. Patra: University of Patra, 2007. Republished in 2008, Issues of Science: History, Philosophy and Didactics of Physics, Kostas Skordoulis, et al. (eds), 87–96. Athens: Nisos.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2006. “Gender and Science.” Introduction to the Greek edition of The Mind Has No Sex? Women in the Origins of Modern Science by Schiebinger, Londa, 19–43. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989), Athens: Katoptro.


  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2019. “The Japanese Art of Bowing as Part of Nuclear History.” Prisma, September, vol. 15: 3.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2019. “Living with Radiation: Safety Culture and Standardization.” Prisma, September, vol. 15: 4-5.
  • Rentetzi, Maria. 2019. “How Well do We know Radiation? An Interview with the Director of the Greek AEC.” Prisma, September 2019, vol.15:7.