Prof. Avner Ben-Zaken

Head of the Excellence Program


Prof. Avner Ben-Zaken is a historian of science and a multidisciplinary and multicultural individual who addresses how science and knowledge cross cultural boundaries. He began his studies at the Hebrew University and graduated with honors, receiving a doctorate in the history of science from UCLA. In 2003, he won the Reingold Prize of the International Science History Society. In 2004, he was elected to the Harvard University Fellowship, where he served as a Fellow until 2008. Prof. Ben-Zaken is a versatile researcher focusing on how crossing cultural boundaries creates a transient and marginal consciousness necessary to develop new ideas. Using this methodological approach, he researched and published in diverse fields, from the history of science in modernity, through the philosophy of late medieval history to political thought and law in the 20th century. He heads the Ono Academic College’s Excellence Program and recently created a multidisciplinary humanities and social sciences program. Ben-Zaken has published three books and dozens of articles.


Harvard Society of Fellows (2004-2008)
University of California, Los Angeles – History of Science (1998-2004)
B.A. – M.A.
Hebrew University, Jerusalem – Middle Eastern History & Interdisciplinary program in the Humanities. (1991-1996)

Teaching Areas

Masterpieces in world civilizations, jurisprudence, law and science

Research interests

The history of science, intercultural history, history of reading in the new age, theories of actor ‎networks, autodidacts, Spanish studies, medieval Christian-Jewish relations, legal history and ‎political theory in the State of Israel